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.


bigddan11 said...

I could be wrong, but I don't believe that AggieVision was aired on ESPN3 as part of the WAC contract considering all the AggieVision events air on ESPN3 (including baseball, not just the WAC games. I expect that to remain the same. AggieVision also still has its contract with Comcast according to the Aggie Vision page, which has already placed the August 30 Sacramento State at New Mexico Staet game at 6 PM MT on Aggie Vision and ESPN3. (http://www.aggievision.tv/Home.html)

Idaho, not so much. They need to Go Vandals Network and SWX to pick up most pf their games, and if they're lucky maybe the Go Vandal Network games can get on ESPN3.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

The AggieVision information on the link is for the '12 season.