Wednesday, July 3, 2013

TV Bits and Pieces

* FOX Sports 1 is about six weeks away, and so is FOX Sports 2 for that matter, though I still remain skeptical for the moment regarding how much it will get used for live college sports.  There's likely content that is currently on Fuel that will remain on FOX Sports 2, along with some content from SPEED that isn't being cancelled (ie. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series).

FOX Sports 2 seems to be a logical place to have some extra early round UEFA Champions League matches, plus an outlet for the World Cup.  I'm drawing a blank on other items, especially since the planned FOX college football windows include games on FSN.

* The college basketball breakdown for FOX Sports 1 seems to look like this for the regular season:

  • Big East: 100+ men's basketball games & an unknown number of women's basketball games
  • Conference USA: ~10 men's games & ~5 women's games
  • Pac-12: 22 men's games
  • Big 12: Presumably some of their 31 women's basketball games will end up here
In the initial release announcing FOX Sports 1, Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday were the four days where college basketball would be scheduled.  Based on scheduling rotations
  • Monday: Big East men
  • Thursday: C-USA and/or Pac-12 (C-USA has switched to a Thursday/Saturday scheduling rotation)
  • Saturday: All properties
  • Sunday: All properties except C-USA men
In 2013-14, the entire Big East men's tournament will be FOX's various platforms along with three games from the Pac-12 tournament (one quarterfinal, one semifinal & the championship game).  FSN has carried the entire Big 12 women's tournament in previous years and a portion of it could air on FS1.

Could other conferences be coming?  Not sure.  The Big 12's press release from last year touting its TV contract reconfiguration said that up to twenty games could be sublicensed to another cable outlet, but based on currently scheduling rotations, the Big 12 does not fit into the mix.

FOX also holds the rights to the C-USA men's basketball championship game, but I'm told that was sublicensed to CBS for three years.  FOX would have access to it again in 2015.

* I've turned on the college basketball schedule area for 2013-14.  In late July, networks like ESPN should start releasing their College Gameday schedule, the schedules & pairings for the tournaments their networks air in November and possibly the games selected for the ESPN 24 hour marathon of hoops.  

Several years, I've found the Big 12 to be the first of the major conferences to release their conference & TV schedule.  I'll be curious to see how quickly the American's schedule comes out.  As the Big East, the conference was often last or 2nd last when it came to releasing their schedule because many of the schools rented out arenas where they were the No. 2-3 tenant behind an NHL, NBA or AHL team.  Only Memphis shares their arena with a pro sports team, so the conference may be able to go to a more consistent scheduling rotation.

* How does ESPN fill that Big East void?  Its may not as much of a void as you might think.  There were 59 regular season games involving the "Catholic 7" on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, and just eight of those games involved two of the C7 facing each other.  An increase in games from the ACC will fill some of that void, along with games from the American involving incoming members from C-USA whose conference games were not on ESPN & the 25 games from the Mountain West, which has proved to be a very competitive conference during the regular season.

* Back to football: Why is Rutgers-Fresno St. on ESPNU if ESPN took their 22 MW selections? And why is Norfolk St.-Rutgers on CBS Sports Network when the American doesn't have a contract with the network?  Simple.  A deal was made.  CBS Sports Network (likely) took Rutgers-Fresno St. as part of their 22 selections.  Only 21 were announced when they announced their portion of the MW television schedule.  I don't know if CBS attempted to move the game to a Friday or Saturday to keep the game, but it really wasn't feasible to keep it on Thursday 8/29 with the USC-Hawai'i game airing on CBSSN in the late evening.

I'm told that if this "trade" did not happen, Rutgers-Fresno St. would have went without national television and the Norfolk St.-Rutgers game would have aired on ESPN3.

* I'll have a couple others posts written up soon re: the fortunes of NBC Sports Network in regards to FBS college football, plus a discussion about the move towards digital distribution of events, either exclusively for events or as a sole means of out-of-market distribution vs. traditional television channels.

* For the readers who celebrate the holiday, enjoy your July 4th and a belated Happy Canada Day to those from Canada.


ryanstatboy11 said...

All Camping World Truck Series races I believe can only be shown on FOX Sports 1. Some of the practice/qualifying coverage may have to go there. And FOX Soccer Plus is staying too so who knows what else may go to FOX Sports 2.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Hi Ryan. Thanks for the tip about the races. FS1's CFB schedule was crafted around the NCWTS races for the remainder of '13. Re: qualifying/practice - are you referring to the Sprint Cup or the trucks? If its the trucks, I didn't know SPEED carried those items too.

I think FOX is committed to keeping FS+ around too. There's been rumblings out there re: MLS rights, what NBC wants for a new deal and what SUM is willing to give.

ryanstatboy11 said...

Sorry for the late reply, but I am a big NASCAR fan and usually at least qualifying is shown for the Truck series, and practices mainly when they are at the same tracks as Cup. I would assume they would do the same with Nationwide Series coverage if/when they pick those rights up. But do we know anything outside of UFC programming and leftover SPEED programming FS2 is going to get?