Good morning. Games begin to kick off this Thursday. Since I have several new followers, here's a few reminders, personal opinions, an FAQ of sorts, to help you and to help me keep my sanity as men's basketball listings and football telecast changes come out all at once. This, like tax season for accountants, is my "busy season".
* ABC regional coverage and reverse mirror maps tend to come out on Wednesdays. They might get tweaked into Thursday or Friday if a station wishes to switch out to another game. I do not create the maps or have any insight into why a local station made the decision it did. If you have a question, contact your local station.
* Saturday kickoff times for many conferences are not set until twelve days in advance, with a few exceptions late in the year. Depending on the conference, their TV partners and the contracts in place, they could set their television plans as little as six days in advance. There are also situations where a television partner may set a game for a particular time and television options and then finalize the TV network six days in advance. In short, if it isn't listed yet, count back 12 days from the kickoff date and that should determine when you will see a television announcement for a game.
* Telecast windows change slightly. Sometimes ABC will reverse mirror a primetime game to ESPN. FOX might have other events on their networks which move things around slightly. I don't work for any television entity. I like to believe I have a decent rapport with them to possibly get a question or two answered, but I am not a representative of any of these networks.
* I don't know why ESPN/FOX/CBS/ABC chose Game X over Game Y. I'm not an unfeeling person when it comes to that, but I have lesser concerns about that. I'll watch online if that's what I have to do and if it is an option.
* The Pac-12 Networks are still not on DirecTV. They don't appear to be making it into the channel lineup anytime soon. The conference has its own marketing campaign around dropping DirecTV. That's up to you and your personal situation, as cancelling DirecTV may not be as simple as a phone call based on your contractual situation with the TV provider.
* For that matter, assume that WatchESPN won't be on DirecTV anytime soon either. At least not for this season unless both sides decide to renegotiate a contract that has at least another year to go. Dish Network could be a different story as the ESPN contract with Dish expires at the end of September.
* Sometimes, I know why a game is blacked out in your area. Most of the time, I don't. If your pay television provider is blacking out a game incorrectly, contact them, the network in question, or the conference.
Many of these networks, conferences and pay television providers have Twitter and Facebook pages. I am not suggesting that you should get an account to either of these services, but they may have posts there that explain why you aren't seeing a game.
* I really hate predicting television times for people more than a week or two out. Networks have tons of data to go by when they put a game in a particular time slot and rules they have to follow (ie. appearances by teams) and I don't know every one of them.
And if you are asking me re: travel, you really shouldn't be relying on me for that, particularly if you're trying to book a flight. Close the email program or social media app. And as I said before, networks can alter their telecast times. My advice to you: If you fly on the day of the game, book the first flight in or get there the previous evening.
* FSN regional listings are tentative (really all regional listings are). It looks like the FSN produced Big 12 and C-USA telecasts are not being syndicated to over the air television. MASN2 looks like they will have the games available in their in-market area starting with this season. If you've seen or heard anything concrete, let me know. But I'll probably be relying on the sheets that FOX provides to C-USA and the Big 12.
* If I don't acknowledge your question on Gmail, Twitter or Facebook, it could be for a myriad of reasons. The biggest one could be that I have a day job (this blog and accompanying site are not it), one that pays the bills, and I am focused on that. It's also quite possible that I either want to research something before I answer you. So its possible that you'll be ignored. Please don't take offense.
And please, before you post or write, check to see if I've posted something there about it or on my site to see if I've listed a game. There's a chance its there.
* I'm often not at home on Saturday, depending on when Syracuse is playing (they are my team, but I did not go to school there). Believe it or not, after getting the listings set, I tend to leave the house and listen to a game or two on radio. My F-150 has high miles for a 3 year old because of that, but at least I didn't lease it.
* I really don't care who is announcing the game and I don't post them on my site. Does it annoy me if an announcer is factually incorrect about something? Sure, but it doesn't hamper any part of my viewing experience. Don't let it hamper yours. The PxP guy and the analyst have never caught a TD, picked off a pass or fumbled the ball while working the game.
And no matter how good an announcer is, he can't shine up a turd of a game into gold. If its a 6-3 cluster with scads of turnovers, its not a great game no matter who the PxP guy is.
* Enjoy the games. Thanks for stopping by.