Friday, June 13, 2014

Some Basketball Scheduling Related Items About Big 12 & Early Season Tournaments

* I was able to get some clarification from the Big 12 on a few TV items now that the Big 12 Network syndication package is ending & games moving to other ESPN national platforms like ESPNU and ESPNEWS.
  • The number of games ESPN holds rights to has not changed.  Somewhere in the range of 90-105 games, which includes the conference tournament.
    • This includes non-conference games as well, which means that the possibility exists for a handful of intraconference games that could be returned to the home teams for their own institutional packages
  • When FOX aired a number of Big 12 games on non-Big 12 footprint RSNs, it is because FOX is allowed to offer any third tier game to its full compliment of RSNs.  Not that different than that Texas' ability to showcase their institutional content on Longhorn Network wherever it is carried.  These were not elevated games or additional sublicenses from ESPN.
  • ESPN3 can air an intraconference game, but the likelihood is very low and would be used only when there was no other option to carry the game.
In not so many words, really no changes to the underlying deal itself.

* Big 12 schools generally don't play on Sundays during conference play, and while non-conference play is a little different since the schools set up their own schedules, keep an eye on the UNLV-Kansas game on January 4th.  The date falls during the NFL's wild card weekend, a time of year where CBS seems to schedule a basketball game to be played before or after their game on a particular day.  Very similar to Kansas hosting San Diego St. at the beginning of 2014.

* One exempt event has changed TV partners.  The Las Vegas Invitational, which had at least a portion of its event shown on ESPN's networks for several years, is moving to FOX Sports 1, where all four of its "championship" round games will be televised.  The event moved from Friday-Saturday after Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving day & Friday last year.  The Disney nets are usually quite busy on both days as they show multiple exempt event tournaments that they own, plus a few college football games.

One interesting item is that the two basketball games are not being shown back to back, but are bookends around the TCU at Texas football game on Thanksgiving evening.

* A couple new exempt events have sprung up this offseason and not much has been said about who would be televising them.  Both events are being presented by Global Sports and have schools involved from power conferences.  ESPN as we know shows a ton of college basketball, but these are on dates where ESPN might not be able to carry them due to other existing commitments unless they are tournaments shown on ESPNEWS or exclusively through ESPN3.
  • The MGM Grand Main Event in Las Vegas on November 24th & 26th.  Based on the dates, I think FOX Sports 1 could end up with the event.
    • ESPN's primary networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) appear to be booked very solidly with the Maui Invitational (both dates), CBE Classic & Legends Classic (11/24) and the Battle 4 Atlantis and presumably the NIT Tip-Off (11/26).
    • NBCSN is typically tied up with NHL games on these dates
    • CBSSN has the Paradise Jam on 11/24 and Cancun Challenge & Great Alaska Shootout games on 11/26.
  • The Emerald Coast Classic on the Florida Panhandle on November 28th & 29th.  I think this one depends on if NBCSN is interested in replacing their coverage of the Battle 4 Atlantis with this event or balance this event alongside the Barclay Center Classic, which they showed three of the four games from last year.
    • ESPN has their two events from Orlando & Anaheim, plus presumably the finals of the NIT Tip-Off and college football games both days.  
    • CBSSN has college football and in a recent press release indicated they would be televising the Corpus Christi Challenge again this year.  Assuming the Challenge occurs over Thanksgiving again and on top of college football games and the Great Alaska Shootout, CBSSN looks to be booked too.
    • FS1 is booked on the 28th with college football at noon ET and the championship round of the Las Vegas Invitational in the evening and college football most of the day on the 29th.

      NBCSN is the only one left, short of Turner getting involved or FS2 airing it.

1 comment:

bigddan11 said...

I wouldn't rule out AXS possible picking up additional games as well. I think they still have the other half of the Battle 4 Atlantis w/ ESPN, unless they are choosing to give up all college basketball since they lost the CBI to CBS Sports Network last year.