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.

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