Sunday, June 17, 2012

Addendum to blog post about FOX, Pac-12 and Big 12

Wanted to address a few items about the FOX schedule and where the Pac-12 and Big 12 fit in.

  • I mentioned that the 1:30pm ET F/X telecast windows could be filled by either the Pac-12 or Big 12 and I stand by that, particularly because the Pac-12 Rocky Mountain schools could fill in.  I neglected to mention the Arizona schools could fill in those spots as well once Daylight Savings Time ends.  Here's the possible games for those weeks:
    • 11/3: Stanford at Colorado, Washington St. at Utah
    • 11/10: Colorado at Arizona
    • 11/17: Washington St. at Arizona St., Washington at Colorado, Arizona at Utah
  • At least for the F/X and FSN telecast windows, please consider those tentative.  Last year, FOX touted that most of their F/X games would be at 8pm ET and that there would be a doubleheader on October 1st.  The doubleheader ended up being in November and several F/X windows switched from 8pm ET to noon ET.
  • I miscounted the possible Big 12 windows on FSN and neglected to include a window on 12/1.  There's also a FOX College Sports telecast windows listed for 10/27 at 12pm ET and with FOX & F/X taking one game each, plus FSN taking three games and filling one with Navy at East Carolina, FCS appears like it might get a Big 12 game that day.
  • Speaking of FCS, with FOX broadcast taking more Big 12 games plus F/X and FSN taking their cut, it sounds like they'll be shut out of the Big 12 unless they try to buy up some of the institutional telecast games and air those.  The press release also mentions regional matchups from the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big Sky, WAC and Southland.  FCS has shown the Southland TV Network games on tape delay in the past, so maybe they'll make those available live.  The Big Sky Conference has their deal with ROOT Sports which are FSN affiliated networks, so that may be why they are included.  Maybe they'll try to pick up the WAC Sports Network games, but I wouldn't expect to see the ACC, SEC or Big East as part of these channels due to their contracts with ESPN.
  • An item to keep track of with the Pac-12 is how many appearances each school makes on FOX and ESPN.  Per Duane Lindberg, the Pac-12's television coordinator, a school can appear a total of nine times combined on ABC, FOX, F/X and the ESPN networks.  USC, for example, has been selected for four games on those entities as part of the Pac-12 contract (Hawai'i, at Stanford, at Utah, Notre Dame).  The Pac-12 Networks guaranteed themselves at least one USC game with the selection of the California game on 9/22 and they'll have at least one more conference game on their networks.  Why is that?  Nine conference game schedule plus the Notre Dame and Hawai'i non-conference games means that USC has 11 possible appearances as part of the Pac-12 TV deal.  Because FOX and ESPN took the two non-conference games, it left at least two USC games for the Pac-12 Networks.
  • Lastly, if the Pac-12 takes those three 1:30pm ET F/X windows, this could be the split you see of Big 12, Pac-12 & C-USA across all FOX nets.  This split accounts for 22 Pac-12 games, 20 C-USA games and about 38 Big 12 games.  FOX has rights to about 40 Big 12 games and there's a hole on ESPN's Thanksgiving evening schedule that seems to be waiting for a Big 12 game to fill it and I assume that will come out of ABC's count of games.  I counted 66 Big 12 games.  Ten games go back to the schools, one game per school.  If ABC takes their 18 (maybe airing some on ESPN/ESPN2), FOX would have exactly 38 to distribute across their networks. 
    • FOX: Big 12 (9-13 games), Pac-12 (8-12 games)
    • F/X: Big 12 (6-10 games), Pac-12 (10-14 games)
    • FSN: Big 12 (18 games), C-USA (20 games)
    • FCS: Big 12 (1 game ??)


bigddan11 said...

FCS relies largely on local schools TV contracts. They have lost their biggest feed (Pac-12). However FCS can't be shut out of Big 12 games, because the Big 12's contract with FCS calls for at least 3 exclusive FCS Big 12 broadcasts a year. The increased number of Big 12 games on FSN and FX doesn't remove that stipulation.

The Big Sky question is easily answered. FCS has a contract with Northern Arizona and they have a contract with North Dakota.

The ACC and SEC are fairly easy to answer as well. FCS has the rights to simulcast any game shown on a FOX Network. ACC Regional Network and SEC Regional Network are done by FSN, thereby giving FCS the rights to simulcast those games.

I don't see any way they can do a Big East game. ESPN has sole Big East rights, unless they are referring to a Big East road game.

The WAC could very easily be WAC Sports Network, or it could just as easily be them getting the rights to simulcast New Mexico State's AggieVision games.

I don't think FCS is done though. The MWC has expressed an interest in getting a regional network to carry some games. FCS Pacific fits that mold. You also have CUSA local broadcasts that could just as easily end up being simulcast by FCS if they want to enter into a local team contract, like No. Arizona, North Dakota, and Oral Roberts have done (Colorado also did this last year, which is why every Buffs game was shown live or tape delayed on FCS).

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Re: ACC & SEC, they fall into same bucket as the Big East. They do not have a direct contract with Fox.

In the case of the ACC, ESPN sells a package of games to Raycom that they can air on regional cable nets. This package airs with Fox graphics on several RSNs, but cannot air on FCS. It airs on Gameplan and Full Court.

For the SEC, the games come directly from ESPN, using their graphics. It also airs on several FOX RSNs (with another set of cable games sold to Comcast for them to distribute on cable systems & Comcast owned RSNs), but it cannot air on FCS because it is shown live on Full Court & Gameplan.

I believe, at last in the case of the ACC, if you pay attention to the copyright message, ESPN is the copyright holder of those ACC games.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Re: the FCS exclusives for the Big 12, where did you see the number as three? The deal they signed last year which starts this season (and appears to be getting amended) does not mention minimums or maximums, unless its in the audio portion of the call.

bigddan11 said...

It was on one of the Big 12 teams websites in their game notes from last year. I think it may have been Texas Tech's (since I am from Texas it would make sense for me to have looked at their game notes, but there's no guarantee thats which one it was in). One of the schools game notes indicated it was part of the new contract with FSMG that called for at least 3 exclusive Big 12 games for FCS for college football. La-Lafayette at Oklahoma State, Northern Illinois at Kansas, Kent State at Kansas State, and Nevada at Texas Tech gave them 4 exclusive broadcasts.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I'll do some digging for it later. Thanks.

Note that last year's numbers for FOX College Sports do not apply to the new contract, which starts in July. The games that were on FOX College Sports were often a negotiation between FOX and the school once those games were not selected by the national telecast partners. FOX negotiated the right to do X number of games for FCS, but I don't believe schools were paid for those games. I believe I read that Iowa St. did not get paid for those games and that the home team could make a choice to have FOX College Sports pick up the game, go PPV or not televise it at all. Texas A&M elected to go without FCS or doing a PPV because they were more tied to making sure they had a full house at the stadium.

I'm told they were essentially being paid by having the game televised.

bigddan11 said...

If the new contract starts this July, then I could easily be mistaken about 3 Big 12 games minimum on FCS based off of last years game notes. However Texas A&M did put their Sept. 17 vs. Idaho game on FSSW PPV last year.

Reading further into the lines, it seems FCS can pick up exclusive games from the Big 12 and CUSA if FSMG delegates a specific game to them. Last year FSMG delegated 1 CUSA game exclusively to FCS (Memphis at Tulane). That seems to indicate they could just as easily do so this year if they choose to.

They refer to regional broadcasts from the Big East, SEC, ACC, and WAC being shown. This could easily be referring to a delegation of something like UTSA at Rice that they are planning on being on FCS that may not be on the original schedule. However I will say I watched 2 SEC RSN games on ESPN3 last year, at least for the first half, and those broadcasts used full FSN graphics, not ESPN graphics, despite ESPN being the programmer.

They don't mention it, but last year FCS simulcast games from NEC Network. NEC Net wasn't in the original FSMG announcement for games last year. They also didn't include last years North Dakota Big West games or North Dakota State's ND-NBC game which they picked up. They even simulcast a few Ivy League games last year. Looking at these little factors is why I say his is no where near the complete FCS broadcast schedule. FCS announced games 12 days in advance last year outside of the Big 12 games, Colorado, and Northern Arizona. I don't see how they aren't going to do the same this year with local broadcasts.