Thursday, September 11, 2014

CFB Scheduling Alterations for MLB Postseason & Black Friday Scheduling

* MLB released their postseason schedule and it has some effects on FOX and FOX Sports 1's college football schedule

FOX made a change for their October 4th telecast windows, presumably for coverage of the MLB postseason.  They eliminated the 4pm ET window on FS1 and added a 3:30pm window on FOX broadcast.  The change keeps FOX with five available telecast windows (2 FOX, 1 FS1, 2 FSN) with Marshall-Old Dominion to be slotted.

Based on the Pac-12 Networks carrying games, tentatively, at 4pm & 10:30pm ET, I think you'll see a Pac-12 game at 7:30pm ET on FOX.  The 3:30pm FOX window could end up as a Big 12 game which would allow FOX to pick up three of the five available Big 12 games.

On 10/11, FOX will televise the Game One of the NLCS.  No time has been set for the game, so I'm unsure if FOX's college football window at 7:30pm is moving.  Because FS1 is not televising a MLB game that day, I'm also not sure if they would add a window in the evening.

(EDIT: FOX Sports 1 will show NLCS Game One from an advanced metrics point of view while FOX will show the game from a tranditional viewpoint.  More here).

10/16, a Thursday evening, presents a unique challenge.  FOX selected the Utah at Oregon St. game to air on FS1 at 10pm ET.  That would also be the same day as NLCS Game Five.  MLB could air a little earlier in the day to avoid running into the college football game.  The MLB game could also shift to FOX possibly.

Last conflict date is 10/18.  FOX was scheduled to air a NASCAR truck series race at 3:30pm that day and I'm told that some affiliates have been made aware that the race is moving to 1pm.  From there, I think a potential NLCS Game Six will air in the afternoon.  ALCS Game Seven is scheduled for the same day and I think a Game Seven would get preference towards a primetime TV slot.  Following MLB on FOX would then be CFB.

* There also may be a shift in FS1's CFB TV windows for 11/8.  A UFC Fight Night from Brazil has been scheduled for that night.

* Black Friday is a unique day for ESPN to schedule around with ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU all carrying college basketball throughout the day, mostly from events that ESPN owns and operates.  The ACC, American, Big Ten & MAC are all looking to be slotted into games on this day.

What is known (all times Eastern):
  • ABC has an open 12pm slot
  • ESPN has an open 8pm slot
  • ESPN2 has an open 12pm slot
  • ESPNU appears to have slots open at 11am & around 8:30pm or 9pm ET.
The 11am slot has belonged to the MAC in previous seasons (usually the MAC games not shown were webcasted), leaving Nebraska-Iowa, Virginia-Virginia Tech & three American games for three slots on ESPN.

CBS Sports Network helps to alleviate the pressure as they'll take one of the American games.  If there is a late evening slot on ESPNU, and that assumes there won't be another college basketball game to fill in, I would expect either the ECU-Tulsa or Houston-SMU game to fill the late slot.  The MAC games available are all in the eastern time zone.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So it looks like FS1 will get 4:30 and 8:00 NLDS games on 10/3. FOX is promoting the playoffs as starting on 10/3, and FS1 has 2 games, so they probably want a lead in to FOX Sports Live and a primetime game. The NL Playoff Picture is showing Giants at Nats (likely 4:30) and Cards at Dodgers (likely 8:00).