Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Notes on early SEC on CBS selections

TV schedule of SEC controlled games

* No real surprise that Georgia at South Carolina was selected to open the schedule.  I think most people could figure that out after the SEC Network selections were chosen.  Same with Florida vs. Georgia on November 1st.  In the case of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (I don't care that they've tried to de-emphasize the name), the only item I was curious about was whether the SEC Network could choose it if they wanted to, but it sounds like CBS is committed to the game every year.

* CBS is again waiting until after their US Open coverage ends to start up their college football coverage.  I will be curious to see whether that changes in future years.  I don't think CBS will have more than their 14-15 regular season games plus the SEC championship game.

* A reminder on the October 11th CBS doubleheader: CBS does not have the top two choices of SEC games that week.  They have the top choice and the 4th choice for that week.  When they have their primetime doubleheader on November 8th, CBS does get to choose the top two games that week.

* With CBS moving Arkansas at Missouri to Black Friday, it appears to be confirmed that ESPN has rights to the LSU at Texas A&M game on Thanksgiving.  I suppose it could air on SEC Network.  That should also leave the TCU at Texas game for FOX Sports 1 or FSN to pick up.

* There are a couple items outstanding with respect to the CBS schedule.  Notre Dame's neutral site/road game vs. Navy on November 1st is scheduled for CBS and the Air Force at Army game could air on CBS or CBS Sports Network.  CBS announcing their coverage of the Sun Bowl is also missing in action, though the organizing committee for the game has already announced the date & start time.  There are a lot of moving parts to get this sorted out from the CBSSN side of things:

  • Hasn't set their C-USA schedule, which could be waiting on FOX to finalize their first ten selections.  FOX gets to choose ten games, then CBSSN gets to choose ten, then FOX gets another ten.  CBSSN can pick after FOX again if they want.
  • No longer has a sublicense partner in CSS which carried a lot of their C-USA content regionally in the southeast
  • Now has 13-15 American conference games to slot in, sublicensed from ESPN.  I'm unsure if those are to be decided twelve days in advance after the early portion of the season or if they'll be selected earlier.
  • Assuming they have Patriot League rights in 2014, they need to choose 1-2 games.
I had heard that there might be a unique start time for Air Force-Army.  If it is on CBS and Notre Dame-Navy can be played at night (M&T Bank Stadium FedEx Field is open the next day as the Ravens Redskins play on the road on 11/2), the schedule might look something like this.  All times Eastern:
  • 11:30am - Air Force at Army
  • ~3pm - SEC Pregame Show
  • 3:30pm - Georgia vs. Florida
  • Sometime after 7pm - Notre Dame vs. Navy
The 11:30am start for AFA-Army is based on CBS's kickoff time the last two games between Air Force & Navy.  Both kicked off at 11:30am ET and led into SEC pregame.  This allowed for the pregame to be short in event the game ran long instead of running into the SEC telecast window.

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