Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Breakdown of FSN's National Coverage of College Football in 2010

It has been speculated that FSN is minor league compared to other networks because of the regional nature of the affiliates, who allow pro sports and other content of local interest to trump the national feed.  Thought it would be interesting to chart how well FSN's affiliates do in clearing their national college football games for 2010. 

I sliced up the numbers and here's part of the methodology.
  • I considered a game covered if it was on the main regional network or if it covered on a "plus" or alternate channel. 
  • Regions that have two RSNs that split the coverage were counted as one region, such as Fox Sports West & Prime Ticket, Fox Sports Florida & Sun Sports, Fox Sports South and SportSouth, MSG and MSG Plus, and CSN Philadelphia and Comcast Network. 
  • I did not split Fox Sports Ohio, although a case could be made that I should have.  There are probably ways I could have split the three feeds (Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati) somehow.
  • I did not discriminate whether a game was joined in progress or not.
  • There were four national special presentations (ie. games not original part of the FSN national schedule).  I broke those games out in certain places and did not include them at all when breaking down a conference by time slot.
  • I did not include the Akron-Kentucky game on 9/18/11 which went to nearly all FOX-owned FSNs
So what did I learn:
  • CSN New England is a horrible FSN affiliate, clearing just 18 of the 39 games (18 of 35 when excluding special presentations).  They prioritized the CAA package of games ahead of FSN, particularly with the Big 12 coverage where they cleared only three of the 13 early window games.  Maybe its time for FSN to talk to NESN, especially since the two entities have a digital partnership for sharing news content.
  • Best bet is to be an affiliate out west.  The Arizona, West/Prime, Southwest, and Houston affiliates, in addition to the CSN Bay Area/California combo were the only ones to cover the package in full.  EDIT: FSDetroit also covered every game.
  • Eleven of the nineteen regional affiliates covered at least 90% of the games. Four others covered at least 85%.
  • Time slot is important.  The Big 12 did very well in the 12pm/12:30pm and 3:30pm slot with thirteen of the nineteen regions carrying every game, and four others only missed one.  CSN New England and CSN Philadelphia/Comcast Network's coverage in that slot was replaced with the CAA or SEC Network.  The 7pm evening slot was spotty at best.  For the Pac-10, they did well regardless of the 3:30pm (16/19 carried every game, other three carried four of the six games) or 10:30pm time slot (EDIT: all regions covered every games).
Its something to consider for both of these conferences as they enter negotiations for a new television package.  If FSN stays in the game, it may have to sublicense more games to national networks and try to stay away from the 7pm Eastern window.

FSN Breakdown for 2010


Sean OLeary said...

I live in Connecticut. CSN New England sucks. They barely clear anything and they're obsessed with the local colleges.

billmich said...

I don't know why you have fsn Detroit as missing games on 9/18 and 9/25. I remember for a FACT watching those games not via computer, but on my local fsn affiliate (detroit) ,both weeks.

in addition i found the following site to back up that it was indeed SUPPOSED to be run on fsn detroit


now i know he references your site, but as a huge college fan I can say with 10000% certainty that fsn detroit DID air the fsn games on both 9/18 as well as 9/25

and while i am at it, major kudos for doing the spreadsheet and analysis, it is WAY cool, and i do know it must take some time to compile it all, thank you for your efforts, Bill

Unknown said...

If your sources were from posted TV listings, I know within Ohio splitting your data would've hardly mattered -- here in Athens (Southeast Ohio), they are incorrect on a very regular basis, particularly with basketball, but at times with football as well.

For example, during the Akron @ Dayton basketball game, my listings as well as the FS-O site showed that game on both the regular and overflow channels here. Both showed Cavs pregame.

I can say with certainty just a few months into the contract that the MAC's deal with SportsTime Ohio is one of the best moves they could've made.

Fox Sports had horrendous coverage (I swear to you there were times they voiced the scoreboard feed), could rarely clear a game on an overflow channel in half the state, let alone on the primary channel, and presented the men's basketball tournament without putting a single primetime game on anything but an overflow channel you couldn't find without digging and not before about 24 hours prior to tip off.

Mind you, during the MAC tournament they were also obliged to show Cavs, Blue Jackets, and the A-10 tournament, which also got the shaft (and I think may have left for CBS College this season?).

Matt Sarzyniak said...

@billinmich - I was surprised too. Will have to update and maybe look at the Tigers schedule and see if they were a conflict.

@anorris - I refuse to watch FSN's coverage on FSOhio because they are the lone holdout when it comes to putting the national games on in HD. I did my best to use national listings in addition to their listings at the FSOH website

FSOH does have a lot to cover at that time of year. The A-10 semis, as of last year, moved to CBSC but the quarterfinal games are regionally syndicated.

billmich said...

matt, i checked in august, between the tigers, wings and pistons, there was never a time during college football season that both were in action at the same time.

i was worried since fcs no longer airs the national fsn feed, so i made sure a ahread of time that there wouldnt be an issue