Monday, October 20, 2014

Considerations for the Rest of 2014 CFB on TV

Just going through existing TV windows and announcements, along with future weeks.

* If you were CBS, would you still have your SEC primetime doubleheader on November 8th?  Look at your other choices (lets eliminate the two games vs. FCS competition):

Texas A&M at Auburn
Georgia at Kentucky
Florida at Vanderbilt

Its a virtual lock that Alabama-LSU is on CBS, and I suppose they'll make a decision based on the higher ranked school for the other (currently Auburn), but if you had a doubleheader with the Egg Bowl and Iron Bowl on 11/29, would anyone change the channel for anything else?

I imagine CBS has to declare their primetime doubleheader in advance so that ESPN can prepare because I assume they have to put all of their ESPN/2/U selections in a different window.

* Ohio St. at Michigan St. is on ABC on 11/8 and it is assumed to be full national, though Big Ten selections on 11/1 don't guarantee that, so I assume (?) Notre Dame at Arizona St. is on a FOX property.  Could air on ABC or ESPN too, but I'm 100% sold on it airing in primetime.  I could see it airing on FS1 or ABC in the mid afternoon.   Pac-12 Networks say they'll have games on at 4pm & 8pm ET respectively, but we know those can change, so that would seem to indicate that neither ABC nor FOX will have a Pac-12 game in primetime.  Pac-12 Networks can air games at the same time as ABC or FOX in the early TV window.

However, Pac-12 Networks will air one more game on 11/1 than tentative windows indicated, so it is possible that they took a window from another week.  Maybe from 11/8 to clear the primetime space.

* By FOX airing Stanford at Oregon on 11/1, they will have met the required conditions of eight Pac-12 games on their broadcast network, counting the Black Friday airing of the Territorial Cup along with the requirement of four games in east coast primetime.  ABC is required to air one Pac-12 game in primetime before the end of the season.

FOX has five remaining Pac-12 selections with eight games on FOX broadcast & nine games on FOX cable outlets.  ESPN has six selections left with three games on ABC (national or reverse mirror) and thirteen on ESPN cable platforms.  One Arizona St. game must air on Pac-12 Networks, probably either the Oregon St. or Washington St. game.  By Pac-12 Networks selecting USC at Washington St. on 11/1, the rest of USC's schedule is available for both FOX and ESPN.

* FOX Sports 1 is going to try to shoehorn in four games on 11/1 with a Big 12 tripleheader followed by Utah at Arizona St. at 11pm ET.  The addition of the four hour TV window at 12pm ET was done, it appears, by taking one of the windows from FSN and moving the NASCAR programming that FS1 was supposed to air over to FS2.

In my opinion, if you have a four hour TV window, that's where the Kansas at Baylor game should have went with Baylor's last two games running over four hours in TV time.  Then again, Kansas will probably not score as much as TCU and West Virginia did.

* ESPN did some TV window juggling as well.  I missed that they had dropped the 12pm window on 11/1 before this past weekend's games.  Then they dropped one of the available ESPN or ESPN2 windows as they were supposed to have a 6pm & 9pm doubleheader and decided to show Illinois at Ohio St. alongside a Big 12 game to be determined without a reverse mirror.

Regarding the lack of reverse mirror for the Big Ten, this was allowed under their current TV deal as the 3:30pm window was the only place the reverse mirror was required, but it looked like the provision was eliminated once Nebraska came on board as they didn't have a split regional window until now.  Now that the conference has fourteen schools, it is possible that a split regional window without reverse mirror had to be put back into use.  Maybe the ability to use it never went away either.

Either way, if you want to watch the game not on your ABC affiliate next week, you'll need to use ESPN3 or have ESPN GamePlan.

* With ESPN placing two Big 12 games on ABC on 11/1 (really it doesn't matter where the placed them), ESPN has used up fourteen of their nineteen Big 12 selections, leaving them with five selections, around one per week the rest of the year:
  • Seven on ABC (regardless of whether they were reverse mirrored)
  • Six on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
  • One on Longhorn Network (the Iowa St. game)
* ABC has added a 12pm ET telecast window on 11/15.  11/15 could be for Florida St. at Miami (FL) early in the afternoon if there are other games they decide to air in primetime or in the mid-afternoon.

* With Nevada at BYU airing on ESPN2 on 10/18, the UNLV at BYU game should air on ESPNU on 11/15.  The only question at this time involves the telecast window.  ESPN also has two Mountain West games in hand to place on their networks that weekend (New Mexico at Utah St. & Boise St. at San Diego St.), though ESPNEWS is an option for them.

* For the Mountain West, one of Boise St.'s final three games has to air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  Each of those Saturdays has a late evening ESPN or ESPN2 window.  11/15 on ESPN and 11/22 & 11/29 on ESPN2.  Currently the Broncos are tied with Colorado St. in the MW Mountain Division but own a victory over the Rams.

Wyoming at Fresno St. is the first Mountain West game selected in season for a Saturday broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 as Colorado St. at Boise St. was picked before the season started.  The Mountain West pays a $500K bonus per appearance off the top of their pooled TV money to a school who appears on a major network on Saturdays as part of the games under the control of their TV contract.

* Assuming FOX doesn't play around with its telecast windows on 11/15 (FSN at 2pm ET, FS1 at 3pm & 10pm, FOX at 3:30pm & 7:30pm) or open one up on FOX College Sports, either FOX or FS1 should carry a C-USA game.  FOX selected both North Texas at UTEP & Rice at Marshall.  The Thundering Herd, if they beat FAU this Saturday, could be available for an upgrade from FSN as they have an off week on 11/1 before the TV selections on 11/3 for 11/15.

* 11/1 will be the first Saturday where a Big Ten game will air on ESPN at 12pm ET.  In previous years, that telecast window seemed to be owned by the conference, but since 2012 the window has had more variety with the ACC, Big 12 and SEC appearing at that time.  On the other side of that is that 11/1 will be the tenth straight week in 2014 (10 for 10) where the Big Ten has had a game air on ESPN2 at 12pm, at least to a portion of the country as two of those Saturdays were reverse mirrors with ABC.

* FSN matched the ACC RSNs start time for 11/1 with Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech moving from its initial announced time of 12pm ET to 3pm ET.  This allows all FOX RSNs, alternate feeds and FSN affiliates, plus non-FOX RSNs carrying the ACC package, to be sent to a game at the same time.


Morgan Wick said...

Wild, stupid, baseless speculation: is it possible that ESPN really isn't allowed to have a Primetime split regional window with the Big Ten, but went to them and said "Look, we can't have these three-hour SEC windows again, will you allow it just this once?"

Matt Sarzyniak said...

It is possible. This is something they used to have the ability to do though. The only thing I remember distinctly reading was the loss of the ABC/ESPN exclusivity in the midday window.

While social media is a extremely small sample size of people compared to the general population and in some age ranges we're getting away from it, ESPN did get criticized from national writers and got a lot of complaints in social media for the overrun that caused a lot of folks to miss out on the start of Ole Miss-Texas A&M on television.

If they had a do-over, maybe they would have flipflopped the Alabama-Arkansas & Ole Miss-Texas A&M games, but I really don't want to read their mind at this point.

Unknown said...

With the sec one, ESPN already has a choice in for that week, tamu vs LSU, but CBS already has 2 games that week, one is one Black Friday, mizz vs ar

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Weeknight games are not usually part of the 12 day selection process. CBS has done a doubleheader on thanksgiving weekend along with their Black Friday game before, though not a primetime one. From 2007

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Should also note that 2007 was before the current tv deal. CBS didn't change much to the current one though.