Monday, March 3, 2014

Conference tournament TV primer

First week
Second week

With the ACC getting larger, the American & Big East effectively splitting from each other and the A-10 and Mountain West changing over their TV deals, let's take a few minutes to discuss changes in where to find games over the next few weeks

The tournament is now five days, essentially what the Big East was for nearly the last nine years, running from Wednesday to Sunday.

First Round - ESPN2 / ACC Network
Second Round - ESPN / ACC Network
Quarterfinals - ESPN / ACC Network
Semifinals & Final - ESPN / ACC Network

The ESPN network for the quarterfinals has not yet been set.  It would be going up against the Big Ten quarterfinals in the afternoon and the American semifinals in the evening.

The ten team tournament will be contested over four days

First Round - ESPNU (game 1) and ESPN2 (game 2)
Quarterfinals - ESPNU
Semifinals - ESPN2
Final - ESPN

Atlantic 10
As part of a new television contract, the quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be on three different networks

First Round - NBC Sports Regional Networks (2 games, 12pm & 9pm) & NBCSN (2:30pm & 6:30pm)
Quarterfinals - NBCSN
Semifinals - CBS Sports Network
Final - CBS (sublicensed from ESPN)

Atlantic Sun
The championship game has shifted to Sunday on ESPN2 as part of a doubleheader with the Big South.

Big East
The Big East switches over to FOX Sports 1 and its entire tournament will air on the network.  Four day tournament.  The final will air on Saturday evening after the Pac-12 championship on FS1.

Only the semifinals (CBS Sports Network) and final (CBS) will be televised.  Part of the issue is the Mountain West now taking up four full days due to their increased size of eleven schools (see further down).

The other rounds will be streamed through the C-USA Digital Network.

The televised portions of the tournament previously handled by SportsTime Ohio (2nd & 3rd rounds, plus semifinals) will be televised on Time Warner Sports Channel in Ohio and New York.  It might also be televised by BCSN in northwester Ohio and other affiliates.  These games are usually available on ESPN3 outside Ohio and the MAC Digital Network in Ohio for those without Time Warner Cable.

With an eleven team format, the quarterfinal round has shifted back to Thursday.  All quarterfinals (CBSSN), semifinals (CBSSN) and final (CBS) will be televised and the first round will be shown exclusively on the Mountain West Digital Network.

Three games (one quarterfinal, one semifinal and the final) are the property of the Pac-12's national TV partners, ESPN and FOX, and are switched on a yearly basis.  This year FOX Sports 1 will have these three games.

Due to NBA commitments, the SEC final shifts from ABC to ESPN with a later start time of 3pm ET on Sunday.  This is also the final year of syndication telecasts for the bulk of the tournament.

The semifinals will be televised once again, this time by CSS.

Sun Belt
The Sun Belt moved its tournament back nearly one week with its final to be played on Selection Sunday.  Two quarterfinals and the semifinals will be shown on the Sun Belt Network and the final on ESPN2.

The tournament has shifted to a "traditional" ten team tournament with two first round games & four quarterfinals.  The tournament will take a break on both Friday along with on Sunday.  The Friday break is for the women's quarterfinals to be played as the WCC has both tournaments at the same site.  The semifinals will be played on Monday with a Tuesday night final.

BYUtv will televise four games from the tournament: two first round games and the afternoon quarterfinal session.  The BYUtv games will be streamed on both the BYUtv website and the conference's digital network,  ESPN2 and ESPN will carry the rest of the tournament.

First Round (Thurs) - BYUtv
Quarterfinals (Sat) - BYUtv (afternoon) & ESPN2 (evening)
Semifinals (Mon) - ESPN (1st semifinal) & ESPN2 (2nd semifinal)
Final (Tues) - ESPN

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