Tuesday, June 5, 2012

While we wait on kickoff times...

I'm not thrilled, but not surprised, that several conferences are holding back on early season kickoff times and television selections.  It sounds like a pair of events, namely the finalization of the Big 12 television contracts & the "game draft" for the Pac-12 Network, need to be completed before all slots can be filled.  And that makes sense, particularly in the Pac-12's case.  Both ESPN and FOX could elect to place games on various networks & time slots based on what is available to them.

And to be quite honest, the networks used to have a deadline date of around June 15th for most conferences, so going past June 1st isn't unusual.

We do know that the Pac-12 Network will have some decent choices early in the year.  Jon Wilner reported that they'll select second in the opening week of the season and Bryan Fischer notes that they will pick first in the second and fourth weeks.  I did see that ESPN PR notes that it depends on if either they or FOX use priority picks on either of those weeks.  Don't know who picks where in week 3, but my guess is the Pac-12 Net picks third.

It does have some interesting implications right off the bat.  I know a lot of people, including myself, earmarked Nebraska-UCLA for FOX.  Now that's no longer a guarantee.  Either Cal-USC or Arizona-Oregon could end up on the Pac-12 Network in week four.  The maximum number of times a school can appear on ESPN & FOX combined is nine, so the Pac-12 can play a little bit of poker and try to get a late season USC matchup too (USC is part of 11 Pac-12 controlled games).

As for the Big 12, Sports Business Journal reports that the extended, and in the case of FOX a possibly amended, contracts are in the hands of lawyers.  If FOX can't get their hands on Nebraska-UCLA, they might request Miami (FL) at Kansas St. as a nice consolation prize.

Either way, I'd expect that both ESPN and FOX will try to protect certain games out of each package from the two conferences.  ND-OU is probably claimed by ABC in exchange for keeping ND-USC (ND-OU happens to fall on the week that FOX has the World Series in primetime, so they don't have a choice really).  The Red River Rivalry was claimed by ABC already, in exchange we could find that USC-Oregon stays in the hands of FOX.  The Pac-12 games could be the priority picks that those networks use.


Zachary Beach said...

I can definitely see Pac-12 Network going for Nebraska-UCLA. That is a pretty great game ratings wise.

What is taking the SEC and Big Ten so long?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Try this again...

CBS released a partial SEC schedule, but didn't release a 9/15 game. Signals to me that ESPN may be allowed to leapfrog ahead of CBS as part of concessions CBS provided to ESPN so that LSU-Alabama could air in primetime.


As for Big Ten ::shrugs shoulders::, no idea.