Friday, September 7, 2012

More MBK schedule discussion

Since I last wrote on MBK schedule discussion, the Big East, Atlantic 10 and Pac-12 have released their television schedules, along with a new change to the Mountain West championship schedule.

* The Big East, playing with 15 schools this year, released their schedule on Wednesday.  Mondays still are the conference's spotlight slot on ESPN, and CBS stepped up with a commitment to six conference games, more than they've ever carried.  In the past, the conference has had some games carried exclusively on ESPN3, but with one less team than previous years meaning a slightly smaller number of conference games, all games may be regionally televised if they aren't televised on ESPN Networks or CBS.

* The Atlantic 10, playing with 16 members this year with the additions of Butler & VCU and one more year with Temple, saw a huge increase in the number of televised games, specifically with CBS Sports Network.  CBSSN will carry 34 A-10 games, exactly double the number of games they televised last year.  ESPN Networks will again carry 14 games over ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU.  CBS Sports Network will continue to manage a regional package and CBS, in addition to one regular season conference game, will again carry the conference championship.

* An addition to CBS's championship's schedule is the Mountain West championship, televised the last six on Versus/NBC Sports Network.  The game will fill the time slot where the Pac-10/12 championship aired.  The conference has also modified its championship schedule, pushing its quarterfinals back one day to Wednesday so that all four quarterfinal games will air on CBS Sports Network.  Presumably, CBS Sports Network's championship week schedule would look like this:

Wednesday: MW Quarterfinals & Patriot League Championship
Thursday: C-USA Quarterfinals
Friday: MW & C-USA Semifinals
Saturday: A-10 Semifinals

* If I remember right, the goal of the Pac-12 was to try to get more exposure for its sports, particularly football and men's basketball.  The football goal is being met with games on FOX, F/X and ESPN, particularly the FOX and F/X games during prime viewing hours for the east coast.  I'm not sure the happened in men's basketball and maybe that sport is the tradeoff for the better times in football.

I ran a quick count and of the games that will air on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU and FSN, in 2012-13 the conference will have 50 of its 69 nationally televised games tip off at 9pm ET or later.  Compared to last year, that is nearly double the national telecasts tipping off at later east coast times (26).  Specifically 22 games will tip off at 11pm ET, compared to 10 last year (count includes conference tournament games).  Part of those changes involve a new consistent 11pm ET ESPN2 window on Wednesdays and it looks like more FSN's telecasts will tip off at 10pm ET or later on weekends.  But the conference's championship, in Las Vegas now instead of Los Angeles, will also tip off at 11pm, presumably after the Big East championship.

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