Monday, November 14, 2011

As football season winds down...

  • Normally I would start compiling things for the 2012 football season, but that is virtually impossible to do at this point.  Several conferences who normally have their schedules firmed up are reconfiguring due to impending changes in membership, whether they occur in July or another year.  Lawsuits being fired back and forth will also set the official announcements back.  That also doesn't take into account schools having to cancel/move non-conference games as they move.
  • Sent an email to Duane Lindberg of the Pac-12 with some questions regarding the new contracts the conference will begin with FOX and ESPN starting next year.  What I learned:
    • In football, FOX will have some exclusivity in their time slot.  There will be some overlap, presumably during the 2nd half of games where ESPN and Pac-12 Network can kick off their games.
    • Some early football selections will continue to be locked in by all TV partners, but games will continue to be determined on a twelve and six day basis during the year.
    • A team can appear no more than nine times combined in the FOX and ABC/ESPN football packages. So those entities could pick a team's entire conference schedule, but by doing that they might lose out on a decent home non-conference game.  To me, this protects the Pac-12 Network, specifically for USC in the years they host Notre Dame, to make sure that USC (and Stanford too) wouldn't be shut out of appearing on the network.
    • Of the 22 football games that ABC/ESPN has, I didn't realize that ESPNU will have the ability to show Pac-12 games, but it will be up to four of 22 games.
  • Curious to know what C-USA fans thought of the change from ESPN to FSN.  I'm sure there was some grumbling because some regions did opt out of games at times, including one bad moment early in the season where SportSouth dumped the UCLA-Houston game late to start a Braves telecast on time.

    But the FOX deal showed more C-USA football than any other season and the schools were able to move away from nights like Tuesdays and Wednesdays that they considered undesirable.  Let me know.
  • The Pac-12 will complete their final season of games on FSN on 11/26 with the UCLA-USC game.  The conference had 14 games on FSN this year.  Expect some of those slots to be picked up by the Big 12 and C-USA, presumably in better timeslots for both conferences.  Could see a return to games starting at 12:30pm ET in the Big 12 and C-USA, who prefer night games, to stay out of the 12pm slot when possible.  All depends on what these conferences look like.
  • Don't expect any games from the MWC side of the CUSA-MWC football partnership on FOX networks.  Those will remain with CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network, unless plans change with the ownership of the mtn. by Comcast (Don't see that happening right now).

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