Friday, November 4, 2011

Changes in College Basketball TV for 2011-12

The season starts Monday.  Not as many changes when compared to prior years.  Here's what has changed

ACC: Everywhere - As part of the ACC's new deal with ESPN, many more ACC telecasts will appear on ESPN and the Full Court package.  ESPNU will now air Sunday night basketball games, a slot that FSN previously carried.  The regional cable package of games that aired on NESN, FOX and Comcast RSNs will continue to do so, but now air in the ESPN Full Court package as well.  Also, a large number of non-conference games will air exclusively through ESPN3.

Besides FSN (nationally), the only other place you won't see ACC games is CBS.  ESPN as the rightsholder no longer has to sublicense games and elected not to sell any to CBS.

C-USA on FSN - By leaving ESPN, C-USA earned a small increase in telecasts on FSN.  The games will typically air on Saturday afternoons as a lead in to Pac-12 games.  FOX also owns the rights to the conference championship and will continue to license it to CBS.

Pac-12 on Sundays - FSN gained 10 games for this year as part of the Pac-12 football championship game deal with FOX for 2011.  14 Pac-12 games will air on Sundays this season, a temporary replacement for the loss of the ACC package.

New deals - The MAAC, MVC, Patriot League and WCC completed new deals with their rightsholders.  The WCC will see an increase in appears on ESPN, mostly in non-conference play and a couple extra games in the conference tournament.  The MVC won't see an increase on ESPN, but the regional package that has aired on FOX Sports Midwest and CSN Chicago will reappear in the FOX College Sports suite of channels and air as part as ESPN Full Court.  The MVC final has been retained by ESPN as well, but will continue to be licensed to CBS.

The MAAC's new deal retains the existing ESPN television numbers, but the regional game of the week package that aired on MSG, including most of the conference tournament, will now air exclusively on ESPN3.  The Patriot League's deal in basketball doesn't look much different that prior years, but the championship game is now part of the deal.  It will air on CBS Sports Network and move to a Wednesday evening.

Minor changes with the Big Ten - With the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten worked out changes to the Big Ten Network (BTN) and how it coexists with other TV partners.  In football we've seen where ABC and BTN can show games at the same time.  In football, we'll see ESPN and BTN overlap in games.  ESPNU will also carry a small number of conference games, where it previously only carried non-conference games.

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