Thursday, April 3, 2014

A few items re: Friday 8/29 CFB & MLB Postseason's Effect on CFB TV Scheduling

* Three more games have been moved to Friday, August 29th over the past seven days: Villanova at Syracuse, Colorado St. vs. Colorado and Bowling Green at Western Kentucky.  Coupled with UNLV at Arizona being set for that date in March and BYU at Connecticut confirmed to air on ESPN on that date, let's note a few items:

  • ESPN2 should be carrying US Open tennis that evening as they did in 2013.  I believe that network will be off limts to college football that evening
  • Unless the timing of events happens to change, qualifying for the NASCAR race in Atlanta should air in the early evening on FOX Sports 1 as it did last year.
  • UNLV at Arizona is to kickoff at 10pm or 10:15pm ET per the release from Arizona announcing the date change.
  • BYU at Connecticut is set for an 8pm ET kickoff on ESPN
  • Per both Colorado and Colorado St., either an ESPN or FOX platform will air their game.
    • When UNLV at Arizona was announced as moving, it was not specified as to which Pac-12 TV partner would air the game
So what could happen?   I think Colorado St. vs. Colorado is the game to key off of.  For the game, the two platforms that appear to be in play are ESPNU or FOX Sports 1.  I think it would air on ESPN only if they moved up the kickoff time of BYU at Connecticut by one hour to 7pm ET.

If the Rocky Mountain Showdown airs on ESPNU, I think it puts UNLV at Arizona on FOX Sports 1 or possibly the Pac-12 Network.  If UNLV-Arizona airs on FS1, that should put Bowling Green at Western Kentucky on CBS Sports Network.  If UNLV-Arizona is on Pac-12 Networks, BG-WKU could air on FOX Sports 1.

If FOX Sports 1 takes the Rocky Mountain Showdown, UNLV at Arizona can go to ESPNU or the Pac-12 Network with Bowling Green at WKU again on CBSSN.  If FS1 takes CSU-CU and the Pac-12 Networks takes UNLV-Arizona, BG-WKU would still be on CBSSN because ESPN is not a Conference USA rightsholder.

If FS1 does air NASCAR qualifying, I think that removes them from being able to do a BG-WKU & Pac-12 doubleheader.  If they do not and ESPN takes it on (I'm not sure they would unless they tossed it to ESPNEWS), that could lead to FS1 being open to a college football doubleheader

A key decision alongside these two Pac-12 Friday games is who takes Rutgers vs. Washington St. on Thursday 8/28.  When the TV announcements get assigned in May or June, I don't know if we'll be able to tell who took one game ahead of the other though.

* Per Awful Announcing, FOX Sports executive producer John Entz announced that they planned to television their one MLB League Championship Series completely on FOX Sports 1.  Depending on how MLB's playoff schedule is set up, FS1 might have to clear a mid-afternoon or evening telecast window or two for that series.  That doesn't account for FOX's Division Series coverage of two series, with two games from those series being sublicensed to MLB Network.

I suspect FOX will work with MLB to minimize the impact to their college football coverage on any possible Thursdays conflicts along with Saturdays, along with any other events they could be contracted to carry at that time.  They had some issues with the Pac-12 over the selections for October 19th last year when FOX set aside only a single 12pm broadcast network window, outside of the times that the Pac-12 would have had a game televised.  More on that mess here.

There are currently a pair of Thursday night games that could air on FOX Sports 1, either during the LDS or LCS series.  On 10/2, FAU is at FIU and on 10/16, Utah visits Oregon St.  None yet for 10/9 and the MLB playoffs may be the reason for that.  For FAU-FIU, CBSSN could pick it up. ESPN could take Utah-Oregon St. and pair it with Virginia Tech-Pitt as a doubleheader if FS1 has MLB that evening.  

Would FOX Sports 2 be an option?  Maybe, but does either game scream out nationally as can't miss, driving people to demand FOX Sports 2?  In my opinion, not really.  Utah & Oregon are states where Comcast has a large number of subscribers and I've heard mixed messages about where Comcast has been carrying FOX Sports 2 as it seems to be available on some Comcast systems, but isn't on most.  

FSN wouldn't be an option for Utah-Oregon St.  Maybe for FAU-FIU.   NBA is not yet in season and the NHL is just starting up, so there might not be many regional pre-emptions, but FSN isn't a full national platform anymore and it doesn't seem useful for FAU and FIU to move a game that wouldn't be shown everywhere.  Airing it on FOX College Sports would seem to be a waste too.


Unknown said...

Can Bowling Green- Western Kentucky air on FS1 at 7 PM and then COL-CSU /UNLV-AZ at 10 after that on FS1?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

From the middle of the post

"If FS1 does air NASCAR qualifying, I think that removes them from being able to do a BG-WKU & Pac-12 doubleheader. If they do not and ESPN takes it on (I'm not sure they would unless they tossed it to ESPNEWS), that could lead to FS1 being open to a college football doubleheader"

Unknown said...

Oh sorry, didn't catch that the first time. Now i understand.

bigddan11 said...

I looked up the NASCAR schedule. The Sprint Cup race and the Camping World Truck Series race both take place on Sunday. That will give Fox Sports 1 afternoon Practice races, and it will make the Camping World Truck Series qualifying run take place on Saturday, but FOX has already shown they will move Motor Sports to Fox Sports 2 before they move football. The Nationwide Race that week- Great Clips 300 Benefiting Feed the Children, is not scheduled to be televised, so it wouldn't have practice runs on FOX.

That frees up all the stations you've mentioned. Whichever station gets to select first between FOX and ESPN would then take Colorado- Colorado State to air on either Fox Sports 1 or ESPNU. I'm going to assume it is FOX and that ESPN solely airs BYu at Connecticut.

The start time of UNLV- Arizona to me screams that it will be a Pac-12 Network game.

That leaves Bowling Green- Western Kentucky for CBS Sports Network.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

The Nationwide race will be on an ESPN network at ~7pm ET on Saturday. Last year it was on ESPN2. I don't know if the empty TV designation means that they are considering moving it to ESPNEWS, but great pick up. It wasn't like that earlier this month.

Here's the TV info for the '13 Atlanta Sprint Cup race over that weekend:

And here's the Nationwide race info from last year

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Wanted to add here that ESPN's Andy Hall, who does PR for their motorsports coverage, says the 8/30 and 9/13 Nationwide races will be on ESPN2.

12thMan said...

Looks like the NFL's the biggest winner here. Gives them more flexibility with who they assign DHs to without having to worry about an MLB lead-in now that FOX broadcast is all but out of the MLB playoffs other than the World Series. Also won't have a repeat of two years ago, when FOX was dark for the entire late window (had originally blocked it out for Cards/Giants Game 6, only for MLB to move it to prime time since Yanks/Tigers was a sweep)

bigddan11 said...

Funny thing is the NASCAR site shows all the other races being televised, but it doesn't show the Great Clips 300 Benefitting Feed the Children. I wonder why that is.

It should be noted that ESPN carries the qualifying run and the race for most Nationwide Races. If this is one of the qualifying races FOX has to air, expect them to air it to Fox Sports 2 Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. The practice runs will be on Thursday & Friday afternoon, much like the Sprint Cup ones, so it should still leave all the stations you've mentioned open.

As long as Fox Sports 1 doesn't have baseball that night, I think the schedule I mentioned remains intact. If Fox Sports 1 has baseball, expect ESPNU to get the game. I don't see the main ESPN network airing a doubleheader either way.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Earlier this month, they had the April 25th and the September 20th races without a TV network, but those are both now listed with ESPNEWS. I don't know if that is a sign for these other two races, but I can only go on what ESPN's PR guy says right now. As someone else pointed out, the radio network for those races are missing too. Maybe its just a missed item on the NASCAR site.