Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012-13 men's basketball schedule releases & a couple football items

Basketball starts this entry, with three conference releasing conference portions of their schedules this week.

* With the SEC, we saw that, at least with basketball, ESPN3 exclusives appear to be acceptable for a portion of the weeknight schedule.  Also saw an increase in the number of ESPNU games for the SEC on the weekend.  FSN and CSS also saw increases in their sublicense packages and the Wednesday appears to be a split window virtually every week.

Pay attention ACC.  This could be your future, even if from top-to-bottom when Syracuse and Pitt enter the league you might be better than the SEC.

* The Big 12 schedule release doesn't look much different than prior years.  Big Monday? Check.  Usually a Wednesday window? Check.  A Saturday window on ESPN/ESPN2.  TCU will benefit quite a bit with five games on ESPN's national networks and a strong syndication package and West Virginia will see an increase in the number of games they'll appear on national television.

* Up next, it sounds like the Big Ten basketball schedule is close to final.  After that the ACC, which tries to release the initial run of televised games in August, then adds to it during the fall.  The Pac-12 has said September for their list and the Big East typically goes in September as well as they have to contend with pro sports and other tenants in some of their arenas.

If you're curious, the AQ football conferences happen to account for 503 men's basketball games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FSN, NBCSN and CBS (at least that's the count in my database), excluding neutral site in season tournaments and one-off neutral site games.  I am counting conference tournaments.  The remaining Division I conferences (excluding Patriot League and a portion of C-USA's and the A-10's schedules) accounted for 182 games in that schedule.  

* Late yesterday, a few of the Mountain West schools began to release the conference portion of their schedules and television assignments were included.  Much like the football schedule, the basketball schedule seems to be very top heavy, geared towards UNLV (9), New Mexico (at least 6), San Diego St. (10), Colorado St. (at least 6) and Nevada (8), at least three of which should make noise in March.  The other four MW schools?  Probably hoping that a regional television solution gets resolved soon.  They currently have a grand total of three appearances, with Air Force at zero.  As those teams schedules are released, I'm sure the number will go up too, especially as the non-conference portion has television attached to it.

Now for football...

* A nice late day surprise, thanks to the FOX College Sports, telecast listings is that national FSN games from the Big 12 and C-USA will once again be simulcast through the FCS channels.  The practice of simulcasting the national games on FCS ended sometime before the 2010 season and a reason was never given.  But now that the Pac-12 has moved their regional games to the Pac-12 Networks, there's a hole in the FCS schedule.  I know a lot of folks, particularly those who miss a FSN game due to other regional obligations, will be thrilled with this result.

* Still waiting on the finalized FOX telecast listings for the Big 12.  Mack Brown mentioned last Sunday that their first two games vs. Wyoming and New Mexico would air on Longhorn Network.  To me, that should have been the last piece of the puzzle for those weeks.  I believe that Tulsa-Iowa St. will eventually move to 3:30pm ET (some FOX regional listings show the game at that time), but an interesting twist is that the Northwestern St.-Texas Tech game is still sitting with a TBA start time.  Maybe Tulsa-ISU stays at 12pm on FSN, Appalachian St.-ECU goes to a smaller distribution of regional affiliates (ie. plus and secondary RSNs) in addition to FOX College Sports, and Northwestern St.-Texas Tech airs on FSN at 3:30pm.

* There's a lot of silence regarding the MWC football games not set for national television.  Lot of unrest among those fans.  Can't blame them.  I can understand delaying some TV announcements as the school is probably trying to sell as many tickets as they can, and since kickoff times have been set for those games, fans can make decision for ticket purchases if they desire.  But the silence, particularly to those fans, also leads to the perception of inaction on TV partner CBS Sports Network, who has been charged with finding regional TV partners.  Here's hoping that it gets resolved within the next week.

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