Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wrapping things up for the start of the football season

* The Big 12 released its 1st three weeks of telecasts.  No major press release, just a referral to the schedule link at their site.  And if you look at the schedule, besides the two Longhorn Network games, it is all FOX cable and regional games.  I suppose you could see a few ABC or ESPN confirmations today as ESPN intends to release its telecast windows for the upcoming season.  Maybe the addition of TCU-Texas on Thanksgiving, that Bedlam would air on ABC or ESPN, maybe a Championship Saturday selection or two and possibly a time slot for the Red River Shootout.

* If the Red River Shootout is a 12pm ET ABC game, don't be surprised to see the F/X window move to accommodate an exclusive telecast.  I suppose its possible that the F/X window stays at 12pm, becomes an ABC regional window and the 3:30pm slot would be a reverse mirror of Red River Shootout and the Illinois-Michigan game.

* About that leaked FOX schedule from their Reno seems rather legit.  I would caution everyone that the schedule clearly notes "Schedule subject to change", including myself who likes the idea of a UCLA-Cal game at 12pm PT b/c I'll be in attendance for that one.   A few folks are hung up on USC-Oregon possibly airing on FOX.  Just remember that USC-Notre Dame was locked in by ABC as a priority pick it appears.  ABC/ESPN and FOX had two priority picks each.  Clearly its not a reach for FOX to have selected this game if they feel it is the marquee game.

* The only items from weeks 1-3 that aren't set for any webcast or telecast are a handful of WAC and Mountain West games.  The argument can be made that the loss of the mtn. hurts here for the MWC, but the mtn. often did not pick up games vs. FCS schools.  Air Force has elected to webcast its opener and there's still time for others to do the same.

* Meanwhile, the MAC and Sun Belt seem to have increased their presence on ESPN3.  Not great for those who don't have ESPN3 as an option with their ISP, but overall it allows more homes across the country access to these games without paying an extra fee.

* A few have asked about Pac-12 telecast windows.  The conference's telecasts aren't nearly as neatly structured as they used to be.  There aren't set windows, FOX leaked schedule release aside, and while ESPN does have a 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT window most weeks, they could always dump that window depending on the games they can televise earlier in the day.  And while the Pac-12 Networks are supposed to stay out of the FOX broadcast window, if FOX doesn't pick up a game, they might have a 3:30pm or 4pm PT game some weeks.

* Comcast Sportsnet appears to be moving forward into football season without FSN programming.  WDCA-20 in Washington DC will have a handful of FSN games and Comcast Sportsnet Chicago will carry nine C-USA and three SEC games from CSS as part of their telecast schedule.  Note that Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic retains the ACC regional cable package as that is sold by Raycom to regional sports networks regardless of affiliation, though most of those affiliated with this package are FOX RSNs.

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