Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some 2014 CFB TV Nuggets

  • California scheduled their weeknight home game for Levi's Stadium for 2014.  Outside of Black Friday and the opening weekend, FOX Sports 1 did not show any other Friday night games. Seems like it would be earmarked for ESPN, but we shall see.
    • I am a little surprised that Cal is making this big of a deal about studying feasibility of weeknight games.  In 2012, they hosted Washington on Friday, November 2nd.  This was after the renovations of Memorial Stadium.
  • FOX and ESPN each get two priority picks every year.  Just so happens that Notre Dame will visit Arizona St. and USC in 2014.  It would not surprise me to see both networks each reserve one of the games, though we might not hear in advance which ones they get until the late spring or summer.  The USC game seems more likely to be taken by ESPN due to its history.
  • With the exception of the opening week of the season & Black Friday, Oregon and Arizona are the two schools Pac-12 that have not hosted mid-season weeknight games.  Both have hosted either on the Thursday or Friday night of the opening week or on Black Friday.
  • Miami and Louisville, who will face off in the Russell Athletic Bowl in less than two weeks, could open against each other over Labor Day weekend.  Louisville would be the home team and has played games on Sunday of Labor Day weekend.  Could end up being the Labor Day evening game.  Maybe it depends on Teddy Bridgewater's decision to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.  I don't know.  Bridgewater has been very coy about what he intends to do.

  • Have been told that the number of American games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will increase slightly as they start their new contract with ESPN.  I believe the new minimum is now 28 games, up from last year's minimum of 24.  I do not know if it will go up once Navy's home games become part of the conference's TV package as only Navy's conference road games will be available.  I have been told that Navy's home games will remain on CBS Sports Network until the end of their TV contract after the 2018 season.
    • Navy's home appearances on CBS Sports Network will be separate from the sublicensed games that ESPN will make available to CBS Sports Network, so in 2015, you could see around 20 games from the conference on CBS Sports Network when adding together the sublicensed games plus Navy's home games.
    • Navy's home games include the "home" game vs. Notre Dame that usually appears on CBS.
    • Games on ESPNEWS will go towards making sure that a large majority (80-90%) of games are televised on national networks when added together with the other four ESPN networks already mentioned plus CBS Sports Network
    • I am not sure if CBS Sports Network is actively working on an authenticated digital streaming option.  Right now, I would not get my hopes up.
  • CBS Sports Network will again get top priority among regular season games from the Mountain West, excluding Boise St. home games which are reserved for ESPN.  I don't think that it is guaranteed that Boise St.'s conference road games must appear on CBSSN.  I could see CBSSN setting aside these games as their eight:
    • Nebraska at Fresno St.
    • Navy at Air Force
    • Washington at Hawai'i
    • Arizona St. at New Mexico
    • San Diego St. at Fresno St.
    • Boise St. at Air Force
    • Boise St. at Wyoming
    • Boise St. at Nevada
  • With CBSSN retaining 22 Mountain West games, around 10-12 Army & Navy football games, a couple Patriot League games, 13-15 American games and a Division II package for Thursday nights, Conference USA is getting kinda squeezed out.  Maybe C-USA will allow for a few Friday night games on CBSSN to relieve some of the Saturday pressure.  CBSSN could also do a few more 12pm starts for the American & C-USA when Army or Navy are not on the network, plus more late evening starts for the Mountain West.
  • In regards to C-USA, FOX gets to reserve ten games off the top for their television package.  C-USA's advantage when it comes to non-conference games was that it was in proximity to ACC, SEC and Big 12 schools who would regularly travel to those schools for road games, but with realignment, some of the schools that drew decent non-conference opponents have moved on or are moving on this year.  I could see FOX taking some combination of Texas Tech-UTEP, Arizona-UTSA, BYU-Middle Tennesee and FIU's home games vs. Pitt and Louisville, but after that they will need some guidance from the conference office and schools to guide them for the next five selections plus the bottom ten selections.

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