Monday, September 30, 2013

CFB TV Selections for 10/12

Games already set aside for 10/12
My guesses for 10/12

These are approximate TV windows.  Expect things to be determined either today or next Sunday re: some network determinations from 5pm and after, along with the network carrying the 3:30pm reverse mirror if there is one.

12pm ABC & WatchABC: Oklahoma vs. Texas
12pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Missouri at Georgia
12pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Indiana at Michigan St.
12pm FOX Sports 1: Iowa St. at Texas Tech
12pm ESPNEWS & WatchESPN: Memphis at Houston
12pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech
12pm FSN: Kansas at TCU
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Nebraska at Purdue
12pm American & ESPN3: USF at Connecticut
12:21 SEC TV & ESPN3: South Carolina at Arkansas
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: Navy at Duke
2pm Time Warner Sports: Central Michigan at Ohio
2pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Buffalo at Western Michigan
3pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Miami (OH) at Massachusetts
3:30pm CBS & Florida at LSU
3:30pm FOX: Baylor at Kansas St.
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror: Northwestern at Wisconsin
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror or ESPNU: Boston College at Clemson
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror or ESPNU: Virginia at Maryland
3:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Syracuse at NC State
4pm FOX Sports 1: Oregon at Washington
5pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Michigan at Penn St.
5pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Akron at Northern Illinois
6pm Pac-12 & Stanford at Utah
7pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Alabama at Kentucky
7pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Georgia Tech at BYU
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Idaho at Arkansas St.
7:30pm SEC/FSN Regional & ESPN3: Bowling Green at Mississippi St.
8pm FOX Sports 1: Tulsa at UTEP
8:30pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Texas A&M at Ole Miss
10pm Pac-12 Colorado at Arizona St.
10:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: Oregon St. at Washington St.
10:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: California at UCLA

Sunday, September 29, 2013

CFB TV Guesses for 10/12

Games already set aside for 10/12

* ABC does not have an 8pm window due to NASCAR
* I'm assuming there will again be an ESPNEWS window.  Put it on the Akron-Northern Illinois game.  USF-UConn would be the easy way out but neither team has won a game.  Did not change the kickoff time for Akron-NIU.
* FOX's broadcast window is at 3:30pm due to the MLB playoffs.  First of a three week stretch where their window is not in prime time on the east coast.
* I put Tulsa-UTEP on FOX Sports 1 at 4pm.  Don't see it on FSN at 12pm, but FOX has shown a willingness to move their telecast windows around, such as the move of the 12pm FSN window to 4pm  on 9/28 and reordering the windows on FS1 on 10/5.  If they move the FSN window to a later time, like 4pm ET, move the Iowa St.-Texas Tech game to FS1 at 4pm and Tulsa-UTEP to FSN.  I guess they could, if they really wanted to, play the game at 10am local time in El Paso (they are the corner of Texas on Mountain Time).  Some Mountain West schools, up until about 10 years ago, would schedule a 10am kickoff to stay out of the ESPN Plus regional window to show a game on TV.
* I placed the Michigan-Penn St. game, set for a 5pm kickoff as it is a Big Ten homecoming game, on ESPN and slid their evening telecast window to 8:15pm.
* In addition to Michigan-Penn St., Northwestern-Wisconsin and Indiana-Michigan St. are set in terms of their kickoff times as homecoming games.
* I've flip-flopped on Missouri-Georgia & Florida-LSU on CBS afternoon & ESPN primetime three times.  I don't think CBS will use another six day option right away though.
* Gave strong consideration to Bowling Green-Mississippi St. being PPV since the Bulldogs have not used that option yet.  Could have eliminated one 10:15pm window, moved Georgia Tech-BYU to 7pm ESPNU and South Carolina-Arkansas to FSN.

12pm ABC: Oklahoma vs. Texas
12pm ESPN: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech
12pm ESPN2: Nebraska at Purdue
12pm FOX Sports 1: Baylor at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNU: Virginia at Maryland
12pm FSN: Iowa St. at Texas Tech
12pm BTN: Michigan St. at Indiana
12pm American: Memphis at Houston
12:21 SEC: Alabama at Kentucky
12:30pm ACC Network: Syracuse at NC State
3pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at Washington St.
3:30pm CBS: Missouri at Georgia
3:30pm FOX: Oregon at Washington
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Northwestern at Wisconsin
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Boston College at Clemson
3:30pm ESPNU: Kansas at TCU
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Navy at Duke
4pm FOX Sports 1: Tulsa at UTEP
5pm ESPN: Michigan at Penn St.
5pm ESPNEWS: Akron at Northern Illinois
7pm ESPN2: Texas A&M at Ole Miss
7pm ESPNU: South Carolina at Arkansas
7:30pm SEC/FSN Regional: Bowling Green at Mississippi St.
8pm FOX Sports 1: California at UCLA
8:15pm ESPN: Florida at LSU
10:15pm ESPN2: Stanford at Utah
10:15pm ESPNU: Georgia Tech at BYU
10:30pm Pac-12: Colorado at Arizona St.

ESPN3 Exclusives
USF at Connecticut
Central Michigan at Ohio
Buffalo at Western Michigan
Miami (OH) at Massachusetts
Kent St. at Ball St.
UL-Monroe at Texas St.
Idaho at Arkansas St.

Monday, September 23, 2013

CFB TV Selections for 10/5

Games already placed for 10/5
My guesses for the 10/5 telecast windows

CBS has elected to use a six day option for their 3:30pm game.  Choices are Ole Miss-Auburn, Arkansas-Florida & Georgia-Tennessee.  Whichever games they don't select will be on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU at 7pm ET.

ESPN is using a six day selection on three ACC games: Clemson-Syracuse, Maryland-Florida St. & Georgia Tech-Miami (FL).  Looks like one game will be on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU at 12pm.  Another game at 3:30pm on either ABC/ESPN2 reverse mirror or ESPNU.  They could also do a three way split on ABC at 3:30pm.  No other window seems open, so I think its possible that the 8pm window will be split with Ohio St.-Northwestern too.

12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: Illinois at Nebraska
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: Michigan St. at Iowa
12pm FOX Sports 1: Texas Tech at Kansas
12pm ESPNEWS: Rutgers at SMU
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Penn St. at Indiana
12pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Ball St. at Virginia
12pm American & ESPN3: Louisville at Temple
12:21pm SEC TV & ESPN3Georgia St. at Alabama
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
1pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Army at Boston College
1pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Central Michigan at Miami (OH)
2pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Ohio at Akron
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 RM: Minnesota at Michigan
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 RM or ESPNU: Kansas St. at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm FSN: East Carolina at Middle Tennessee
3:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: NC State at Wake Forest
4pm FOX Sports 1: Washington St. at California
4:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: UCF at Memphis
6pm Pac-12 & Oregon at Colorado
7pm FOX: TCU at Oklahoma
 & WatchESPN: LSU at Mississippi St.
7:30pm SEC/FSN & ESPN3: Kentucky at South Carolina
7:30pm SEC/CSS & ESPN3: Missouri at Vanderbilt
8pm ABC: Ohio St. at Northwestern
8pm FOX Sports 1: West Virginia at Baylor
10:30pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Washington at Stanford

Sunday, September 22, 2013

10/5 TV Guesses

* Would not be surprised to see ESPN continue their trend of grouping games into time slots and determine network selection six days in advance. Pretty sure it allows networks to stay away from using a six day pick when kickoff time is determined. My guesses, for now, will continue to slot games into a specific network.
* ACC RSNs will have a doubleheader
* Pac-12 Network only has one game window scheduled and selected Oregon-Colorado before the season started.  Just matching them up.
* Illinois-Nebraska, Michigan St.-Iowa, Minnesota-Michigan and Ohio St.-Northwestern are all Big Ten homecoming games that had their kickoff times set before the season started.
* Of the ESPN3 games that could get kicked up to ESPNEWS, I think Rutgers-SMU has the best chance.

12pm ESPN: Clemson at Syracuse
12pm ESPN2: Illinois at Nebraska
12pm FS1: West Virginia at Baylor
12pm ESPNU: UCF at Memphis
12pm ACC RSNs: NC State at Wake Forest
12pm American: Louisville at Temple
12pm BTN: Penn St. at Indiana
12:21pm SEC TV: Ole Miss at Auburn
12:30pm ACC Network: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
3:30pm CBS: LSU at Mississippi St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 RM: Minnesota at Michigan
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 RM: Maryland at Florida St.
3:30pm ESPNU: TCU at Oklahoma
3:30pm FSN: East Carolina at Middle Tennessee
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Ball St. at Virginia
3:30pm BTN: Penn St. at Indiana
5pm Pac-12: Oregon at Colorado
6:30pm FS1: Texas Tech at Kansas
7pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Kansas St.
7pm ESPN: Georgia at Tennessee
7pm ESPN2: South Carolina at Kentucky
7pm ESPNU: Arkansas at Florida
7:30pm SEC/FSN: Missouri at Vanderbilt
7:30pm SEC/CSS: Georgia St. at Alabama
8pm ABC: Ohio St. at Northwestern
8pm ABC: Georgia Tech at Miami (FL)
10:30pm ESPN: Washington St. at California
10:30pm FS1: Washington at Stanford

ESPN3 Exclusives (possibility of one ESPNEWS game from this bunch)
Cincinnati at USF
Rutgers at SMU
Army at Boston College
Ohio at Akron
Central Michigan at Miami (OH)
Western Michigan at Toledo

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TV Windows and Why They Aren't As Restrictive

If you've asked this year about any game and where it might be slotted over 12 days in advance, you've probably received a reply that had something to the effect of "its too far in advance to guess", "let's wait a few weeks", etc. I realize that more folks are following this site and not everyone reads everything on the site, but I want to get this out there.  Maybe it will save you from writing a tweet or email and me from losing sanity, my patience or anything else.

When this site started in 2005 and really up through the last couple years, TV windows were quite restrictive in nature.  The Pac-12 would publish a list of telecast windows on ABC, FSN and the partners that FSN would sublicense games to for the entire season.  The Big 12 often laid out their cable windows before the season started.  Things about the SEC windows would inadvertently leak from CBS or ESPN either from interviews with conference personnel or from writers.  The ACC and Big East were the only ones that seemed to not be locked down.  Coincidentally, they were also the two conferences who had all of their eggs in one basket, at least for national telecasts, with a single rightsholder.  But it was often easier to pick which games a network would air.  More of a process of elimination.

Fast forward over the past few seasons and we've seen conferences change in size and/or renegotiate rights agreements.  Even had a lawsuit over a rights agreement.  To keep things moving forward, TV partners have become less restrictive in regards to telecast windows & exclusivity.  We still live in a 24 hour a day world.  The conferences have changed where their telecast models don't fit like they used to.  There is some exclusivity in the Pac-12 windows, but not much.  There's none in the Big 12.  The exclusivity for CBS games that has held in the SEC goes away next year.  The Big Ten negotiated to allow BTN and ABC to share the same telecast window.  The Mountain West, who left ESPN in 2005 to pursue a more restrictive environment with CSTV and the mtn., completely changed their model to be more flexible, get paid a few more dollars and in turn get more games shown on TV to everyone.

It is darn near impossible to guess beyond twelve days in advance.  Games need to be played.  That's why TV doesn't do it for the most part.  Heck, they can wait to as little as six days in advance.  I don't have any inside knowledge beyond press releases and media sites.  The predictions are for fun only.  Just educated guesses.  Not to be used when figuring out travel plans or hosting a party.  I'd bet my batting average on these things is not good.

Each week has a link labeled Flex Schedule in the top left.  It is an Excel spreadsheet with the TV windows as they have been announced by each media partner.  I try to update it as frequently as possible.  They do change.  Please use it as a guide.


Monday, September 16, 2013

9/28 CFB TV selections

Maybe we see another handful of network or kickoff time six day holds.  Either way, I'll add what is confirmed by conferences and networks

What I thought would happen and will be proven incorrect

Kickoff times currently set for 9/28

12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPNU:  Oklahoma St. at West Virginia
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPNU:  South Carolina at UCF
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPNU:  Miami (FL) at USF
12pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Northern Illinois at Purdue
12pm FOX Sports 1: SMU at TCU
12pm ESPNEWS: Navy at Western Kentucky
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Miami (OH) at Illinois
12:21pm SEC TV & ESPN3: South Alabama at Tennessee
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: East Carolina at North Carolina
12:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Virginia at Pittsburgh
2:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Akron at Bowling Green
3pm Pac-12 & Colorado at Oregon St.
3pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Troy at Duke
3pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Toledo at Ball St.
3:30pm CBS & LSU at Georgia
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Iowa at Minnesota
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 RM or ESPNU: Florida St. at Boston College

3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 RM or ESPNU: Wake Forest at Clemson
3:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Connecticut at Buffalo
3:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Central Michigan at NC State
4pm FOX Sports 1: Army vs. Louisiana Tech
4pm FSN: Houston at UTSA

6:30pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Ole Miss at Alabama
7pm FOX: Arizona at Washington
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: Texas A&M at Arkansas
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: Florida at Kentucky
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Kent St. at Western Michigan
7:30pm SEC/FSN Regional & ESPN3: UAB at Vanderbilt
7:30pm SEC/CSS & ESPN3: Arkansas St. at Missouri
8pm ABC & WatchABC: Wisconsin at Ohio St.

10pm ESPN & WatchESPN: USC at Arizona St.or Stanford at Washington St.
10:15pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Southern Miss at Boise St.
10:30pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: USC at Arizona St.or Stanford at Washington St.
10:30pm Pac-12 & California at Oregon

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Analysis on 9/21 CFB TV selections

Had some time on my hands last night.  These are just guesses as to how the network designations could be made on 9/15 and what could influence those decisions.

* Where Michigan-UConn ends up determines how the slotting goes at 12pm.  If that game is split at 8pm with Kansas St.-Texas, it locks UNC-Georgia Tech and San Jose St.-Minnesota into ESPN or ESPN2 and pushes up either Vanderbilt-UMass or Marshall-Virginia Tech into ESPNU with the other on ESPNEWS.

If Michigan-UConn stays at 12pm, it should go to ESPN, locking San Jose St.-Minnesota on ESPN2 and UNC-Georgia Tech into the ESPNU slot.  Vanderbilt-UMass or Marshall-Virginia Tech goes to ESPNEWS and the other to ESPN3.

* To me, the winners of Boston College-USC & Maryland-UConn have the most influence over the network decisions at 3:30pm.  Arkansas, Utah St., West Virginia & Rutgers should be favored.  Maryland & WVU winning might give it the nod over Arkansas-Rutgers & Utah St.-USC, in that order.  Otherwise, Arkansas-Rutgers could be a solid choice.

* Simple as this at 7pm, at least in my mind: Winner of Alabama-Texas A&M gets the ESPN2 slot.

* Found it interesting that Kent St.-Penn St. was put in the 3:30pm BTN mix while Western Michigan-Iowa is at 12pm.  Does make some sense that they are in different time slots are the two matchups between FBS teams available to BTN.  Maybe there was concern about placing Nebraska & Iowa in the same time slot, along w/Ohio St. & Penn St. in another.  Just a guess.

* If the Big 12 and Pac-12 selections are pooled at the top, I believe FOX had the top choice this week.

* Yeah, it would have been nice to see Utah-BYU in the mix at 3:30pm instead of Utah St.-USC.  Especially since the series will be taking a two year break.  At least they gave this game a 15 minute head start of sorts with it being a 8:15pm local start time.

* Was surprised they went with the Wyoming-Air Force game on ESPNU.  Didn't expect it to be available for TV.  By slotting two Pac-12 games at 10:30pm on Pac-12 Networks, the slot opened for the Mountain West.

Monday, September 9, 2013

CFB TV selection for 9/21

Here's the expected time slots for 9/21. This page will be updated as announcements come out.  A lot of network confirmations will be done on 9/15.

Note: Michigan at UConn is on six day hold.  Looks like 12pm (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU) or 8pm (ABC split w/Kansas St.-Texas) for kickoff time.

12pm ESPN/ESPN2 & WatchESPN : San Jose St. at Minnesota
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN : North Carolina at Georgia Tech
12pm FOX Sports 1: Louisiana Tech at Kansas
12pm ESPNU/ESPNEWS & WatchESPN  or ESPN3: Marshall at Virginia Tech
12pm ESPNU/ESPNEWS & WatchESPN  or ESPN3: Vanderbilt at Massachusetts
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Florida A&M at Ohio St., Western Michigan at Iowa
12:21pm SEC TV & ESPN3: North Texas at Georgia
12:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3 : Tulane at Syracuse
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3 : Pittsburgh at Duke
1pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Ball St. at Eastern Michigan
2pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Austin Peay at Ohio
2pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Jacksonville St. at Georgia St.
3pm Pac-12 & Idaho St. at Washington
3:30pm CBS & Tennessee at Florida
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Purdue at Wisconsin
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Arkansas at Rutgers
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: West Virginia vs. Maryland
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Utah St. at USC
3:30pm BTN & BTN2Go : Maine at Northwestern, South Dakota St. at Nebraska, Kent St. at Penn St.
3:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: VMI at Virginia
3:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Murray St. at Bowling Green
4pm FOX Sports 1: UL-Monroe at Baylor
4:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Arkansas St. at Memphis
6pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Bethune-Cookman at Florida St.
6pm ESPN3 Exclusive: UL-Lafayette at Akron
7pm FOX: Arizona St. at Stanford
7pm ESPN2 or ESPNU & WatchESPN : Colorado St. at Alabama
7pm ESPN2 or ESPNU & WatchESPN : SMU at Texas A&M
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Eastern Illinois at Northern Illinois
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Cincinnati at Miami (OH)
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Savannah St. at Miami (FL)
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Morgan St. at Western Kentucky
7:30pm SEC/FOX RSNs: Troy at Mississippi St.
7:45pm ESPN & WatchESPN : Auburn at LSU
8pm ABC & WatchABC: Kansas St. at Texas
10:15pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN : Utah at BYU
10:15pm ESPNU & WatchESPN : Wyoming at Air Force
10:30pm Pac-12 Washington & : Idaho at Washington St.
10:30pm Pac-12 Networks & : New Mexico St. at UCLA

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week Four CFB Guesses

* DISCLAIMER: These are, for the most part, educated guesses.  They should not be used as factual.  If you're booking travel based on this list, DON'T!  Wait until Monday when game times are announced.

* Tennessee at Florida was inadvertently set for the CBS slot on the ESPN & CBS websites over the summer.  Even with Florida's loss, the possibility of a loss by Tennessee and the possibility of an Auburn-LSU matchup between 3-0 teams, I still give the nod to Tennessee-Florida

* The Big Ten schedule is really weak.  Purdue at Wisconsin is on ABC by default.

* The American has their two early season marquee non-conference games this week.

* I assume that ABC will get priority over FOX with the Pac-12, and vice versa on the Big 12.

* The Big 12 schedule is light after Kansas St. at Texas.  ESPN can place up to 4-5 Big 12 games on ESPNU and this might be a place to do it.

* I have Utah at BYU on ESPN2.  It would fulfill the requirement of three BYU home games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 with games vs. Boise St. and Texas being the other two.  By getting that requirement out of the way, it does not pigeonhole ESPN into a decision with the Georgia Tech game.

12pm ESPN: West Virginia vs. Maryland
12pm ESPN2: Arkansas at Rutgers
12pm FOX Sports 1: Louisiana Tech at Kansas
12pm ESPNU: UL-Monroe at Baylor
12pm BTN: Kent St. at Penn St., Florida A&M at Ohio St, Maine at Northwestern
12:21pm SEC Network:  SMU at Texas A&M
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Tulane at Syracuse
12:30pm ACC Network: Marshall at Virginia Tech
3pm Pac-12: Idaho at Washington St.
3:30pm CBS: Tennessee at Florida (semi confirmed)
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Purdue at Wisconsin
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2:  North Carolina at Georgia Tech
3:30pm ESPN: Michigan at Connecticut
3:30pm ESPNU: Pittsburgh at Duke
3:30pm BTN: San Jose St. at Minnesota, Western Michigan at Iowa, South Dakota at Nebraska
4pm FOX Sports 1:  Utah St. at USC
7pm FOX:  Kansas St. at Texas
7pm ESPN2:  Colorado St. at Alabama
7pm ESPNU:  North Texas at Georgia
7:30pm SEC/FOX RSNs:  Troy at Mississippi St.
7:45pm ESPN:  Auburn at LSU
8pm ABC: Arizona St. at Stanford
10:30pm ESPN2: Utah at BYU
10:30pm ESPNU: New Mexico St. at UCLA
10:30pm Pac-12: Idaho St. at Washington

TBA SEC PPV: South Carolina St. at South Carolina (my mistake, not on schedule)

ESPN3 Exclusives
VMI at Virginia
Savannah St. at Miami (FL)
Bethune-Cookman at Florida St.
Arkansas St. at Memphis
Vanderbilt at Massachusetts
Cincinnati at Miami (OH)
Wyoming at Air Force

Friday, September 6, 2013

Roundup of media related items

* CBS Sports Network = Switzerland.  In a lot of folks minds, it is the fourth place sports network when compared to ESPN, FOX Sports 1 and NBCSN in terms of quality content and subscriber numbers.  The past few weeks have been very good to the network, completing sublicensing agreements with ESPN for American Athletic Conference football and men's basketball and with FOX Sports for Big East basketball.

The deal with the Big East also allows for CBS to pick up a few basketball games to air on their broadcast networks.  But the content that CBS Sports Network has pulled in is quite solid.  Say what you will about the Group of Five designation that both the American and the Mountain West will have next year, but those two conferences I suspect will be the ones competing for the "Access Bowl" slot most seasons and CBS Sports does have access to the Mountain West's top games as the primary TV partner.  The basketball they've picked up is also decent.  The Mountain West is expected to remain a multiple bid conference and the American & Big East should be as well.  Couple that with the Atlantic 10 and you have a very solid base in men's basketball, along with the C-USA and Patriot League content.

* The Atlantic 10 championship game is again on the CBS men's basketball schedule as the lead in to the Big Ten championship.  Don't know the length of the agreement for the sublicensing of the game from ESPN.  Will have to check on it.

* As part of the Atlantic 10 schedule release, NBCSN noted their 29 A-10 telecasts (25 regular season plus four quarterfinal games).  They'll happen to fill a couple Wednesday nights while the NHL is on break for the Winter Olympics.  NBC says that the quarterfinal games will air on NBCSN or NBC Sports Regional Networks.  I suspect that could depend on whether NBCSN is carrying a Hockey East game in the evening, which could be a tournament game.  So the quarterfinals could be split with the afternoon on NBCSN and the evening games on the RSNs.

And before someone says it was a bait and switch on NBC's part, I distinctly remember the wording on the Atlantic 10's release mentioning that NBCSN would "produce" the quarterfinal games.  Not necessarily air them.

NBCSN says they'll have around 50 games next year.  About what they were scheduled to air before cherry picking extra games due to the NHL strike. The other 25 games should be a mix of the CAA and Ivy League.

* I normally don't cover women's basketball here, but many folks have asked which Big 12 basketball games would be on FOX Sports 1.  I suspected it would only be the women's basketball games that FSN has aired in prior years, and so far that suspicion has been confirmed.  The Big 12 women's basketball package will be split between FSN and FS1, with the tournament semifinals and championship moving up to FS1.

* FOX Sports 2 has joined the party.  They'll carry a small amount of Big East men's basketball games and they are all non-conference games, many involving lower-level conferences.  No games in conference play.

* FSN will also have 18 Big East games and eight of them will be conference games.  Four of the conference games involve DePaul or Villanova, so FOX will have to make nice with Comcast SportsNet on a few games or syndicate those to local stations in those markets.  FOX Televisions Stations does own the affiliates in Chicago and Philadelphia, along with WPWR in nearby Gary, IN.  FSN is the new backdrop programming for MASN2, so coverage in the DC area should be OK.  They probably need to get a New England affiliate for Providence to be covered.

* FOX's broadcast network will carry what I believe is their first college basketball game on November 16th, showing Ohio St.'s visit to Marquette.

* The US Open tennis tournament's schedule change is at least part of the reason why ESPN did not carry a college football.  The next two years, I believe, will have a men's final on Monday instead of Sunday, so the round that falls on Thursday will have more matches and the need to use both ESPN/ESPN2.  There is also the matter of the NFL's opening night and how much that game, in terms of TV numbers, overshadows any college game.

* I'll need to do some digging on what happens when there is a network change or when a network opens up an extra feed and how that gets communicated to providers on short notice.  As you probably know, we saw two lengthy weather delays that forced ESPN to alter coverage plans for games.  One of which, BYU at Virginia, had some unique challenges because ESPNEWS, which has become an overflow channel, had a live game at the time.  Satellite companies typically cannot sub in one feed of a channel over another, so they have to open up alternates.  Dish Network managed to do this, DirecTV did not.  There were also some issues around ESPN3's availability to show BYU-Virginia and while I don't have all the information, I do not know if some of those issues where around an unavailable stream due to geolocation (ie. if you were in Utah or Virginia, ESPN3 didn't seem to work for some).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Some noticeable items from the Pac-12 men's basketball TV schedule release

* The Pac-12 go back to an early evening tip time on the east coast, mid-afternoon in Las Vegas where the game is held.  This was the time slot they held on CBS, and it makes you wonder it the Mountain West will hold a concurrent game on CBS or CBS Sports Network, especially since the two championships are held in Las Vegas.  A PDF bracket exists on the MW website with a 3pm PT / 6pm ET start for the final, but the page that the PDF is linked from shows a tip time for the final as to be determined.

* Looking over the ESPN & ESPN2 schedule of games: Once conference play starts, the conference will have a slot on Thursday nights at 9pm ET on ESPN/ESPN2, plus five games on ESPN2 at 9pm ET on Wednesdays.  The only Saturday that either ESPN or ESPN2 will air Pac-12 regular season basketball during conference play is the 2/22/14 when they have two games up for the 9pm ET College Gameday slot. Unlike last year, during conference season, none of the ESPN or ESPN2 games will tip off at 11pm ET.

* The conference is filling the Friday night slot during the NBA All-Star break.  The Big East was a mainstay in this slot for ESPN in previous years.

* As for games on ESPNU, the conference looks like they'll have a regular Wednesday 8pm PT / 11pm ET slot, along with filling a 5pm PT / 8pm ET slot on Sunday nights after the ACC.  The Sunday night slot was filled in prior years by the Missouri Valley Conference.

* The FOX Sports 1 games are sprinkled throughout the season and there really isn't a set time slot for their games.  Of note is that FS1 only picked up one non-conference game and it happens to involve a Big East school (Marquette at Arizona St.).