Monday, October 28, 2013

CFB TV Confirmations for 11/9

Florida St.-Wake Forest, Notre Dame-Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech-Miami (FL) are on six day hold. I *think* the options are 12pm ABC (possibly no reverse mirror), 8pm ABC, evening ESPN.  I believe the 12pm ESPN & ESPNU windows are for the SEC.

Six day network pick in SEC for ESPNU and FOX RSNs.  Either Missouri-Kentucky or Vanderbilt at Florida.  12pm ET kickoff time either way.

12pm ABC & WatchABC: Kansas St. at Texas Tech
12pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Auburn at Tennessee
12pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Penn St. at Minnesota
12pm FSN: TCU at Iowa St.
12pm BTN & BTN2GO: Iowa at Purdue
12pm SEC TV & ESPN3: Arkansas at Ole Miss
12pm American & ESPN3: SMU at Cincinnati
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: Virginia at North Carolina
1pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan
3pm FOX: USC at California
3:30pm CBS & Mississippi St. at Texas A&M
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: BYU at Wisconsin
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Nebraska at Michigan
3:30pm BTN & BTN2GO: Illinois at Indiana
3:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Syracuse at Maryland
4pm Pac-12 & Arizona St. at Utah
4pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: Kansas at Oklahoma St.
4pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: NC State at Duke
4:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: UT Martin at Memphis
7pm FOX: Texas at West Virginia
7pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Houston at UCF
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Arkansas St. at UL-Monroe
8pm CBS & LSU at Alabama
8pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Utah St. at UNLV
8pm Pac-12 & Colorado at Washington
10pm ESPN & WatchESPN: UCLA at Arizona
10:15pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Fresno St. at Wyoming

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Revised 11/9 CFB TV Guesses

Sorry.  Had to alter for several reasons.
* I forgot to account for a NASCAR race, so there isn't a standalone ESPN or ESPN2 window at 3:30pm in addition to an ABC plus reverse mirror window.
* During the week, ESPN added an late evening ESPN2 window and moved up the kick times of both of the late evening windows to 10:15pm ET
* ESPN also changed the start times of their midday (4pm ET) and primetime ESPNU (8pm) windows
* FOX Sports 1 will only have two game windows instead of three.  Their original release had an 8pm window, but that has disappeared due to a UFC commitment.

* CBS is exclusive at both 3:30pm and 8pm, so all of ESPN's SEC commitments are in the early afternoon.
* I still see a decent chance that a six day pick is used on the SEC, either by CBS or ESPN.  LSU-Alabama seems to be a lock.
* BTN has game windows at both 12pm and 3:30pm.  With the Big Ten's stance against night games, I assumed this carried into the possibility of playing in the 4pm ESPNU slot and did not slot them there.
* Pac-12 Network schedules say their windows are at 3pm & 10:30pm ET.  I think they'll move the later one up by a half hour.
* I really tried hard to get Houston-UCF onto ABC and I couldn't find a good way to do it.  4pm ESPNU I thought was better than burying it at the same time as LSU-Alabama.
* Also tried to get the Fresno St.-Wyoming game to be slotted for a start time earlier in the day and didn't see a good way to do it without starting the game at 10am MT.  Has that been done with Mountain West teams?  Yeah.
* I'm not totally sold on Utah St.-UNLV on ESPN2.  It was the last window I filled in.
* Not sold on Notre Dame-Pitt solo at 12pm either, but I really can't picture ND on ESPNU.  At least not until ESPN goes & schedules them for the 8pm ESPNU window.
* Virginia Tech-Miami seems like the best available game for ABC at 8pm though.  Requirement for Big Ten to be full national, plus no night games in November, fouls things up to when trying to move games around.

12pm ABC: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
12pm ESPN: BYU at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN2: Missouri at Kentucky
12pm FOX Sports 1: TCU at Iowa St.
12pm ESPNEWS: Fresno St. at Wyoming
12pm ESPNU: Mississippi St. at Texas A&M
12pm BTN: Penn St. at Minnesota
12pm BTN: Illinois at Indiana
12pm SEC/FSN Regional: Arkansas at Ole Miss
12pm SEC TV: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm American: SMU at Cincinnati
12:30pm ACC Network: NC State at Duke
3pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Utah
3:30pm CBS: Auburn at Tennessee
3:30pm ABC with Reverse Mirror: Nebraska at Michigan
3:30pm ABC with Reverse Mirror: Kansas St. at Texas Tech
3:30pm BTN: Iowa at Purdue
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Virginia at North Carolina
4pm FOX Sports 1: Kansas at Oklahoma St.
4pm ESPNU: Houston at UCF
7pm FOX: UCLA at Arizona
7pm ESPN: Florida St. at Wake Forest
7pm ESPN2: Texas at West Virginia
8pm CBS: LSU at Alabama
8pm ABC: Virginia Tech at Miami (FL)
8pm ESPNU: Syracuse at Maryland
10pm Pac-12: Colorado at Washington
10:15pm ESPN: USC at California
10:15pm ESPN2: Utah St. at UNLV

CFB TV Guesses for 11/9

Quick postscript on 10/26 re:  FOX's decision to put TCU-Texas on FOX Sports 2 & FSN - Works for me if it covers everyone.  Makes sense in this context: Texas Tech-Oklahoma was on FOX, so to keep as much of that audience as possible, go with the most carried cable channel available (FOX News).  FS1 is in less homes than either F/X or FNC, so I guess they could have stepped down to FXX to replace or do the hybrid coverage that they did.  Yes I know FS2 isn't offered everywhere in HD.  Hey, FOX Sports Ohio HD is still part time on DirecTV and the Cleveland feed (660-1) did not get Oklahoma St.-Iowa St. in HD yesterday.

On to the 11/9 picks.

* For those of you who complain to me that Saturday looks empty every week, this week you have a reason to complain.  They took every that was decent, minus LSU-Alabama, and threw it on Thursday night (Oklahoma-Baylor & Oregon-Stanford).
* For what is currently available to ABC, now that Big Ten games can't air in the evening, Virginia Tech-Miami (FL) looks like the best available game and that's with the Hokies loss.  Slight chance Notre Dame-Pitt slips in there, but Pitt managed to lose to Navy.
* We're now on standard time, so the Arizona schools now fall in line with the Mountain Time Zone.
* CBS doubleheader with a primetime game.  This means they'll select the top two SEC games this week
* FOX RSNs will have an SEC game at 12pm ET instead of the evening because of CBS's exclusive window
* FSN selected Tulsa-East Carolina with a start time of 3:45pm
* It is possible that CBS will use a six day hold on the 3:30pm window.  LSU-Alabama seems like a no-brainner.  They may desire to showcase Missouri-Kentucky or the Auburn-Tennessee game.
* Maybe, just maybe, FOX will pick a Pac-12 game to air in primetime.  They don't have much flexibility left.  And with very little flexibility left, I have a Big 12 tripleheader on FOX Sports 1.
* Pac-12 Network schedules have games at 3pm & 10:30pm ET, respectively.
* I think there's a chance, a small chance, that they could pass on doing a reverse mirror at 3:30pm ET.  Just place one game each on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2

12pm ABC: BYU at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN: Penn St. at Minnesota
12pm ESPN2: Missouri at Kentucky
12pm FOX Sports 1: TCU at Iowa St.
12pm ESPNU: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm BTN: Illinois at Indiana
12pm SEC/FSN Regional: Mississippi St. at Texas A&M
12pm SEC TV: Arkansas at Ole Miss
12pm American: SMU at Cincinnati
12:30pm ACC Network: Syracuse at Maryland
3pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Utah
3:30pm CBS: Auburn at Tennessee
3:30pm ABC with Reverse Mirror: Houston at UCF
3:30pm ABC with Reverse Mirror: Nebraska at Michigan
3:30pm ESPN/ESPN2: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
3:30pm ESPNU: NC State at Duke
3:30pm BTN: Iowa at Purdue
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Virginia at North Carolina
4pm FOX Sports 1: Kansas at Oklahoma St.
7pm FOX: UCLA at Arizona
7pm ESPN: Florida St. at Wake Forest
7pm ESPN2: Kansas St. at Texas Tech
7pm ESPNU: Fresno St. at Wyoming
8pm CBS: LSU at Alabama
8pm ABC: Virginia Tech at Miami (FL)
8pm FOX Sports 1: Texas at West Virginia
10:30pm ESPN: Colorado at Washington
10:30pm ESPNU: Utah St. at UNLV
10:30pm Pac-12: USC at California

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Handling of the Texas Tech-Oklahoma & World Series Game 3 overlap

EDIT: If you've seen my twitter at all on 10/26, you can bypass most of this.

Looking at it from the outside, FOX hit a programmer's nightmare tonight.  A weather delay in the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game delayed kickoff by 75 minutes (start time approximately 4:45pm ET) and pushed the game to air on FOX News Channel as FOX scheduled their World Series pregame show to start promptly at 7:30pm ET.  Let's take a look at a few items

1) Did FOX leave themselves enough time between events?  I would say they left themselves with enough time between events under normal circumstances.  Most college football games are budgeted to fit in three hour & thirty minute windows with some exceptions.  FOX gave themselves four hours to play with, budgeting the last 30 minutes for a postgame show that I assume could have been cut short and run right into the World Series pregame in the event of overtime.

Weather delays happen.  In fact, one happened between these two teams in Norman on 10/22/2011, delaying kickoff for 90 minutes.  Without having any great statistics on hand, I've seen more weather delays early in the season during the late summer over all of college football.

Maybe FOX, in the interest of not having to shift a game away from their broadcast network, would consider starting the game earlier in the future.  Whether there are issues with that when it comes to syndicated football telecasts would have to be considered by the markets affected.

2) Why was FOX News Channel chosen over FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 or F/X?  I don't have an answer from FOX on that.  Here's what I can see:

  • FOX Sports 1 was booked solid with college football.  Texas-TCU was just coming on the air as FOX moved the game over.  I don't think it would have been an option to move Texas-TCU around to another network.  Someone made the valid point that its better to see the end of a game than the beginning and I'm going not to argue that point.  But it coincides with the next item
  • FOX News Channel has the most subscribing homes of any FOX cable property.  As of August, the channel was in slightly more homes than F/X by roughly 30,000.  A negligible number.  But it is about 12 million more homes than FOX Sports 1.  In my opinion, moving the game to FS1 and TCU-Texas to another channel on short notice would have created even more confusion.  Better to confuse two fan bases than four I guess.  EDIT: Texas-TCU also went into a weather delay in the 2nd quarter, likely pushing the start of Cal-Washington to another network I assume. 
  • I thought F/X was a the best option, until a user over at the forums of informed me that there was a Sleepy Hollow marathon today that ended at 6pm ET for the east coast feed.  F/X is timeshifted for the Mountain and Pacific time zones though and this would have occurred in the middle of the marathon (F/X was airing an X-Men movie starting at 6pm ET).  While all of the Sleepy Hollow episodes to date are available at, my guess is that these are the first time these episodes have been repeated on television.  Just a guess, so if I'm wrong about the Sleepy Hollow episodes, forgive me as I'm not a follower of the show, but from what I'm seeing over at, it sounds like it is a top 20 show in terms of ratings.  Either way, there was programming on both F/X feeds that FOX decided was not worth pre-empting for 45 minutes.
  • FOX Sports 2 isn't a viable option right now.  While it was airing the replay of a UFC event, it just isn't in enough subscribing homes, around 37 million.  Only 43% of the homes who get FOX Sports 1 also get FOX Sports 2, assuming every FS2 household gets FS1.  Carriage for the channel needs to ramp up to make it a true companion to FS1.
  • Digital subchannels of FOX affiliates weren't really an option on short notice either for a myriad of reasons.  
    • In smaller markets, the FOX affiliate might be the digital subchannel.  Conversely, another "Big Four" network affiliate could be the subchannel of the FOX affiliate.
    • I don't believe local stations are required to multicast
    • As I understand it, digital subchannels that are not "Big Four" affiliates are not required to be carried by pay TV providers.  So if they stuck the game on a -2 DT subchannel that carried MeTV or ThisTV, it isn't guaranteed to be available via pay TV providers
    • Yes, you could get out a set of rabbit ears.  I tried it for the fun of it.  Where I live is 34 miles northeast of the WJW transmitter in Parma.  I had a weak signal w/rabbit ears & UHF loop.  Per, my best bet would have been a large, directional antenna.  Not an option on short notice.

3) Why not push the World Series to another network?  That isn't an option, apparently not even the pregame show.  Remember a few weeks ago where the Pac-12 was trying to get UCLA-Stanford out of a possible FS1 late evening on the east coast slot?  FOX had ALCS commitments that it couldn't move (at least not this year) and the World Series is a non-starter.  FOX pays good money and much of it is earmarked towards the playoff baseball it carries, which does decent ratings.  The World Series is the only portion of the playoffs that FOX's broadcast network must air in their new deal.  It is valued, much more than a single college football game.

4) I think the first notice on Twitter that I saw of the game moving to FOX News Channel was shortly after kickoff.   I didn't see anything from the FOX accounts I monitor until around 75 minutes before the cutover (6:15pm ET).  I honestly don't remember the first mention of the game moving over and whether it was mentioned during halftime.   I did find it funny that a couple FOX PR folks and talent were tweeting to turn over to FNC after the game had moved.  Might have wanted to do that before hand.  With that said, Twitter is not the "be all, end all" place for this to be announced.

5) Two nit picks

  • FOX really should have just cut over at the end of the 3rd quarter.  There was no sense starting the 4th quarter on FOX and trying to cut between Texas Tech offensive plays, especially because of their quick pace of play.  Why risk missing a play as people are changing the channel?  They had a natural break and should have used it if it was possible.  I'm also not sure how much time and communication would have been needed to cut over at the end of the quarter vs. at a specific time.
  • FOX really needs to figure out a digital strategy.  FOX Sports Go is still in the soft launch phase on Apple devices only.  The number of pay TV providers that have access to FOX Sports Go is relatively small.  If they had a decent digital strategy, maybe they have more flexibility with the World Series pregame show and the ability to move football game to FOX Sports 1 and push TCU-Texas online for a short amount of time.  Or maybe that leads to even more confusion as I noted earlier.

Monday, October 21, 2013

CFB TV Confirmations for 11/2

Schedule for Week Ten
My Guesses

Six day hold on kickoff times for Tennessee at Missouri and Auburn at Arkansas

12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Virginia Tech at Boston College
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Wisconsin at Iowa
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Illinois at Penn St.
12pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Army at Air Force
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Ohio St. at Purdue
12pm SEC TV & ESPN3: Mississippi St. at South Carolina
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: North Carolina at NC State
12:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Wake Forest at Syracuse
3:30pm ABC: Michigan at Michigan St.
3:30pm ABC w/ESPN Reverse Mirror or ESPN: Clemson at Virginia
3:30pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: Iowa St. at Kansas St.
3:30pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: West Virginia at TCU
3:30pm BTN & BTN2Go: Minnesota at Indiana
3:30pm BTN & BTN2Go: Northwestern at Nebraska
3:30pm Pac-12 Network & Arizona at California
7pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
7pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
7:30pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: Colorado at UCLA
7:30pm SEC/CSS & ESPN3: Alabama St. at Kentucky
8pm ABC & WatchABC: Miami (FL) at Florida St.
9pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: UTEP at Texas A&M
10:30pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Nevada at Fresno St.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CFB TV Guesses for 11/2

Schedule for Week Ten

* ABC has three telecast windows.  Noon, 3:30pm and 8pm.
* With the SEC having an unusual day, if you will, I could see a 12 day pick for their games from ESPN.  * * Florida St.'s convincing win made Miami (FL) at Florida St. to be the best available game to ABC that was eligible for a primetime slot, at least in my mind.  Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech is second of the available games to ABC for prime time, which is why is earned a national slot at 12pm.
* You could make a good case for just three games on ABC and all full national (Michigan-Michigan St., Miami-FSU & Oklahoma St.-Texas Tech).  Just place Virginia Tech-Boston College full national on ESPN.  No reverse mirror.
* Indiana at Minnesota is a homecoming game for the Gophers and must kick off at 3:30pm ET.
* Georgia vs. Florida was pre-selected before the season by CBS.  Both schools prefer that it not be a nighttime kickoff and CBS guaranteed it a 3:30pm kickoff.
* The American has only one game on 11/2 (Temple at Rutgers) and was already set to air in their syndication package
* The noon ESPNEWS slot, if you can call it that (its still feels more like a trend), has a MEAC game, so it isn't available.
* Middle Tennessee at UAB was set for a FSN telecast at 1pm ET several weeks ago.
* Kansas at Texas was set aside as a Longhorn Network/Jayhawk Network telecast.  LHN is the national provider for the game, except in select markets in Kansas and the Kansas City metro area.
* ESPN snagged two Pac-12 games for Thursday & Friday night.  Coupled with the lack of a late evening window (ie 10pm/10:30pm ET), I'm assuming they aren't taking a Pac-12 game for any of their platforms.
* Colorado at UCLA isn't a "quality" Pac-12 contest compared to others the previous few weeks, but if you are "behind" on taking Pac-12 games, can showcase a ranked (for the moment) team in UCLA to the nation, and know that ABC isn't going to show a Pac-12 game in primetime, you take it.  That's why I think FOX uses this week to burn off one Pac-12 selection to give them some flexibility with the Big 12 if they need it later.
* The Pac-12 Network advance schedule has one game at 12pm PT / 3pm ET.  California must have one of its last four games air on Pac-12 Networks.  Might as well get it out of the way now.
* Choosing Ohio St.-Purdue fulfills BTN's requirement for Ohio St. to be shown on the network twice and at least once during conference play.

12pm ABC: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
12pm ESPN: Wisconsin at Iowa
12pm ESPN2: Nebraska at Northwestern
12pm FOX Sports 1: Iowa St. at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNU: Illinois at Penn St.
12pm BTN: Ohio St. at Purdue
12pm SEC TV: UTEP at Texas A&M
12:30pm ACC Network: North Carolina at NC State
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Wake Forest at Syracuse
3pm Pac-12 Network: Arizona at California
3:30pm ABC with ESPN Reverse Mirror: Michigan at Michigan St.
3:30pm ABC with ESPN Reverse Mirror: Virginia Tech at Boston College
3:30pm ESPNU: Army at Air Force
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Michigan St.
6pm ESPN2: Clemson at Virginia
7pm FOX: Colorado at UCLA
7pm ESPNU: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
7:30pm SEC/CSS: Mississippi St. at South Carolina
7:45pm ESPN: Tennessee at Missouri
8pm ABC: Miami (FL) at Florida St.
8pm FOX Sports 1: West Virginia at TCU
9:15pm ESPN2: Auburn at Arkansas
10:30pm ESPNU: Nevada at Fresno St.

TBA PPV/Local: Alabama St. at Kentucky

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bowl eligibility picture for 2013-14

WashingtonI used to have this on the Bowls page of the main site, but after changing it over this summer, I got rid of it.  Here's the bowl eligibility status for 2013-14.  Will update this every week.

Note that Penn St. is ineligible due to NCAA sanctions.  UTSA is reclassifying and is only bowl eligible if they meet existing eligibility guidelines and there are not enough eligible teams to fill bowl games.  There are more than 70 eligible teams, so I believe UTSA will not be invited to a bowl.

2013-14 Bowl Game Schedule

Conference Eligible Working Towards Eligibility Not Eligible
American Cincinnati

ACC Boston College
Florida St.
Georgia Tech
Miami (FL)
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

NC State
Wake Forest
Big 12 Baylor
Kansas St.
Oklahoma St.
Texas Tech

Iowa St.
West Virginia
Big Ten Iowa
Michigan St.
Ohio St.

Penn St.
C-USA East Carolina
Middle Tennessee
North Texas

Louisiana Tech
Southern Miss
Independents BYU
Notre Dame

New Mexico St.
MAC Ball St.
Bowling Green
Central Michigan
Northern Illinois

Eastern Michigan
Kent St.
Miami (OH)
Western Michigan
Mountain West Boise St.
Colorado St.
Fresno St.
San Diego St.
San Jose St.
Utah St.

Air Force
New Mexico
Pac-12 Arizona
Arizona St.
Oregon St.
Washington St.

SEC Alabama
Mississippi St.
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Texas A&M

Sun Belt Arkansas St.
South Alabama
Texas St.
Western Kentucky

Georgia St.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TV Appearances and their effect on November CFB TV Selections for 2013

Several TV contracts have different appearance minimums and maximums that they must attain or adhere to.  I've listed the ones that I am aware of and how they could affect selections over the final month of the season.

* Per their media guide, at least 24 conference controlled games must appear on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.  Nineteen games have been accounted for through the end of the season.
* I'm excluding the games that have appeared on ESPNEWS, unless both ESPN and the American have agreed that those can count towards the 24.  If they do, 22 games have been accounted for.
* Saturday primetime appearance has been met with the Michigan at Connecticut game.

Big 12
* Thought that a maximum of six appearances per team as part of the ABC/ESPN still exists, but I think it has been dropped.  Couldn't find it on a second reading of this press release.
* ABC/ESPN has given the conference eight "full national" exposures.  Seven on cable outlets, plus the Oklahoma-Texas full national game on ABC.  They must carry 13-15 games nationally.  Full national includes a national game on ABC or cable, or a game that is reverse mirrored on ABC and an ESPN cable network.
* Additionally, no more than 19 games can appear on ABC/ESPN platforms. They can choose up to nine more games As they have selected ten so far.
* FOX has provided the conference five broadcast games and 15 national cable games on FOX Sports 1.  There is also a broadcast window for the conference on 12/7, so its safe to say FOX will hit their minimums of six broadcast games and six national cable games.

Big Ten
* Of the maximum 41 conference controlled games on ABC/ESPN, ABC has televised 13 or 14 (depending on if you count Syracuse-Penn St.) and 13 games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
* BTN requirements are that every school must appear twice on their network with at least one appearance as part of a conference game.  Minnesota and Ohio St. must appear at least once on BTN in November to satisfy appearance requirements.

* C-USA was to have a minimum of ten games on FOX Sports 1.  That minimum was met before the season started and they will have at least twelve games on FOX Sports 1.

* FOX has selected four Pac-12 games for telecast and must air another four over the next five Saturdays.  Of the four that FOX has selected, three aired in primetime on the east coast and one more of the remaining four must air in primetime.  The primetime scenario seems easy to meet.  Whether FOX hits the eight game minimum is another story, though they have pre-selected Notre Dame at Stanford to air on either FOX or FOX Sports 1.  They might need it to fulfill their obligations.
* FOX Sports 1 has selected twelve games to air through the end of the year.  At most, they can air no more than two games to fulfill their maximum obligation of fourteen Pac-12 games.
* ABC has aired three Pac-12 games nationally, one above their minimum.  They have not yet fulfilled their obligation to air a primetime game.
* ABC/ESPN has selected 17 of their 22 Pac-12 games through the end of the year.  It is feasible they will skip a Saturday.  Maybe November 2nd as they have a Thursday night game on 10/31 and there are only two Pac-12 games available on Saturday.
* As a side note, FOX and ABC must stay out of each other's way, in a reasonable manner in the primetime window.  The remainder of FOX's windows in November are at 7pm ET, so there should be some east coast prime time Pac-12 games to finish out the year.
* Cal is the only school in danger of passing the maximum of nine conference-controlled appearances in the ABC and FOX packages.  They have had six games selected as part those two packages with four games not yet selected for telecast, so at least one game must air on Pac-12 Networks in November.  Stanford, Washington, Washington St. & Oregon have each appeared in those two packages a combined total of seven times each and have two games remaining to be selected by any network.  USC has appeared in the two packages five times and have four games left for TV to select.

* CBS retained an appearance maximum I believe where they can select a team no more than six times, excluding the SEC title game.  LSU and Georgia are each scheduled to appear on CBS four times through the end of the year.  Florida, Alabama and Tennessee have appeared three times each.  I believe a wildcard exists though that a team could appear a seventh time during the regular season at least once.

Monday, October 14, 2013

10/26 CFB TV Selections

12pm ESPN/ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Nebraska at Minnesota 
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNEWS or American syndication & WatchESPN: Connecticut at UCF
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNEWS or American syndication & WatchESPN: Louisville at USF
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNEWS or American syndication & WatchESPN: Houston at Rutgers
12pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Wake Forest at Miami (FL)
12pm FSN: Oklahoma St. at Iowa St.
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Northwestern at Iowa
12pm SEC TV & ESPN3: Vanderbilt at Texas A&M
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: Georgia Tech at Virginia
2:30pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Toledo at Bowling Green
3:30pm CBS & Tennessee at Alabama
3:30pm FOX: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror: Michigan St. at Illinois
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror or ESPN:  Clemson at Maryland
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror or ESPN:  NC State at Florida St.
3:30pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Duke at Virginia Tech
3:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Boston College at North Carolina
3:45pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: West Virginia at Kansas St.
4pm Pac-12 & Utah at USC
6pm ESPN3 Exclusive: UNLV at Nevada
7pm ESPN/ESPN2 & WatchESPN: South Cartolina at Missouri
7pm ESPN/ESPN2 & WatchESPN: UCLA at Oregon
7pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Baylor at Kansas
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Georgia St. at UL-Monroe
7pm ESPN3 Exclusive: South Alabama at Texas St.
7:30pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: Texas at TCU
7:30pm SEC/FSN Regional & ESPN3: FAU at Auburn
7:30pm SEC/CSS & ESPN3: Idaho at Ole Miss
8pm ABC & WatchABC: Penn St. at Ohio St.
8pm Pac-12 & Arizona at Colorado
10:30pm ESPN & WatchESPN: Stanford at Oregon St.
10:30pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Fresno St. at San Diego St.
11pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: California at Washington

Sunday, October 13, 2013

CFB TV Guesses for 10/26

* There's usually one week during the season where multiple conferences have six day holds placed on TV.  Usually late October or early November.
* FOX has a 3:30pm window.  I hope all conferences are aware of this fact.
* Penn St. at Ohio St. is locked for an 8pm kickoff on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  Michigan St. at Illinois is locked at 3:30pm on an ESPN platform or BTN.
* Northwestern hasn't had a conference game yet on BTN.
* By placing Penn St.-Ohio St. on ESPN, it eliminated a late evening window on ESPN
* Pac-12 Network windows are currently set for 3pm and 10:30pm ET.  I've moved them.
* Currently, FOX Sports 1 is scheduled to air games at 4pm, 7:30pm and 11pm.  The 11pm window eliminates Arizona at Colorado because it would be a 9pm local time start.

12pm ESPN: NC State at Florida St.
12pm ESPN2: Baylor at Kansas
12pm ESPNU: Houston at Rutgers
12pm ESPNEWS: Louisville at USF
12pm FSN: West Virginia at Kansas St.
12pm BTN: Northwestern at Iowa
12pm American: Connecticut at UCF
12pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Texas A&M
12:30pm ACC Network: Georgia Tech at Virginia
3:30pm CBS: Tennessee at Alabama
3:30pm FOX: Stanford at Oregon St.
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror: Nebraska at Minnesota
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror: Clemson at Maryland 
3:30pm ESPN: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
3:30pm ESPNU: Wake Forest at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at North Carolina
3:30pm BTN: Michigan St. at Illinois
4pm FOX Sports 1: Texas at TCU
6pm Pac-12: Arizona at Colorado
7pm ESPN2: South Carolina at Missouri
7pm ESPNU: Duke at Virginia Tech
7:30pm FOX Sports 1: Oklahoma St. at Iowa St.
7:30pm SEC/FSN Regional: FAU at Auburn
7:30pm SEC/CSS: Idaho at Ole Miss
8pm ABC: UCLA at Oregon
8pm ESPN: Penn St. at Ohio St.
10pm Pac-12: Utah at USC
10:30pm ESPN2: Fresno St. at San Diego St.
11pm FOX Sports 1: California at Washington

ESPN3 Exclusives
Temple at SMU
UNLV at Nevada

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pac-12, FOX & ESPN - Where 10/19 picks hit a perfect storm

First, here's the picks released by the Pac-12.

Now, how this affects other parts of the 3:30pm ET schedule on ABC and the ESPN cable nets
* There could be a three way split of games on ABC, with either BYU-Houston or Oklahoma-Kansas.  One of those games could be available via ESPN3 out of market.
* ESPN, on a few rare occassions, has split the ESPN game regionally.  Tried it out several years ago with a few ESPN2 split games.  Very rare, but it has happened.  BYU-Houston and Oklahoma-Kansas could be split on cable, with the other available on WatchESPN I imagine.  I rule out ESPN3 because this is a game that is only available on cable, so the higher requirement could be in effect.
* Maryland-Wake Forest seems destined for ESPNU, unless they say that Oklahoma-Kansas could air there.  Conversely, Maryland-Wake Forest could now be available for ESPN now that ESPN2 is no longer available.


Now to the topic itself.

If you've glanced at my Twitter, you probably believe I'm defending FOX's reasons for only having a cable window for the Pac-12 on 10/19.  That's partly true.   FOX didn't take on the MLB commitments at the last minute.  They've had them for years and will in the future too.  FOX only planned for a 12pm ET broadcast window for this very reason.  They couldn't take on a Pac-12 game because of the flexibility needed to accommodate the American League Championship Series Game Six, which would not have a time set based on whether the National League Championship Series had a Game Seven.  Simple as that.  FOX pays MLB a lot more money on a per year basis than they do the Pac-12, though you could argue that college football probably gets FOX a better bang for its buck.  Either way, FOX shells out about four times the money to MLB, so they want to recoup that as best they can, and I would bet a lot of the money is specifically earmarked towards the value of the one LCS and the World Series.

FOX has to air eight games on its broadcast network, four in primetime.  They've aired four games so far, three in primetime.  The fourth is the Apple Cup on Black Friday which will be played in the afternoon.  A fifth game out there is Notre Dame at Stanford.  I believe FOX will air that on its broadcast network.

A second piece is the Pac-12 Network, which initially had two game windows scheduled and added a third to account for Charleston Southern at Colorado.

Another piece is ESPN.  As a rightsholder, they have access to 22 regular season games. Coming into the 10/19 selections they have used thirteen selections on games played up to 10/12, plus weeknight games to be played in late October & November.  They also have to use one more ABC selection and it must be a east coast primetime / 5pm Pacific game at some point.

Going back to the Pac-12 network initially only having two windows - Was ESPN asked to use a third telecast window, leaving themselves with just six selections over the final six weeks of the season?  If so, I think ESPN would have been right to have been concerned about taking an extra game.  We'll never know though.  I'm told that ESPN wanted to protect Florida St. at Clemson as the sole ABC primetime game at all costs as well.

And I guess the final piece is the Pac-12 itself.  I guess we shouldn't be terribly stunned to see Stanford and UCLA as undefeated going into 10/12, though it looked dicey for both as they had scares vs. Washington and at Nebraska, respectively.  But if the selection order for every week was set before the season started and FOX earned the right to pick first for 10/19 (something we'll never quite know), somebody should have stepped up and made a correction.

Let's just be glad that some portion of the country will see UCLA-Stanford in the afternoon.  Let's also hope that all of this wasn't for nothing and that neither one gets tripped up by either Cal or Utah.  Because if one of those things does happen, this whole exercise was a gigantic waste.

Random thoughts on college football & men's basketball on TV

* Have had a few people ask "Why can't they put an ESPN3 exclusive on Game Plan"?  To that I say "I don't know".  But what I do know is that Game Plan as a product has been getting phased out over the past few years.  No games in HD.  They lost the Big Ten regional games to BTN and they will lose most, if not all, of the SEC regional games next year.  The American's syndication package ends next year too.

In short, I don't see Game Plan making a tremendous comeback as something ESPN wants to push compared to ESPN3.  Frankly, if you have a good internet connection, you probably can get better picture quality off ESPN3 either via XBox, Apple TV or just hooking up your laptop to your TV.

And I think many of us will be saying the same thing about ESPN Full Court in a couple years.  The Big East and SEC were mainstays of that package.

* The wait/holdup over the 10/19 selections for the Pac-12 fascinates me.  FOX made it known that they would only have a 12pm ET selection available back in the summer.  It was known that they had MLB commitments that would last throughout the day.  It was also known that they had a pair of motorsports commitments, plus UFC prelim matches, on FOX Sports 1.  At least the motorsports conflicts were known, at least to me.  FOX only said they would have two games on FOX Sports 1 on 10/19.  One at 12pm and the other at 10pm, presumably a Pac-12 game in the latter slot.

I don't know if selection order for the week had FOX at the front of the line and the Pac-12 wasn't aware of it, or if the added Charleston Southern-Colorado game is complicating matters.  ESPN noted that the Stanford-Washington game on 10/5 was its highest rated game and it started late, not to mention it started on ESPNEWS.

So if FOX was at the top of the order this week (I do not know if that was the case and have no clue what the selection order is/was) and selected UCLA-Stanford, the game many people believe is the best available game, for FOX Sports 1, why are they being held to a different standard?  FOX is the network, after all, that gets the Pac-12 most of its broadcast network conference.  At a minimum, FOX has to air at least four Pac-12 games in primetime per season (minimum eight games overall) and ABC only has to air one Pac-12 game in primetime (just two games overall).

If there is an issue with the selection order, I would think there would be a way to resolve it.  If the game was a priority pick for FOX, I can understand the Pac-12's point.  Caveat emptor, though, Pac-12.  FOX and ESPN are paying you and you've given them some reasonable control over when 44 of your football games will kickoff.

* I looked over the FOX Sports 1 men's basketball schedule as it stands today.  I hope they ask the Big East schools to beef up their non-conference home schedules in future years.  There isn't a lot of good games, which is why many of these were just local telecasts or ESPN3 games in prior years.  A few of them will air on FSN or FOX Sports 2 instead of FOX Sports 1.

Conversely, it was a good get for FOX to sign on for several of the Barclays Center games in December.  And they made a few good non-conference selections for their ten games from Conference USA.  FOX also went heavy on the number of Pac-12 intra-conference games, with only the Marquette-Arizona St. game in non-conference play, so they got their money's worth for those 22 regular season games.

There are a few holes in the FOX Sports 1 schedule.  Not sure if they are making a play for any other conference's TV package and I don't know if there is one available to pick up.  Some of those holes are in February & March, but FOX Sports 1 does have NASCAR duties I assume particularly around the Daytona 500 and Daytona Speedweeks.

* As Conference USA schools released their TV schedules independently this week, several schools releases noted that CBS Sports Network affiliates and FOX could take additional games.  Not sure if that means that CBSSN is going to syndicate a package of C-USA games to local stations or if FOX will take more games and place them on FSN.  CBSSN managed the Atlantic 10's syndication package which seemed to disappear at the end of last season.

* FOX did list several Big 12 institutional games on their list of games as being on FSN and not just local RSNs.  In the Big 12 contract press release from last year, ESPN had the ability to sublicense an additional 20 games to a national cable outlet.  That is beyond what ESPN sublicenses to CBS.  There are roughly 20 Big 12 institutional games listed as being on FSN, so these might be games that could be optionally sublicensed or elevated by FSN.

* I really like CBS Sports Network's schedule of men's basketball.  Their sublicense packages for the Big East and American, to me, puts them on par with FOX Sports 1 and ahead of NBCSN at the moment.  Breaks down like this for the regular season:

American - 25
Atlantic 10 - 25
Big East - 18
C-USA - 10
MWC - 31
Patriot League - 12
Exempt tournaments & special events - 23 games

That's a total of 144 regular season men's basketball games.

The network will have coverage of the Mountain West quarterfinals & semifinals (6 games), the Patriot League semifinals & finals (3 games), the C-USA semifinals (2 games) and the Atlantic 10 semifinals (2 games).  C-USA lost television coverage of their quarterfinal round, which is going back to their digital network.

I swear the network had more than 53 million subscribers though.  That is the number they announced with their new deal with Time Warner Cable to be moved up to the digital TV tier.

* The goal of the sublicense agreement between ESPN and CBS Sports Network for the American Athletic Conference was to get every intraconference game on television, specifically national television.  I'd say mission accomplished.  As for non-conference play, it looks like the schools might be involved as to where those games are shown.  Louisville appears to have made a deal to get WHAS to show these games as they have in prior years, while four schools (Houston, Rutgers, SMU and USF) have these games scheduled to be shown on ESPN3.  As for the others, it would expect Memphis, Connecticut and Cincinnati to be actively involved with regional and local stations to get this portion of the schedule shown on television, while UCF may be more inclined to go the ESPN3 route.  Just a gut feeling on that one.  As for Temple, only one non-conference home game was not selected by national TV, so they may elect to go ESPN3 or without television.

* In terms of conference TV packages, here's who we haven't heard from yet for men's basketball.  Some of these outlets we might not hear from.  It is possible that only the conference championship game will be on a national platform.:
  • Atlantic Sun (ESPN Networks)
  • Big Sky (ESPN Networks & possibly ROOT Sports)
  • Big South (ESPN Networks)
  • CAA (NBCSN & NBC Regional Sports Networks)
  • Ivy League (NBCSN & any other sublicensed games)
  • MAC (ESPN Networks & Time Warner Cable)
  • MEAC (ESPN Networks)
  • NEC (ESPN Networks)
  • Southland (ESPN Networks, possibly CSN Houston)
  • Sun Belt (ESPN Networks & Sun Belt Network)
  • SWAC (ESPN Networks)
  • WAC (ESPN Networks)
  • WCC (Regional syndication through Time Warner Cable)

Monday, October 7, 2013

CFB TV Selections for 10/19

Will be updated as selections are announced

12pm CBS & Georgia at Vanderbilt
12pm FOX: TCU at Oklahoma St.
12pm ESPN & WatchESPN: South Carolina at Tennessee
12pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Minnesota at Northwestern
12pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: Texas Tech at West Virginia
12pm ESPNEWS & WatchESPN: Navy at Toledo
12pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Cincinnati at Connecticut
12pm FSN: Southern Miss at East Carolina
12pm BTN & BTN2Go: Purdue at Michigan St.
12pm American & ESPN3: SMU at Memphis
12:21pm SEC TV & ESPN3: Florida at Missouri
12:30pm ACC Network & ESPN3: Syracuse at Georgia Tech
1pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Army at Temple
1pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Ohio at Eastern Michigan
2pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Ball St. at Western Michigan
3pm Pac-12 &
3pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Central Michigan at Northern Illinois
3pm ESPN3 Exclusive: Kent St. at South Alabama
3:30pm CBS & Auburn at Texas A&M
3:30pm ABC with possible Reverse Mirror: Iowa at Ohio St.
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror, ESPN or ESPN2: Oklahoma at Kansas
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU: BYU at Houston
3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU & WatchESPN: Maryland at Wake Forest
3:30pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Duke at Virginia
7pm ESPN/ESPN2 & WatchESPN: Arkansas at Alabama
7pm ESPN/ESPN2 & WatchESPN: LSU at Ole Miss
7pm ESPNU & WatchESPN: Iowa St. at Baylor
7pm ACC RSNs & ESPN3: Old Dominion at Pittsburgh
8pm ABC & WatchABC: Florida St. at Clemson
10pm FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO: UCLA at Stanford
10:30pm ESPN2 & WatchESPN:
10:30pm ESPNU & WatchESPN:
10:30pm Pac-12 &

Sunday, October 6, 2013

CFB TV Guesses for 10/20

The rest of the Week 8 schedule

* CBS has a non-exclusive 12pm SEC game in addition to their 3:30pm exclusive window.  The 12pm game is the 4th pick in the selection order, sandwiched around ESPN/ESPN2 selections.
* Iowa at Ohio St. is OSU's homecoming game and set for a 3:30pm kickoff.
* FOX has a 12pm window this week.  99.9% confident that it is going to be a Big 12 game.  I thought about putting Iowa St.-Baylor on there, but because Baylor has been blowing people out, I'd rather have a competitive game.
* If the reverse mirror ends up on ESPN, flip ESPN & ESPN2 network assignments at 3:30pm, 7pm, 7:45pm and 10:30pm
* Assume another ESPNEWS window
* Based on advance FOX RSN listings, the ACC RSN package will have a 3:30pm & 7pm doubleheader
* I think one of the late evening windows could be ditched on either ESPN2 or ESPNU
* If the Pac-12 Network is truly going to air men's water polo at 7:30pm ET, then ABC and the Pac-12 Network will air concurrent games.  Not sure that it happens if UCLA-Stanford is on ABC at 3:30pm.
* My goal was to preserve Florida St.-Clemson as the sole ABC primetime game.  I did want to get UCLA-Stanford a prime slot as well, but I did not want to cut into the 8pm audience, nor did I want to slot it in the late evening.  Figured that ABC regional against Iowa-Ohio St., which had to air at 3:30pm, with a reverse mirror was better than full national on ESPN.

12pm CBS: Florida at Missouri
12pm FOX: Texas Tech at West Virginia
12pm ESPN: Minnesota at Northwestern
12pm ESPN2: Oklahoma at Kansas
12pm FOX Sports 1: Iowa St. at Baylor
12pm ESPNEWS: Old Dominion at Pittsburgh
12pm ESPNU: Connecitucut at Cincinnati
12pm FSN: Southern Miss at East Carolina
12pm BTN: Purdue at Michigan St.
12pm American: SMU at Memphis
12:21pm SEC TV: South Carolina at Tennessee
12:30pm ACC Network: Syracuse at Georgia Tech
3pm Pac-12: Utah at Arizona
3:30pm CBS: Auburn at Texas A&M
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror: Iowa at Ohio St.
3:30pm ABC with ESPN2 Reverse Mirror: UCLA at Stanford
3:30pm ESPN: TCU at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ESPNU: BYU at Houston
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Maryland at Wake Forest
6:30pm Pac-12: Charleston Southern at Colorado (Mountain Only)
7pm ESPN2: Georgia at Vanderbilt
7pm ESPNU: LSU at Ole Miss
7pm ACC RSNs: Duke at Virginia
7:45pm ESPN: Arkansas at Alabama
8pm ABC: Florida St. at Clemson
10pm FOX Sports 1: Washington at Arizona St.
10:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Washington St. at Oregon
10:30pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at California

ESPN3 Exclusives
Army at Temple