Friday, November 21, 2014

Site news, 2015 CFB and other info

* The last set of CFB TV guesses for '14 are available.  Yes, Wake Forest at Duke has already been set for ESPNU at 7pm, so that's incorrect but it was published before the game was played.  Looks like I'll have a couple opportunities to do this for college basketball games on 2/28 and 3/7.

* My intention is to do another rework of the site's guts this football offseason and that could delay when the 2015 site will be live.  I can't say that the place will look any more modern that what it does, but the goal is to make it more mobile friendly than it already is (its fairly mobile friendly).  I'm sure you'll be fine without 2015 for a little while and this would not affect the basketball schedule.

* Conference USA's rights agreements are the next conference agreements to expire, with the 2015-16 athletic year as the final year of those agreements.  Over the next several months the conference will likely sit down with FOX and CBS Sports Network, along with syndication service American Sports Network, to map out the future.

During the last round of negotiations, CBS's agreement was announced in July of 2010, right around the conference's football media days.  The ESPN agreement that was being finalized never came to fruition and the conference signed an agreement with FOX Sports.

The conference's football championship remained on ESPN as part of the settlement of a lawsuit between ESPN and the conference regarding the details surrounding the negotiations & consummation of the FOX agreement.  FOX offered up the game as a gesture.  I am unsure if this remains with ESPN as part of any new negotiations or if it would return to FOX or a new rightsholder.

* As a side note regarding Conference USA, there are some rumblings around UAB football and its future, which could affect the school's future in C-USA.

* ROOT Sports Southwest appeared on Monday as the new home of the Rockets & Astros.  For college content, it looks like the Mountain West will have its content shown here from the other ROOT Sports RSNs plus the network will carry some games from the American Sports Network syndication outlet, presumably for Conference USA.

I don't have DirectTV anymore, but I assume it is available in the Sports Pack for subscribers who are in-market for the RSN.  As an out-of-market U-Verse subscriber, I do not have access to the channel for the moment as its channel number is not available to me even though I get the Sports & HD Extra packages.

It is my understanding is that there are two feeds of RSSW being made available much like there were two feeds of CSN Houston.  This is due to the Rockets' in-market territory being much smaller than the Astros.

* ESPN MediaZone has not tipped their hand as to which date they will air their NFL Wild Card playoff game.  It will be either January 3rd or 4th.  For now, I am following what MediaZone has planned for ESPN and ESPN2 on those dates.  ESPNU listings for those dates have not yet been generated.

* 2015 is beginning to shape up already.  ESPN announced their FCS Kickoff game of North Dakota St. at Montana.  The SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12 have announced their schedules and they've framed up a fair portion of Thursday & Friday night games.  The Big Ten schedule has been out for some time and the ACC schedule should be available early in 2015.  The schedules for the Group of Five conferences, much like the ACC schedule, are often influenced by TV and those come out in the late winter & early spring.

I did not see a Black Friday or Thanksgiving game come out from the SEC, but they sometimes choose a game for two straight years to have a matchup at both schools on Thursday or Friday, so Missouri at Arkansas could again be on Black Friday & Texas A&M at LSU could be the Thanksgiving game assuming FOX Sports 1 airs Texas Tech at Texas.

EDIT: LSU will not host Texas A&M on Thanksgiving.  Only Black Friday or on the weekend

9/3: South Carolina vs. North Carolina (at Charlotte), UTSA at Arizona & Michigan at Utah
10/8: Washington at USC
10/15: Auburn at Kentucky & UCLA at Stanford
10/22: California at UCLA
10/29: West Virginia at TCU & Oregon at Arizona St.
11/5: Mississippi St. at Missouri & Baylor at Kansas St.
11/26: Texas Tech at Texas

9/25: Stanford at Oregon St.
11/13: USC at Colorado
11/27: Baylor at TCU, Oregon St. at Oregon & Washington St. at Washington

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Six Day TV Guesses for 11/29 & Guesses for 12/6

Last one for the year.

Please note that the 12/6 items are projecting results for both 11/22 & 11/29.  I don't like project that far out on any other week, but I tried to think up the contingencies for key wins/losses.

Available TV windows
Week 14 schedule

Six day guesses for 11/29
12pm ABC: Michigan at Ohio St.
12pm ESPN: Wake Forest at Duke
12pm ESPN2: South Carolina at Clemson
1pm Pac-12: Utah at Colorado
3:30pm ABC: Florida at Florida St.
3:30pm FOX: Oregon at Oregon St.
3:30pm ESPN: Baylor vs. Texas Tech
3:30pm ESPN2: Michigan St. at Penn St.
4:30pm Pac-12: BYU at California
7pm ESPN2: Pittsburgh at Miami (FL)
7pm ESPNU: Kentucky at Louisville
8pm ABC: Notre Dame at USC

* Time is confirmed for Michigan at Ohio St., Michigan St. at Penn St. & Baylor vs. Texas Tech
* If ABC airs Florida at Florida St. or Baylor vs. Texas Tech as their night game, the two Pac-12 games can air at the same time with one on FOX and the other on ABC or ESPN.  That would move Utah at Colorado at 2pm ET and BYU at California to 6pm ET.
* Yes, they could also air one of the Pac-12 games at 7pm in either of those slots, but I believe those slots are earmarked for ACC games.
* I gave Wake Forest at Duke a bump because it could decide one of the ACC divisions.

Week 15 schedule

Guesses for 12/6
12pm ABC: Kansas St. at Baylor
12pm ESPN: C-USA Championship
12pm ESPN2: Temple at Tulane
12pm CBS Sports Network: SMU at Connecticut
3pm FS1: Iowa St. at TCU
7:30pm ESPN2: Houston at Cincinnati
7:45pm ESPN: Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma
8pm ABC: ACC Championship

* ABC does not have a 3:30pm window.  Just noon & 8pm ET.
* No games on ESPNU either except for the SWAC Championship.
* I figured ABC would want the matchup with the top two Big 12 schools & FS1 would take the Iowa St. at TCU game in the event K-State upsets Baylor to have a shot at showing the possible outright Big 12 champion.
* I suppose that the ACC Championship could air on ESPN if Florida St. loses.  In my opinion, that would move Kansas St. at Baylor to primetime on ABC, the ACC Championship to ESPN at 7:45pm (it is confirmed to air in primetime on either ABC or ESPN) and Bedlam or maybe the C-USA title game if Marshall is undefeated & ranked in the CFB playoff rankings on ABC at 12pm with the other on ESPN at that time.
* I have the C-USA title game on ESPN assuming Marshall being undefeated coming into the game.  If the Herd lose at some point (Marshall is in the championship game either way), the game probably ends up on ESPN2.

Monday, November 17, 2014

CFB TV Confirmations for Week Fourteen (11/28/14 & 11/29/14)

Please note that SEC games for this particular week have already been set for TV and are at the first link below.

ACC has six day hold on five games

Pac-12 is also on hold for Notre Dame at USC & Oregon at Oregon St.  One on FOX at 3:30pm ET, the other on ABC or ESPN in a separate telecast window.

Scheduled games so far
My guesses

12pm ABC: Nebraska at Iowa
12pm ESPN2: UCF at USF
12pm CBSSN: Houston at SMU
3pm ESPN3: Navy at South Alabama
8pm ESPN: Virginia at Virginia Tech
8:30pm ESPNU: East Carolina at Tulsa

TBA Pac-12: Utah at Colorado (1pm or 2pm ET)
TBA Pac-12: BYU at California (4:30pm or 6pm ET)
12pm ABC or ESPN: Michigan at Ohio St.
12pm FS1: West Virginia at Iowa St.
12pm ESPNU: Illinois at Northwestern
12pm ESPNEWS: Cincinnati at Temple
12pm FSN: North Texas at UTSA
12pm BTN: Purdue at Indiana
12:30pm ACC Net: NC State at North Carolina
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Syracuse at Boston College
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Baylor vs. Texas Tech
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Michigan St. at Penn St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Maryland at Rutgers
3:30pm BTN: Minnesota at Wisconsin
4pm FS1: Kansas at Kansas St.
4pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at Memphis
10pm ESPNU: Nevada at UNLV
10:15pm ESPN2: Utah St. at Boise St.
10:30pm FS1: Washington at Washington St.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014-15 Men's Basketball on Conference Nets & Syndication

The elder statesman when it comes to conference networks (RIP The mtn.), BTN will carry 128 games, including five games as part of the conference tournament, splitting the first & second rounds plus quarterfinals with ESPN.

There are a handful of non conference games not televised by any of the conference's TV outlets.  Those are sent to a package called BTN Plus where the games can be viewed for a fee.  They are not simply available to authenticated BTN subscribers.

A few wildcard selections exist and are made in conjunction with CBS and/or ESPN.  I think those networks get the best available game(s) and BTN gets the remaining game(s).  A few games are waiting on tip times, possibly due to the NFL playoffs or for bowl game destinations to be finalized.  For example, most tip times on December 27th are TBA as the conference has two bowl tie-ins that day (Pinstripe & Holiday).

Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks has 141 unique games scheduled across its national feed and regional networks.  During non-conference games, two to three games will be shown at a time, so access to the regional networks or their online video companion will be needed to view every game.

The networks will carry nearly the entire Pac-12 basketball tournament, with the exception of one quarterfinal, semifinal and the championship game which will be carried by ESPN this year.

To open the season on Friday, one of their telecast windows on the national network will be whiparound coverage of five games instead of picking a specific game to simulcast on the national network.

SEC Network
The SEC pooled its schools' local rights, plus the games that would make up the Wednesday/Saturday syndication package and the games formerly conveyed to Comcast to make up the 115 games to air on SEC Network.  During conference season, Tuesdays & Wednesdays will have doubleheaders plus games on Saturdays.

During non-conference play, twenty to twenty-five will air on SEC Network PLUS, an authenticated streaming service for those who receive SEC Network with providers who have signed on for WatchESPN access.

FOX Sports will carry around 30 men's basketball games in 2014-15.  In future seasons, this package of games will revert back to the control of ESPN and is expected to increase the number of games on SEC Network.

ACC Network
The Raycom produced syndication package for the ACC will once again air around 50 games, including the entire ACC tournament coexisting with ESPN's coverage.  Some of the telecast windows will be split between two games.

ESPN3 will provide out-of-market access to these games while the ACC website will provide webcasts of these games without blackouts.

American Sports Network
The newest kid on the block is Sinclair Broadcasting's American Sports Network.  In some ways, ASN is working to fill the gaps vacated in areas that lost syndication packages from the SEC and Big 12.  Sinclair is also looking to fill in programming gaps on its affiliates on primary and digital subchannels.  Regional sports networks like Altitude, Cox Sports and MASN have been looking at the package as filler content as well.

Over half of the package is filled by Conference USA, with other conferences filling in games.  Weeknight games often start at 8pm ET and Saturday doubleheaders usually include 3pm & 5:30pm ET games.  The early rounds of the C-USA tournament will be aired via ASN.

ASN does have the ability to webcast as they've done it a couple times for football, but it doesn't appear that they will make webcasts available regularly for their games at this time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The MAC, ESPN and sublicensing plus a few items for 11/29 CFB TV selections

* You may have seen Deadspin highlight a very interesting exchange between a Kent St. professor and Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher.  It isn't the first time that Steinbrecher has been rather vague about the terms of the MAC's extended TV deal with ESPN and not the first time that a Kent St. student or professor has asked questions about the deal.

The terms of the new deal supposedly don't change for a few years, but what did change is that ESPN took over all video distribution rights to the conference's football & men's basketball games.   By doing this, ESPN is working with the schools to upgrade production facilities and Buffalo, Central Michigan and Northern Illinois will be the first three schools to upgrade.  Regional television deals with Time Warner Cable were cancelled in the process, with ESPN now controlling the sublicensing of events to third parties, per the teleconference with ESPN and the interview with the Hustle Belt.

With a transition period over to self-produced content, there seems to be a gap that isn't yet being filled.  During the 2014 football season, there have only been a handful of regional telecasts, all produced by Buckeye Cable Sports for the airing of Toledo and Bowling Green.  Based on the initial schedule of men's basketball games set aside to air on ESPN Full Court, the only MAC-based regional telecasts so far also come from those two schools via Buckeye Cable.  Sublicensing for the other Ohio schools doesn't seem to have materialized at this time.

I caution with "at this time" and "yet" because the conference has said that there would be regional partners that have worked previously with the MAC.  Those could be on the way.  Maybe the self-production of content will allow some programming to be made available to regional networks.  The Hustle Belt interview notes possible increases in national exposure via sublicensing and right now the only items I can think of are a few extra exposures on CBS Sports Network if they were to drop coverage of Conference USA or to occupy some space on FOX Sports 2 or FSN, again if there were to be large changes in coverage of C-USA once their current rights agreements expire.

Here's the deal with sublicensing though.  The control of it is really out of the conference's hands.  It is up to ESPN to price and sell the content to third parties.  With any contract, and I don't know the exact terms of the deal, if it isn't in writing, it really isn't guaranteed to occur and that applies to sublicensing too I would assume.  The American Athletic Conference appears to have required it as part of their TV deal with ESPN to sublicense content to someone for additional national exposure, who turned out to be CBS Sports Network.  If the MAC is banking on ESPN to sublicense, but the terms for sublicensing are not in place or are in place but not appropriate for the marketplace (ie. costs, blackout protections, etc.), there's no guarantee anything gets sublicensed.  But that's a bit of a doomsday scenario.

I've seen folks from the MAC point to millennials moving away from owning a TV and/or purchasing traditional pay TV services in exchange for the ability to consume content on-demand and/or a-la-carte, one place where sports content doesn't 100% fit.  Going the over-the-top route with ESPN for content, for example, might be a place to go as ESPN is working with over-the-top services for MLS and the NBA.  The MLS service looks like it will be the test bed for the NBA package.  And I do consume, occasionally, games that are exclusively on ESPN3 through my phone via Chromecast to varying degrees of success (ie. app issues where ESPN3 commercials sometimes kill the casting process).

My concern would be if this content remains tied only to ESPN3.  While there are a lot of telcos and stand-alone ISPs who pay for ESPN3 so that you aren't 100% tied to your pay TV providers' ability to carry WatchESPN, will there be a point where ESPN3 gets pulled into WatchESPN acceess too?  And at that point, are you tied back into requiring a pay TV provider for that extra content that isn't televised?

* I messed regarding the requirements of the SEC regarding the maximum number of times a school can appear on CBS and I also think this isn't the first time I've botched it.  As others (Clay Travis, Ryan Brown of WJOX radio, etc.) have expressed, the maximum number of times a school can appear on CBS is five.  I though it was six as Florida hit that number of appearances in 2009.

There is a wildcard built in where CBS can take a team above the maximum number by one no more than four times.  Since I though the max was six, that would have meant seven appearances.  In reality, the "wildcard" number is six with the maximum being five.  So CBS has used their wildcard once and elected not to use it in 2014 for Alabama to get the Iron Bowl.

* As a side note for CFB TV selections for 11/29 and 12/6, the following number of six day holds have been used for the following conferences.  The maximum number of six day holds are in parenthesis:

ACC: 3 (4)
American: 2 (unsure)
Big Ten: 3 (4)
Big 12: 2 (4)
Pac-12: 2 (unsure)

It is my understanding that a six day hold is specific to the kickoff time being held up, not necessarily a decision regarding who will air the game (ie. when a game could air on ESPN or ESPN2 at a specific time).  So it is possible that selections next Monday for 11/28 & 11/29 could be spotty again and in the case of the American and Big 12, who have games on December 6th, two more weeks of held up kickoff times.

Monday, November 10, 2014

CFB TV Guesses for 11/28 & 11/29

Confirmed games
Available TV Windows

* SEC selections for 11/29 have already been taken care of & two MAC games are already set for ESPN3 on 11/28.
*Michigan at Ohio St. is a 12pm ET start. Network is the only decision being made.
* Because FOX took only one Pac-12 game for 11/22, they have two Saturday selections remaining & ESPN has one.
* If FOX were to carry Notre Dame at USC instead of ABC, it would be at 3:30pm.  I could envision ABC taking the Civil War instead in primetime and Baylor vs. Texas Tech as either part of the 3:30pm ABC/ESPN reverse mirror or on one of the two channels nationally.  BYU at California probably ends up on ESPNU at 10pm in a telecast window I didn't think would be needed as the Fremont Cannon game (Nevada-UNLV) I believe will be a day game.
* ABC regional with no reverse mirror, using Baylor-Texas Tech & Kentucky-Louisville, could be used if BTN carries only one game. Florida-Florida St. could air nationally on ESPN.
* In case you were wondering, the last time Notre Dame at USC did not air during east coast primetime was 2000.  Aired at 3:30pm nationally on ABC & was the only game their carried that day.  Courtesy of & ClassicTVSports.
* Notre Dame's visit to Stanford in '07 was also a 3:30pm ESPN game.
* Utah St. at Boise St. will decide the Mountain West's Mountain division.  Boise St. controls its own destiny and will host the West division winner.  If Utah St. wins, Colorado St. wins the Mountain division and hosts as CSU defeated Utah St. earlier this year.

11am ESPNU: Northern Illinois at Western Michigan
12pm ABC: Nebraska at Iowa
12pm ESPN2: East Carolina at Tulsa
12pm CBSSN: UCF at USF
8pm ESPN: Virginia at Virginia Tech
8:30pm ESPNU: Houston at SMU

12pm ABC: Michigan at Ohio St.
12pm ESPN: Wake Forest at Duke  
12pm ESPN2: Syracuse at Boston College
12pm FS1: Kansas at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNU: Rutgers at Maryland
12pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at Memphis
12pm FSN: North Texas at UTSA
12pm BTN: Illinois at Northwestern
12pm ACC Net: Pittsburgh at Miami (FL)
12pm ACC RSNs: NC State at North Carolina
1pm Pac-12: Utah at Colorado
3:30pm FOX: Oregon at Oregon St.
3:30pm ABC: Florida at Florida St.
3:30pm ESPN: Baylor vs. Texas Tech
3:30pm ESPN2: Minnesota at Wisconsin
3:30pm ESPNU: Kentucky at Louisville
3:30pm BTN: Purdue at Indiana
3:30pm BTN: Michigan St. at Penn St.
4pm FS1: BYU at California
4pm ESPNEWS: Nevada at UNLV
4:30pm Pac-12: Washington at Washington St.
7pm ESPN2: South Carolina at Clemson
7pm ESPNU: Cincinnati at Temple
8pm ABC: Notre Dame at USC
8pm FS1: West Virginia at Iowa St.
10:15pm ESPN2: Utah St. at Boise St. (moved up from 10:30pm ET)

NBC Sports 2014-15 Men's College Basketball Schedule

In terms of the volume of games, NBC is behind other entities on both national & regional levels.  To be fair to them, the focus of their sports programming is less dependent on college sports than other networks, so they can afford to carry a lower number of games.

NBC's primary sports outlet on cable will have 47 men's basketball games.  33 of those games will come from the Atlantic 10 with another ten from the CAA.  The schedule also has the Barclays Center Classic event over Black Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Eleven of the games come from the CAA & Atlantic 10 conference tournaments.  They will carry the CAA's semifinals and championship game plus the Atlantic 10's 2nd round and quarterfinal games.

One item currently missing from the NBCSN schedule is the Ivy League.  The conference allowed its primary deal with the conference to lapse and for football the conference pieced deals together with FOX College Sports, NBCSN and the NBC Sports Regional Networks.

NBC Sports Regional Networks / Comcast SportsNet
NBC's RSNs carry a decent variety of college basketball across their RSNs depending on the location.  In a fair number of cases, one of the RSNs is partnered with a school or conference, such as the CAA or some A-10 schools with CSNs on the east coast or the WCC with some of the schools in the Bay Area and Oregon.  Those games will sometimes be sent to multiple regions as needed to fill time & programming space.

In terms of contractual obligations, the CAA has earmarked CSN as its primary partner and the A-10 has given the NBC RSNs preference when it comes to local & regional telecasts.

In addition to this, ACC & MVC games via FSN will appear on specific RSNs.

CFB TV Confirmations for Week Thirteen (11/18 - 11/22)

My guesses for Week Thirteen
The schedule so far

Games on six day holds
* All American Athletic Conference games
* All Big Ten games except Northwestern at Purdue are six day picks.  Indiana at Ohio St. is guaranteed to air on BTN.  12pm or 3:30pm is what is to be determined.  One of the two BTN windows will air two games concurrently per Big Ten's Mark Rudner.
* Boston College at Florida St.
* Miami (FL) at Virginia
* Vanderbilt at Mississippi St. and Missouri at Tennessee are on hold.  One on ESPN & one on SEC Network.  Both at 7:30pm ET.
* MAC weeknight games for 11/18 & 11/19
* Southland TV wildcard game
* Colorado at Oregon & Oregon St. at Washington are on Pac-12 Networks with tentative kickoff times, depending on ABC's primetime game it appears.
* USC at UCLA, Arizona at Utah and Stanford at California will be available to ESPN & FOX packages.

11/22 Confirmed games
12pm FS1: Kansas at Oklahoma
12pm ESPNU: Northwestern at Purdue
12pm FSN: UTSA at Western Kentucky
12pm SEC Network: Eastern Kentucky at Florida
12pm SEC Network: Charleston Southern at Georgia
12pm SEC/FOX RSNs: South Alabama at South Carolina
12:30pm ACC Network: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
1pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Arizona St.
1pm ESPN3: Western Michigan at Central Michigan
3:30pm CBS: Ole Miss at Arkansas
3:30pm ESPNU: Syracuse at Pittsburgh
3:30pm FSN: Texas Tech at Iowa St.
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Georgia St. at Clemson
4pm SEC Network: Western Carolina at Alabama
5pm ESPN3: Appalachian St. at UL-Lafayette
7pm ESPNU: Samford at Auburn
7:30pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Baylor
10:15pm ESPN2: Boise St. at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPNU: Fresno St. at Nevada

Telecast windows not yet filled (An ESPN3 could be used for a game)
12pm: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, BTN (either one game or two)
3:30pm: ABC (could have multiple games, reverse mirror not guaranteed), ESPN, ESPN2, BTN (either one game or two)
7pm: ESPN2
8pm: ABC, CBSSN (American)
Two Pac-12 Networks games w/time TBA.  Could be dependent on whether Pac-12 game airs on ABC at 8pm ET

Sunday, November 9, 2014

CFB TV Guesses for Week Thirteen (11/18 - 11/22)

Week 13 Schedule
Available TV Windows

* I am assuming Indiana at Ohio St. will air on BTN to fill a requirement that each Big Ten school has to appear on BTN at least twice and one appearance must be a intraconference game.
* BTN has both 12pm & 3:30pm ET telecast windows
* 11/22's SEC Network schedule has a multiple game window at 12pm ET with one game on the main channel and one game on their alternate channel, plus a game regionally on FSN at the same time.
* Arizona St. already has nine scheduled appearances as part of the ESPN or FOX packages, including the upcoming Territorial Cup, so the Washington St. game should be on Pac-12 Networks.  
* With tentative windows at 1pm & 4:30pm ET, it signals to me that the Pac-12 will have a primetime window.
* Gave FOX two Pac-12 selections in order to place one Big 12 game on ABC & ESPN to only take one Pac-12 game.  In my mind, that would allow ESPN to take two Pac-12 games next week with FOX selecting one Pac-12 game on Saturday 11/29.
* I think USC at UCLA airs in primetime on the east coast and there really isn't a game to replace it with.  UCLA needs a loss from Arizona St. to have a chance at the Pac-12 South as they hold tiebreakers over both Arizona schools.
* Possible six day decisions:
  • Miami (FL) at Virginia & Boston College at Florida St. - pending outcome of Florida St. at Miami (FL)
  • Oklahoma St. at Baylor.   Could see a decision being made between Boston College at Florida St. or Oklahoma St. at Baylor for either the 3:30pm or 8pm slots on ABC.
    • One item to look out for is both Oklahoma St.-Baylor & Boston College-Florida St. at 8pm without a reverse mirror.  In the event they wanted to get one of the Mountain West or American games currently on ESPN3 exclusively onto ESPNEWS at 4pm.  Tulane at East Carolina or USF at Memphis could be slid up to ESPN2 or ESPNU with Fresno St. at Nevada or SMU at UCF on ESPNEWS.
  • Minnesota at Nebraska, Wisconsin at Iowa & Michigan St. at Maryland - pending outcomes of Ohio St. at Minnesota, Nebraska at Wisconsin & Michigan St. at Maryland
Tuesday 11/18 (both at 8pm ET)
ESPNU: Northern Illinois at Ohio
ESPN3: Massachusetts at Akron

Wednesday 11/19 (both at 8pm ET)
ESPN2: Bowling Green at Toledo
ESPNU: Kent St. at Buffalo

12pm ESPN: Rutgers at Michigan St.
12pm ESPN2: Miami (FL) at Virginia
12pm FS1: Kansas at Oklahoma
12pm ESPNU: Maryland at Michigan
12pm ESPNEWS: Cincinnati at Connecticut
12pm FSN: UTSA at Western Kentucky
12pm BTN: Penn St. at Illinois
12pm BTN: Northwestern at Purdue
12pm SEC: South Alabama at South Carolina
12pm SEC: Eastern Kentucky at Florida
12pm SEC/FSN: Charleston Southern at Georgia
12:30pm ACC Network: Syracuse at Pittsburgh
1pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Arizona St.
3:30pm CBS: Ole Miss at Arkansas
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Minnesota at Nebraska
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Boston College at Florida St.
3:30pm ESPN: Wisconsin at Iowa
3:30pm ESPNU: USF at Memphis
3:30pm FSN: Texas Tech at Iowa St.
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Ohio St.
4pm FS1: Arizona at Utah
4pm ESPNEWS: Tulane at East Carolina
4pm SEC: Western Carolina at Alabama
4pm Southland TV: Central Arkansas at Sam Houston St.
4:30pm Pac-12: Stanford at California
7pm ESPN2: Missouri at Tennessee
7pm ESPNU: Georgia St. at Clemson
7:30pm FOX: USC at UCLA
7:30pm SEC: Samford at Auburn
7:45pm ESPN: Vanderbilt at Mississippi St.
8pm ABC: Oklahoma St. at Baylor
8pm CBSSN: Tulsa at Houston
10pm ESPNU: Boise St. at Wyoming (may move back 15 minutes)
10:30pm ESPN2: Colorado at Oregon
10:30pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at Washington

11/22 ESPN3
Fresno St. at Nevada
Eastern Michigan at Ball St.
Western Michigan at Central Michigan
Appalachian St. at UL-Lafayette
UL-Monroe at New Mexico St.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014-15 ESPN Men's College Basketball Schedule & Notes

ESPN, through four channels, has a massive amount of college basketball.  There's no way around it.

For ESPN, there aren't many changes here from last year.  Mondays are Big Monday with the ACC & Big 12.  Tuesdays are Super Tuesday with the SEC & ACC.  Thursdays are flexible doubleheaders, coupled with ESPN2 for the SEC, Big Ten, American and Pac-12, with an occasional WCC option.  Saturdays are the typically tripleheaders or quadrupleheaders, with a 7pm or 9pm game thrown in as in the past this was the College Gameday game.

College Gameday appears to be going towards a more flexible rotation.  Says they will be going to the best game on a given Saturday, with a one hour pregame leading into the game on site.  To me, that means one of two things.

1) None of the Saturday tip times are set in stone.  Not a single one, even though nearly all of the Saturday games have tip times through February 21st.
2) ESPN has targeted some games for College Gameday.  I wrote about that here.  

ESPN MediaZone's schedule for January seems to indicate option #2.  Certain games have been targeted and the pregame show leading into the College Gameday game is at a specific time.  Schedules can change though.

ESPN2 has around 80 or so more games than ESPN.  ESPN2 has a Wednesday doubleheader involving a Pac-12 game.  What appears to be new for this year is a (fairly) regular Friday night game on ESPN2 starting on January 23rd:

1/23: VCU at Saint Louis
2/6: George Washington at Dayton
2/13: Horizon League Game
2/20: Cleveland St. at Green Bay
2/27: MAAC Wildcard
3/6: MAC Wildcard & Texas Tech at Baylor

ESPNU has the most college basketball of any traditional TV network.  300+ games.  Key items I noticed:

* The MAC will have a handful of Friday night games, alongside the MAAC and/or Horizon League.
* Most Sundays starting in January will feature tripleheaders with the MVC, ACC and Pac-12.

ESPNEWS will carry a little over 50 combined games with the majority of the games coming from the American and the Big 12.

With the Big 12 ending their syndication package in favor of national cable coverage with ESPN, the conference will see more games on ESPNU and ESPNEWS.  Because of that, you'll see games from their conference tournament ESPNU, in addition to ESPN & ESPN2 coverage.  The American will have a couple games from their conference tournament on ESPNEWS too.

There are 30+ games that have not yet been slotted for a specific network.  They'll either be slotted as part of the flexibility for College Gameday or closer to the date of the game based on network programming.

There is also ESPN3, which is going to have a ton of games.  Far too many for me to compile a list of as schools are now producing their own games to air on ESPN3 in addition to conference TV deals.  The SEC Network will also have 100+ televised games, which I'll tack on in a separate post that discusses the conference television networks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

CFB TV Confirmations for Week Twelve (11/11 - 11/15)

Will update as announcements are made.  Games set before today are on the schedule link below.  The MAC games on 11/11 & 11/12 might be set after this week's midweek games.

All available TV windows are listed.  Some are left open and not used.

Guesses for Week Twelve
Full schedule for the week

Six day option on the following for ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 at 12pm or ABC or ESPN at 3:30pm:

Clemson at Georgia Tech
Ohio St. at Minnesota
Nebraska at Wisconsin

Six day option for these two games on ESPN or ESPN2 at 12pm or ESPN or BTN at 3:30pm
Illinois at Iowa
Temple at Penn St.

Indiana at Rutgers will air on BTN either at 12pm or 3:30pm.

Six day option for these two games on CBS at 3:30pm or ESPN at 7:15pm
Mississippi St. at Alabama
Auburn at Georgia

MAC midweek TV designations are on hold after 11/4 & 11/5 games.

12pm ESPNU: Virginia Tech at Duke
12pm SECNet: South Carolina at Florida
12:30pm ACC Net: Pittsburgh at North Carolina
1pm ESPN3: Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
2:30pm FSN: Rice at Marshall
3pm FS1: TCU at Kansas
3pm ACC RSNs: Wake Forest at NC State
3pm ESPN3: Appalachian St. at Arkansas St.
3:30pm FOX: Washington at Arizona
3:30pm ABC and/or ESPN: Oklahoma at Texas Tech
3:30pm ESPNU: Memphis at Tulane
3:30pm ESPN3: Texas St. at South Alabama
4pm ESPNEWS: New Mexico at Utah St.
4pm SECNet: Kentucky at Tennessee
5pm ESPN3: Troy at Idaho
6pm Pac-12: Utah at Stanford
7pm ESPN3: UL-Lafayette at UL-Monroe
7:30pm FOX: Texas at Oklahoma St.
7:30pm SECNet: Missouri at Texas A&M
8pm ABC: Florida St. at Miami (FL)
8pm ESPN2: LSU at Arkansas
10pm FS1: North Texas at UTEP
10:30pm ESPNU: San Diego St. at Boise St.
10:45pm ESPN: Arizona St. at Oregon St.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week Twelve CFB TV Guesses (11/11 - 11/15)

Week Twelve Schedule
Currently Available TV Windows

* ESPN moved ABC's 12pm window from 11/1 over to 11/15, making a tripleheader.
* Reverse mirrors are possible, but not guaranteed, for all ABC timeslots.  Note the 8pm ESPN2 option.
* FOX has a doubleheader at 3:30pm & 7:30pm
* Ohio St.'s game vs. either Minnesota or Indiana must air on BTN to fulfill a requirement that every Big Ten school appear at least once on BTN as part of a conference game.
* I could see a 12 day pick for all of FOX's selections for a few reasons:

  • There are no standout games from the Pac-12 or Big 12
  • Marshall, at 8-0, may be worth showing on FS1, but they have a game at Southern Miss.  Not sure I'd select a game just yet.
  • Flexibility exists with the C-USA choice of North Texas at UTEP.  Can fit in all available telecast windows.  10pm ET start = 8pm local start in El Paso.  From what you see below, I would much rather reward Marshall with a FS1 appearance, but timeslots really make it tough.
  • I could also see FOX pulling its FSN 2pm window, if it can move its NASCAR commitments (Nextel Cup practice & Nationwide qualifying) from FOX Sports 1 to FOX Sports 2.  They did this to create an extra FS1 window on 11/1, removing FSN's 3:30pm window (WKU-La Tech was originally at 12pm, then slid to 3pm).  They have UFC commitments at 7pm ET.  Moving that is probably not an option.
* With only one Pac-12 Networks game at 4pm, I do believe that either ABC or FOX would air a Pac-12 game in primetime.  Washington at Arizona seems like the best available choice based on combined record at the moment.
* Another place you might see a six day hold is the top end of the Big Ten selections.  Ohio St. at Minnesota & Nebraska at Wisconsin are virtually interchangeable games, at least by records.
* BYU's TV contract requires at least one game a year on ESPNU and this is the last available game to fill that requirement.
* I messed up in an earlier article.  Boise St. has already had three home games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  Their remaining games can be slotted on any ESPN platform.
* After slotting the Mountain West & BYU games, I did not see a need for the 12pm ESPNEWS window.  A case could be made to show Texas St. at South Alabama, who both have winning records overall & in the Sun Belt.

Tuesday 11/11
8pm ESPN2: Toledo at Northern Illinois
8pm ESPNU: Akron at Buffalo

Wednesday 11/12
8pm ESPN2: Bowling Green at Kent St.
8pm ESPNU: Ball St. at Massachusetts

12pm ABC: Nebraska at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN: Oklahoma at Texas Tech
12pm ESPN2: Iowa at Illinois
12pm ESPNU: Virginia Tech at Duke
12pm SECNet: South Carolina at Florida
12pm BTN: Temple at Penn St.
12:30pm ACC Net: Wake Forest at NC State
2pm FSN: Rice at Marshall
3pm FS1: Texas at Oklahoma St.
3pm ACC RSNs: Pittsburgh at North Carolina
3:30pm CBS: Mississippi St. at Alabama
3:30pm FOX: TCU at Kansas
3:30pm ABC/ESPN: Ohio St. at Minnesota
3:30pm ABC/ESPN: Clemson at Georgia Tech
3:30pm ESPNU: Memphis at Tulane
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Rutgers
4pm ESPNEWS: New Mexico at Utah St.
4pm SECNet: Kentucky at Tennessee
4pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Oregon St.
7pm ESPN: Auburn at Georgia
7pm ESPNU: San Diego St. at Boise St.
7:30pm FOX: Washington at Arizona
7:30pm SECNet: LSU at Arkansas
8pm ABC: Florida St. at Miami (FL)
8pm ESPN2: Missouri at Texas A&M
10pm FS1: North Texas at UTEP
10:15pm ESPNU: UNLV at BYU (moved up from 10:30pm)
10:30pm ESPN: Utah at Stanford