Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Schedule Stuff & Media Days

* Media days for conferences and independent schools start today with the BYU media day on BYUtv and ESPN3.com.  ESPNU will also carry coverage of the SEC (7/20-7/22), Pac-12 (7/27, taped from 7/26), Big East (8/2) and whip-around coverage on 7/25 & 7/26, which should cover the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 and possibly coverage from the MAC & MWC.  ESPN3.com will simulcast all ESPNU coverage.

I'm unsure if its been confirmed, but I'll be surprised if the Big Ten's media days are not covered by BTN on 7/28 & 7/29.

* ABC will have five 12pm ET windows in 2011, four on Saturdays and one on Black Friday.  Three of the five windows have games attached to them (9/17: Auburn at Clemson, 10/8: Oklahoma vs. Texas, 11/25: Nebraska at Iowa).  The other two windows are on 9/24 and 11/26.  11/26 is very likely to be the Ohio St.-Michigan game and the 9/24 game could be one of two Big East games that are marked for TV on an ABC/ESPN platform (Notre Dame at Pittsburgh or LSU at West Virginia).

* FSN is extremely stretched this year with the addition of C-USA to its roster nationally and the ACC on a regional basis.  Next year the load could be lighter as all Pac-12 content will move to F/X.   An early casualty, regionally, is the Southern Conference who closed a deal with public broadcasting entities in NC, SC and GA.  When the SEC moved on to CSS, several SoCon games moved from CSS to local TV, so this isn't much of a surprise.

But the SoCon deal with public TV isn't as viewable as some would make it out to be.  A poster on the506.com (a great place for all things sports and TV) noted that the games would appear on digital subchannels, not on the main channels of these public broadcasters.  Could mean that an extra digital tier might need to be purchased on cable for the games.  Satellite folks could be out-of-luck as subchannels aren't required to be carried as part of "must carry" laws and very few appear on these systems, usually only those that are Big Four affiliates.

* CBS Sports Network's new deal with the Patriot League will give the network a foothold in the "Championship Week" arena with its 1st conference championship.  The conference will also have a national outlet for at least two football games per year, which puts it ahead of more prestigious FCS conferences like the Big Sky, CAA and SoCon.  At this time, only the Ivy League places more games on a national network with their package of games on Versus.

* The move of the Air Force-Navy game to CBS on 10/1 was a great move.  Too bad CBS allowed Versus to have the rights to Army-Air Force.  Would make great sense, and be a very cool gesture, to have the three Commander-in-Chief's games on network television.

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