Friday, October 14, 2011

Football on TV Scheduling Notes

Virtually every conference's television contract has some sort of provision to make sure that a particular team doesn't appear in the top package too many times or that the conference's syndication/regional package gets a game involving every team.  Since we're over halfway through the year in terms of TV selections, let's take a look at a few of those items.

Big Ten
The key portion of their TV deals revolves around making sure every team appears twice on BTN, with one of those appears as a conference game.  Eight of the twelve teams have already met that requirement, with Michigan St., Nebraska, Ohio St. and Wisconsin not yet on the network as part of a conference game.  As we get to November, most weeks have all Big 12 teams playing.  Since the conference doesn't schedule night games in November, expect multiple BTN games/windows each week, so it may not take long for those teams to appear on BTN.

Big 12
The understanding is that the Longhorn Network games count as part of ABC's television agreement with the conference.  With that said, according to the Big 12's television agreement with ABC, no team can appear more than six times on ABC.  Texas-Texas A&M, whether the game appears on ABC or ESPN, counts as part of the ABC agreement.

If the Longhorn Network games indeed count towards those six appearances on ABC, then Texas is officially maxed out.  ABC did claim the Baylor game at the end of the season, but the Texas Tech (11/5), Missouri (11/12) and Kansas St. (11/19) games would be FSN or F/X selections.  Oklahoma & Oklahoma St. have had three of their games selected by ABC and don't appear to be in danger of hitting the appearance maximum.  Oklahoma also had their game vs. Iowa St. selected by F/X, so they are in good shape.

The Pac-12 also has an appearance maximum with ABC/ESPN of six.  USC has five appearances on ABC/ESPN currently scheduled.  Stanford, Oregon & Arizona St. each have four scheduled appearances on ABC/ESPN as of today.

November 12th could be when USC hits the max at home vs. Washington, but that same date is Oregon-Stanford.  The TV schedule notes that the UW-USC will take place at 3:30pm whether ABC or FSN/FX picks it.  I expect it to be left to FOX, so that ABC can do UO-Stanford in primetime.   The question then becomes whether ABC would avoid Oregon-Washington on 11/5 so that they could do the Stanford & Oregon St. games to finish the year.

With the LSU-Alabama game expected to be televised on CBS on 11/5, LSU fans are very upset that they will not have any conference home games kick off at night.  From research on Twitter, this will be the 1st year since 1936 that LSU will not host an SEC opponent at night.

LSU is the only SEC team that has had four scheduled for CBS and the CBS maximum for a school is six games per season, with one exception per school where they can pick up seven games (the conference championship isn't used as part of the count).  If the Alabama game will be on the network, the remainder of the Tigers' schedule that CBS can pick up (11/12 vs.Western Kentucky, 11/19 vs. Ole Miss) doesn't make it likely that CBS will have to concern them hitting the max on LSU nor using the exception.

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