Friday, April 26, 2013

Quick TV Schedule Notes From the Past Week (4/19/13 - 4/26/13)

* I thought there was still a slight chance that NBC Sports Network would still end up with some MWC games, particularly after seeing NBCSN's English Premier League plans where most games on their network on Saturday would air before noon ET and, at least with what was announced, no replays/tape delayed airings of games on Saturdays.  CBS Sports Network ended that speculation on their side by taking 21 of their 22 possible games.  They also happened to take the vast majority of these games (17) as Saturday games.  I don't expect ESPN to sublicense any of their MWC content.

* Is there a 22nd CBS Sports Network game?  Possibly.  I am checking with the conference regarding the status of the conference championship game.  CBS Sports Network had the first crack at negotiating to carry the game.  It could be considered the 22nd game.

* CBS Sports Network didn't select the Rutgers-Fresno St. game and neither did ESPN.  I would guess that ESPN will be picking it up, probably for ESPNU.   I don't know if there is interest on either side on moving the game to Friday or Saturday, or if ESPN is trying to move other games to Thursday or Friday to match up with this game on ESPNU.

* The MWC contracts with ESPN and CBS Sports Network allows for ESPN to trade the rights to one Boise St. home game in exchange for a MWC-controlled Boise St. road game.  Boise St.'s home game with Nevada ended up on CBSSN and it appears ESPN traded for the BSU road game at Fresno St.

* So far, Hawai'i has four national telecasts, all on CBS Sports Network.  Three as part of the MWC schedule and the road game at Navy.  If it is true that Hawai'i receives no monetary compensation as part of the MWC television deal, but is allowed to retain its local PPV deal which requires four telecasts, they have at least seven available games right now.  ESPN could certainly take another game or two if they desire.

* For "bonus" revenue purposes, both Boise St. and San Jose St. so far have each earned an immediate $600K out of the MWC TV revenue.  Boise St. is guaranteed at least three ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC appearances through the MWC every year and one of those appearances looks like it will be on a Saturday unless another MWC controlled BSU game is moved to a weeknight by ESPN, so their minimum of "bonus" revenue is $1.1 million.  Air Force, Fresno St., San Diego St., Nevada and Utah St. each earned $300K off the top.  Assuming a pool of $20 million in television revenue for 2013, currently $3.2 million is earnmarked for bonuses, with the remaining $16.8 million currently as the amount to be shared equally amount 11 teams.  Again, this assumes Hawai'i is not a party to the television contract and keeps its PPV money instead.

Boise St., for the new payout system, would take home approximately $2.643 million in TV money.  San Jose St. would earn $2.127 million.  The five teams with one national appearance would receive $1.827 million each and the other four teams without a qualifying bonus TV appearance would each earn $1.527 million

* After looking over the available slots for CBS Sports Network, there should be at least 13-18 Conference USA games on the network.   That assumes three things:

  • All open mid-afternoon & primetime go to C-USA
  • 2-3 of the weeknight games end up with CBS Sports Network with the other going to FOX Sports 1
  • Maybe 1-2 noon EST kickoffs
* NBC announced a shiny new TV deal with Notre Dame, the first time the two entities have contracted with each other beyond a five year term.  NBC Sports Network will now end up with select games.  The previous deal allowed games to be moved to pay TV, but didn't specify the network and didn't allow NBC to guarantee that a game would air on cable.

Three days later, the ACC announced their grant of rights for the remainder of their TV deal.  Particularly with the football scheduling agreement ND has with the conference, it is protection for both sides, even if ND isn't committing the biggest piece of their pie to the deal. ND gets the peace of mind of knowing that the schools currently in the ACC should be around through the remainder of this current TV deal to help them with football scheduling.  The grant of rights keeps ND tied to the conference as each football playing ACC member stands to make close to $20 million per year from ESPN, up from slightly over $17.1 million per year, per school.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FOX Sports 1's inaugural Thursday night schedule

Plenty of ambiguity exists in the initial FOX Sports 1 Thursday night football schedule.  FOX's schedule should include a mix of Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 games.

9/5: FAU at East Carolina or TBA
9/12: TCU at Texas Tech or Tulane at Louisiana Tech
9/26: Iowa St. at Tulsa or TBA
10/3: Texas at Iowa St. or UCLA at Utah
10/10: Arizona at USC or TBA
10/24: Marshall at Middle Tennessee or TBA
10/31: Arizona St. at Washington St. or Rice at North Texas
11/7: Oklahoma at Baylor or Oregon at Stanford
11/14: Marshall at Tulsa or TBA
11/28: Texas Tech at Texas

See, ton of ambiguity.  A few of these games could be locked in 100%, but there's always the possibility of CBS Sports Network taking a C-USA game or the Pac-12 Network taking a Pac-12 game.

With the current number of games, there could be as many as six C-USA games, 2-4 Pac-12 games and 0-4 Big 12 games, but that leaves some Thursdays not filled.  FOX alluded to every Thursday having a football game, and they have Pac-12 and C-USA games to choose for 8/30.  Conversely, those two conferences aren't available on 12/5 because of conference championship games, so if there will be a Thursday night game on 12/5 it would have to be a Big 12 game.

The only dates with two game choices for FOX that I feel somewhat certain of the choice are 9/12 and 10/31.  On 9/12, ESPN only has a choice of TCU at Texas Tech right now, so if they take that then FOX should have Tulane at Louisiana Tech.  For 10/31, ESPN already has USF at Houston, leaving FOX to choose between Arizona St. at Washington St. & Rice at North Texas.  CBS Sports Network does not have rights to the Pac-12, so it should end up with Rice at North Texas, leaving Arizona St. at Washington St. for FOX. So who do you think ends up on 9/5?  Your choices are here.

ESPN's Friday night schedule

ESPN's main Friday night schedule (ie. excluding Black Friday, where there's multiple games during the day) seems to be close to taking shape.  Here it is:

8/30: Texas Tech at SMU (American)
9/6: Wake Forest at Boston College (ACC)
9/13: Air Force at Boise St. (MWC)
9/20: Boise St. at Fresno St. (MWC)
9/27: Utah St. at San Jose St. (MWC)
10/4: Nevada at San Diego St. (MWC)
10/11:  Temple at Cincinnati (American)
10/18: UCF at Louisville (American)**
10/25: Boise St. at BYU (BYU)
11/8: Louisville at Cincinnati (American)**
11/22: Navy at San Jose St.*
11/29: Black Friday
12/6: MAC Championship*

* Airs on ESPN2
** Either ESPN or ESPN2

The 11/1 & 11/15 games appear to be a pair of Pac-12 games.  USC at Oregon St. is scheduled for 11/1 and Washington at UCLA is on 11/15.  There is also one ESPNU Friday game currently scheduled and that is the Air Force at New Mexico game on 11/8.

ESPN is also listing the Wake Forest-Boston College and Temple-Cincinnati games as airing on ESPN or ESPN2.  Their NASCAR press release says the Nationwide race those evenings will air on ESPN2, so I think the games will air on ESPN unless something changes.

There are a handful of other games scheduled for Fridays during the season currently not set for television, again excluding Black Friday. Here's the games between FBS schools:

8/30: FAU at Miami (FL) - ESPNU or ESPN3
8/30: Western Michigan at Michigan St. - I think this ends up airing on BTN
9/27: Middle Tennessee at BYU - ESPN2 or ESPNU
10/4: BYU at Utah St. - I lean towards CBS Sports Network since ESPN didn't take this one initially

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Realigning your TV now that your school is changing conferences

So your school has elected to move to a new conference.  You might be asking yourself "Where can I find my team this season" (maybe you aren't, but humor me).  Here's where you need to look.

ACC: Incoming for new football members Syracuse & Pittsburgh.  ABC and ESPN Networks will handle the bulk of the content on a national basis, so not much has changed for those two schools.  Raycom handles a syndicated package of football games that airs at 12:30pm ET every week called the ACC Network.  Think of it like the Big East Network's main 12pm game.  There's also a 3pm ET game most weeks that airs on regional cable networks like FOX Sports South, NESN and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.  RSNs like SportsNet New York, MSG, MSG Plus and ROOT Sports Pittsburgh could end up airing those games.  Keep an eye out on the ACC spring meetings and media days as more information re: the RSN in your area could be revealed.

The regional games also air on ESPN3/WatchESPN, and the 12:30pm game is also streamed at the ACC website.

After the 1st three weeks of the season, the conference has its television selections made 12 days before kickoff.  There are also four options that ESPN can use to determine kickoff times as little as six days beforehand.

Big East: Four new members of the conference are coming in from Conference USA.  ESPN is the primary rights holder and there will be games on ABC, ESPN cable networks and ESPN3.  The last year of the football contract stays intact, you'll also have a syndication package known as the Big East Network that ESPN manages.  The games are carried in local markets of all the schools plus some surrounding areas and two RSNs that have carried the games in prior years include SNY & MASN.

Unlike C-USA, many Saturday kickoff times are determined 12 days in advance by television.  ESPN has at least 1-2 options to set kickoff times as little as six days in advance.

C-USA: Welcoming schools from the WAC, Sun Belt, FCS (Old Dominion is considered part of the TV package this year, even though they are a transitioning school)...its a melting pot.  FOX Sports is the primary C-USA television partner, with games expected to air on FOX Sports 1 and FSN.  I know that FSN isn't in every market, particularly those Old Dominion fans, so keep an eye out on that and hope that most C-USA games air on FOX Sports 1.  CBS Sports Network also has a contract with the conference for at least 15 football games.  There are also some regional games airing on CSS, Comcast SportsNet Houston and probably some other cable based RSNs in the conference's footprint.

If previous seasons are an indicator, some kickoff times will be set before the season starts.  CBS Sports Network and the regional partners were usually firm in setting their times in advance, while FOX Sports was more flexible with their Saturday times as they were scheduling games around Big 12 and Pac-12 games.

MWC: For San Jose St. and Utah St. (and I guess for Boise St. and San Diego St. as partial refresher), CBS Sports Network is considered the primary rightsholder and ESPN will also have rights to pick up football games.  With the new deals, I'm a little in the dark as to whether there will be selections by either network during the season.  It is known that ESPN will have the rights to Boise St. home games and that CBS Sports Network will be able to choose eight games to air, excluding Boise St. home games (though there is an exception to that rule), in a "game draft" of sorts.

Sun Belt: For the Georgia St. and Texas St. fans, ESPN is the primary rightsholder and they tend to select nearly all of their telecasts before the season starts, often as weeknight telecasts.  There will probably be some ESPN3 games selected during the year, and the Sun Belt Network package co-managed by Comcast & Cox remains intact.  Most Sun Belt kickoff times are set before the season starts and they generally do not change, even for ESPN3 games.

New Mexico St. and Idaho: You guys are on your own for this year, so you have some freedom to choose who should air your games and, for the most part since neither of you appear to be tied to a network, when your games will kick off.  New Mexico St. is in a better position because they have their AggieVision production facilities to use for home games, so they may be able to strike a deal to have those carried via out-of-market services like ESPN3, ESPN Game Plan or FOX Sports Go.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Early Season CFB TV Schedule Guesses

Didn't want to wait around for the MWC to finish its schedule.  Also didn't want to wait for the NFL schedule on April 16th.  Here's what I'm thinking for the 1st three weeks of the 2013 CFB season when it comes to TV scheduling.  I don't plan on revising at this point.

Expect it to be incorrect.  Don't use this as a guideline.  Have some fun with it.

Week Three CFB Guesses

TCU at Texas Tech, 7:30pm ESPN
Tulane at Louisiana Tech, 8pm FOX Sports 1

MWC Game, 9pm ESPN

UCF at Penn St., 12pm ESPN
Louisville at Kentucky, 12pm ESPN2
Georgia St. at West Virginia, 12pm FOX Sports 1
Mississippi St. at Auburn, 12pm ESPNU
Kent St. at LSU, 12pm SEC Network
Southern Miss at Arkansas, 12pm SEC/FOX RSNs
Stanford at Army, 12pm CBS Sports Network
Bowling Green at Indiana, 12pm BTN
Akron at Michigan, 12pm BTN
Georgia Tech at Duke, 12:30pm ACC Network
Boston College at USC, 3pm Pac-12 Network
Fresno St. at Colorado, 3pm Pac-12 Network
Southern Utah at Washington St., 3pm Pac-12 Network
Vanderbilt at South Carolina, 3:30pm CBS
Ole Miss at Texas, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
Washington vs. Illinois, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
Iowa at Iowa St., 3:30pm ESPN2
Kansas at Rice, 3:30pm FOX Sports 1
Maryland at Connecticut, 3:30pm ESPNU
Delaware at Navy, 3:30pm CBS Sports Network
Western Illinois at Minnesota, 3:30pm BTN
Youngstown St. at Michigan St., 3:30pm BTN
Western Michigan at Northwestern, 3:30pm BTN
New Mexico at Pittsburgh, 3:30pm ACC RSNs
Ohio St. at California, 7pm FOX
Tulsa at Oklahoma, 7pm FOX Sports 1
UCLA at Nebraska, 7pm ESPN
Nevada at Florida St., 7pm ESPNU
Massachusetts at Kansas St., 7pm FOX Sports Midwest
Lamar at Oklahoma St., 7pm FOX Sports Southwest
Northwestern St. at Cincinnati, 7pm FOX Sports Ohio
Tennessee at Oregon, 7:30pm ESPN2
Virginia Tech at East Carolina, 7:30pm CBS Sports Network
Notre Dame at Purdue, 8pm ABC
Alabama at Texas A&M, 8pm CBS
UTSA at Arizona, 10pm Pac-12 Network
Oregon St. at Utah, 10pm Pac-12 Network
Wisconsin at Arizona St., 10:30pm FOX Sports 1

Saturday ESPN3 Exclusives
Eastern Michigan at Rutgers
Fordham at Temple
Wagner at Syracuse
UL-Monroe at Wake Forest

Week Two CFB Guesses

* My thought on Houston-Temple being a Thursday night game is that we're waiting for final confirmation on the NFL schedule.  The Eagles aren't expected to play the opening Thursday night, but ESPN and the conference may be waiting for the NFL to give the go-ahead to officially set the date.
* ABC has NASCAR in the evening on Saturday, so there will not be a primetime game.  Notre Dame-Michigan is expected to air in primetime on ESPN.

Houston at Temple, 7:30pm ESPN
UCF at FIU, 8pm FOX Sports 1
Sacramento St. at Arizona St., 10pm Pac-12 Network

Wake Forest at Boston College, 8pm ESPN

West Virginia at Oklahoma, 12pm ESPN
USF at Michigan St., 12pm ESPN2
UL-Lafayette at Kansas St., 12pm FOX Sports 1
Navy at Indiana, 12pm ESPNU
Toledo at Missouri, 12pm SEC Network
Eastern Michigan at Penn St., 12pm BTN
Southern Miss at Nebraska 12pm BTN
San Diego St. at Ohio St., 12pm BTN
Duke at Memphis, 12pm Big East Network
Middle Tennessee at North Carolina, 12:30pm ACC Network
Hawai'i at Oregon St., 3pm Pac-12 Network
Weber St. at Utah, 3pm Pac-12 Network
South Carolina St. at Clemson, 3pm ACC RSNs
Florida at Miami (FL), 3:30pm ABC
Texas at BYU, 3:30pm ESPN2
Miami (OH) at Kentucky, 3:30pm ESPNU
Oklahoma St. at UTSA, 3:30pm FOX Sports 1
Missouri St. at Iowa, 3:30pm BTN
Syracuse at Northwestern, 3:30pm BTN
Tennessee Tech at Wisconsin, 3:30pm BTN
Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech, 3:30pm FOX Sports Southwest
Norfolk St. at Rutgers, 3:30pm SNY
South Carolina at Georgia, 4pm ESPN
Washington St. at USC, 7pm FOX
Oregon at Virginia, 7pm ESPN2
Buffalo at Baylor, 7pm FOX Sports 1
Western Kentucky at Tennessee, 7pm ESPNU
Cincinnati at Illinois, 7pm BTN
Indiana St. at Purdue, 7pm BTN
Southeastern Louisiana at TCU, 7pm FOX Sports Southwest
South Dakota at Kansas, 7pm Jayhawk Network
Sam Houston St. at Texas A&M, 7pm PPV
Southeast Missouri at Ole Miss, 7pm PPV
Alcorn St. at Mississippi St., 7pm PPV
Samford at Arkansas, 7pm PPV
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt, 7:30pm SEC/CSS
Notre Dame at Michigan, 8pm ESPN
FAU at East Carolina, 7pm CBS Sports Network
Central Arkansas at Colorado, 10pm Pac-12 Network
Portland St. at California, 10pm Pac-12 Network
San Jose St. at Stanford, 10:30pm ESPN2
Arizona at UNLV, 10:30pm CBS Sports Network

Saturday ESPN3 Exclusives
Old Dominion at Maryland
Richmond at NC State
Western Carolina at Virginia Tech
Montana St. at SMU
Eastern Kentucky at Louisville

Week One CFB Guesses

I figure if they can keep scheduling, I can keep writing these articles guessing their TV decisions for the early season.  Revision of week one now that we know the full Big East schedule, a few weeknight schedule adjustments, some MWC games will air on ESPN networks and the creation of a network known as FOX Sports 1.  I'm also assuming that ESPN2 will be unavailable on Thursday & Friday due to US Open tennis commitments, along with Saturday night for NASCAR Nationwide Series racing.

All times Eastern.  If a game isn't listed, assume a regional telecast, web video from the school or ESPN3.

North Carolina at South Carolina, 6pm ESPN (confirmed)
Akron at UCF, 7pm ESPNU
UNLV at Minnesota, 8pm BTN
Indiana St. at Indiana, 8pm BTN
Utah St. at Utah, 9pm FOX Sports 1
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 9:15pm ESPN (confirmed)
Rutgers at Fresno St., 10:15pm ESPNU
USC at Hawai'i, 11pm CBS Sports Network

Morgan St. at Army, 7pm CBS Sports Network (confirmed)
Western Michigan at Michigan St., 7:30pm BTN
Texas Tech at SMU, 8pm ESPN (confirmed)
North Dakota St. at Kansas St., 8:30pm FOX Sports 1 (confirmed)
Northern Arizona at Arizona, 10pm Pac-12 Networks

Penn St. vs. Syracuse, 12pm ESPN
Purdue at Cincinnati, 12pm ESPN2
Old Dominion at East Carolina, 12pm FOX Sports 1
Ohio at Louisville, 12pm ESPNU
UL-Lafayette at Arkansas, 12pm SEC Network
Massachusetts at Wisconsin, 12pm BTN
Central Michigan at Michigan, 12pm BTN
BYU at Virginia, 12:30pm ACC Network
Louisiana Tech at NC State, 3pm ACC RSNs
Nicholls St. at Oregon, 3pm Pac-12 Network
Buffalo at Ohio St., 3:30pm ABC
Northwestern at California, 3:30pm ESPN2
Temple at Notre Dame, 3:30pm NBC
Washington St. at Auburn, 3:30pm ESPNU
Northern Illinois at Iowa 3:30pm BTN
William & Mary at West Virginia, 4pm ROOT Sports or Moutaineer Sports
Miami (OH) at Marshall, 3:30pm FOX Sports 1
Virginia Tech vs. Alabama, 5:30pm ESPN (confirmed)
Austin Peay at Tennessee, 6pm PPV
Boise St. at Washington, 7pm FOX
UL-Monroe at Oklahoma, 7pm FOX Sports 1
Rice at Texas A&M, 7pm ESPNU
Toledo at Florida, 7pm SEC/FOX RSNs
Wofford at Baylor, 7pm FOX Sports SW
Wyoming at Nebraska, 7pm BTN
Southern Illinois at Illinois, 7pm BTN
McNeese St. at USF, 7pm Bright House Sports
Murray St. at Missouri, 7pm PPV
Georgia at Clemson, 8pm ABC (confirmed)
Colorado vs. Colorado St., 8pm CBS Sports Network
Northern Iowa at Iowa St., 8pm CyclonesTV
New Mexico St. at Texas, 8pm Longhorn Network
LSU vs. TCU, 9pm ESPN (confirmed)
Nevada at UCLA, 10pm Pac-12 Network
Eastern Washington at Oregon St., 10pm Pac-12 Network

Mississippi St. vs. Oklahoma St., 3:30pm ESPN - With Reliant Stadium unavailable on Friday due to Southern-Houston, the date for this game may depend on how quickly they need to turn over the stadium and if the Texans are scheduled for a preseason game at home on August 28-29

Florida St. at Pittsburgh, 8pm ESPN (confirmed)

ESPN3 Exclusives (Saturday unless noted)
Presbyterian at Wake Forest (Thursday)
Towson at Connecticut (Thursday)
FAU at Miami (FL) (Friday)
Southern at Houston (Friday)
FIU at Maryland
Elon at Georgia Tech
NC Central at Duke
Villanova at Boston College
Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky