Monday, December 29, 2014

Thoughts on 2015-16 Bowl Season, A Puzzle for NBCU in September & More

* Assuming the Rose Bowl remains a 2pm PT / 5pm ET start time and that ESPN intends to have an extended pregame leading into the game, either the Fiesta or Sugar will have a pre-noon local time kickoff.   My money would be on the Sugar as it would be closer to noon than the Fiesta, which would be closer to 10am or 10:30am local time.

That said, the Cotton Bowl for several years kicked off at 10:30am local time.  Someone may have to bite the bullet.

* A few calendar related items for next year's bowl schedule:

  • Should start on Saturday December 19th.  The Cure Bowl intends to be the first bowl game played.
  • Expect no bowl games on the December 20th & 27th, plus January 3rd.  These are Sundays where the NFL will be playing.  
  • December 26th and January 2nd could be two Saturdays where a bunch of games are set aside 
  • Both December 21st & 28th should have NFL Monday Night Football, so ESPN may attempt to schedule afternoon bowl games.
Because the college football regular season schedule will play out over one less week compared to 2014, I don't think you'll see ESPN have any situations where a bowl game is scheduled out over the same weekend as their NFL wild card game, unless ESPN elects to stretch out its bowl schedule.

Wouldn't be surprised to see the Sun Bowl be played post-New Years Day on the 2nd either.  Will have to find the article from earlier this year, but it was pointed out that one of the worst attended Sun Bowl games was one the in 1993 played on Christmas Eve.  In my opinion, I believe the game will work with CBS to find out whether they intend to carry any NFL games on 12/26 (they may if there is no Thursday night game on Christmas Eve) and try to stay away from holding their game that day.

* FOX has again elected to showcase the NASCAR Trucks series from Talledega on October 24th, which should fall in the window of the broadcast network's World Series coverage or possibly the tail end of their ALCS coverage as they rotate leagues with Turner Sports.  For college football, this should put all of their CFB coverage that day on FOX Sports 1 if it mirrors what they did in 2014.

* Assuming that ESPN is carrying the South Carolina vs. North Carolina game from Charlotte on ESPN as their opening Thursday night game, and doesn't push the game down to ESPNU for example or go with a doubleheader, that Michigan at Utah opening could be a nice get for FOX Sports 1 if it falls to them, especially with the forthcoming announcement of Jim Harbaugh as the coach at Michigan.

Looking over the current opening night schedule, there is some "wealth" to go around.  Maybe TCU at Minnesota for BTN & Washington at Boise St. for CBSSN or ESPN later in the evening.

* It will be curious to see how Notre Dame football is scheduled around in September for three specific dates:
  • 9/5: Deutsche Bank Championship, NASCAR from Darlington & Texas at Notre Dame - The golf tournament would only be on the 2nd round on Saturday as it has a Monday finish, so that probably stays on Golf Channel.  The NASCAR race is scheduled to be on NBC and probably would air after Texas at Notre Dame.
  • 9/19: BMW Championship & Georgia Tech at Notre Dame - The golf may be split between NBC and Golf Channel, assuming the football game is an afternoon game.
  • 9/26: Tour Championship & Massachusetts at Notre Dame - Same as 9/19
I am unsure if NBC has to wait until the extension of its current contract comes into play to place Notre Dame games on NBCSN.  Both 9/19 and 9/26 have NASCAR Xfinity Series races scheduled for NBCSN.  The Presidents Cup also falls over the same weekend as the Navy at Notre Dame game, but that event is being played in South Korea and could end up being shown as delayed highlights on NBC with live action on Golf Channel.

NBCU CEO Steve Burke has said that USA Network could be in play for some of their sports content.  Maybe this is one of the places it gets used, especially with the English Premier League and Formula 1 racing in season at that time.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pre-Holiday Rumblings

* Asked this over two tweets on my timeline:

As you probably know, Pac-12 Networks are not carried by DirecTV.  You also probably know that AT&T is in process of acquiring DirecTV.  The leap is being made that the Pac-12 Networks would appear on DirecTV at some point shortly after AT&T acquires the provider as the U-Verse service carries three of the Pac-12 Networks, plus the rest of the networks via authenticated provider access at the Pac-12 website.

I'm not of the opinion that these contracts will be 100% transferable and that AT&T's carriage contracts, or lack of contracts, would transfer over.  If they did, would channels like NHL Network be dropped because AT&T doesn't have a deal for it?  In a somewhat similar scenario, when Adelphia was carved up by Time Warner, Comcast and others, Adelphia systems that carried NFL Network lost access to the channel.  Conversely, I don't see Pac-12 Networks or Epix showing up right away, not to mention some authenticated services like WatchESPN or FOX Sports Go.

DirecTV and AT&T talked about the possibility of operating the satellite service and U-Verse as separate business units and if they were to ever merge some of their carriage contracts, it might be phased in over a period of time.  For example, they might consider syncing up their programming contracts so that they expire at the same time, they negotiate across both business at a later date.

* Each of the last two seasons FOX Sports 1 has placed a C-USA game on the Thursday night that the NFL opens its season.  Provided that it isn't a conference game involving FAU, Western Kentucky or Louisiana Tech, FOX may look to move the Kansas St. at UTSA game to a Thursday night.

FOX Sports 1, in general, may look to place more games on Thursday & Friday nights with the season being shorter by one week compared to 2013 & 2014, in addition to using FSN for a few more C-USA & Big 12 games.  At least when its feasible since they'll have postseason baseball on the channel occupying a 2-3 week stretch, plus NASCAR truck commitments.  Whether they'll have to use FOX Sports 2 for other games, or place a few more games on FOX College Sports, I'm not sure.  I don't think the FCS channels have a dedicated HD feed available, but I believe they produce the games using equipment for a widescreen production.  At least I think they do based on what gets fed to the FOX Sports GO application.

* In addition to the Big Ten men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden in 2018, the conference will have two men's basketball-men's hockey doubleheaders at the arena, one each in 2016 and 2017.

Penn St. & Michigan will be the featured schools on 1/30/16, which if I counted right is would be the weekend of the Pro Bowl.  From the press releases, I'm unable to tell who would be losing a home game in both sports.

* Forgot about this, but the Mountain West title game contract will enter its option year with CBS.  It appears that CBS has the option to pick up the game or not.  Ratings for the game were down slightly and the game itself doesn't get cleared by some affiliates, who instead shuffle it to a digital subchannel, or will join in late after local newscasts.

I'm unsure if CBS has the ability to place the game on CBS Sports Network, which isn't Nielsen rated but touts a subscriber number of 56 million.  The evening start may be desired by the conference to stay away from the other conference championships throughout the day, plus the possibility of a Hawai'i hosted game.

I do not know if ESPN, as the conference's other rightsholder, would be the next party to negotiate with the conference if CBS elects not to pick up the option or if the conference could take the rights to the game to the open market where FOX, NBC or another party could submit a bid.  The American Athletic Conference will hold their inaugural football championship game next year over the same weekend with ESPN holding the rights to the game, so that would fill up one of the openings.

* Have seen a pair of non-conference Big East games were pulled from FOX Sports 2 in favor or FSN regional distribution recently, specifically Rhode Island-Providence on 12/10 and North Dakota-Marquette on 12/22.  I don't know if these were changes were made in addition to those as part of conference play.  The conference website did not have the changes to FSN, but changes look like they were made in mid-to-late November based on the game notes of both Providence & Marquette.

One item could be that FOX promised their regional affiliates a set number of Big East games and by shifting two conference games from FSN to FOX Sports 1, they needed to make good with the number games being provided to those affiliates.  That's the only thing I can think of, especially since the games are not being replaced with live sports content on FS2.

* Enjoy the holiday break, no matter what you are or are not celebrating.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Short take on the 2018 Big Ten tournament at MSG

* In the near future, the Big Ten is expected to announce that their 2018 men's basketball tournament will be held at Madison Square Garden.  Per the report from Sports Illustrated, the conference is not displacing the Big East, but they'll hold the tournament the week prior to the Big East tournament.

A couple interesting items that encompass the forthcoming announcement:
  • The conference does not have a TV partner for this tournament as it will be the first tournament under a new rights agreement.  Currently the tournament is split between BTN, ESPN and CBS.  BTN and ESPN split the first three days equally, then CBS has the semifinals and championship games.  It would not surprise me though if the conference has been working with a future TV partner(s) on this tournament and the schedule surrounding it.

    Let's say the tournament remains a Wednesday through Sunday event as the SI report mentions and BTN continues to split the first three games with another network.  Would that network carry games in the afternoon & cede to BTN in the evening or vice-versa?  The conference tournament would be concurrent with the final week of the regular season for most other conferences and, for example, ESPN has a fairly regular rotation of games on weeknights and FOX usually has Big East & Pac-12 games.  Maybe BTN would take a larger role, much like both the Pac-12 and SEC Network have with their respective conference tournaments.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the schedule changed.  We should know more when the conference & MSG have an official announcement.
  • The conference members are not 100% set to ending their regular seasons at the end of the tournament.  There is nothing stopping any member from scheduling a game after the conference tournament, whether its Senior Day, a game to keep the team ready for the postseason or one to try to lift someone off the bubble.  St. Mary's did this in both 2009 and 2011, but neither extra game was enough to lift them to an NCAA tournament at-large berth.
There are definitely signs pointing towards FOX on a few items, such as this and the new Gavitt Challenge (though the first two years would have ESPN as a potential telecast outlet).  Whether it is to add content to BTN and in the process get content for a new media deal with the conference remains to be seen.

For now, this is only a one year deal.  No locations beyond 2018 have been set.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Early December News & Notes

* In this article from Forbes about how the SEC Network was created, a small graphic in the article notes that BTN has eclipsed 60 million subscribers in the US.

* FOX has made some changes to their men's college basketball schedule with respect to the Big East.  With a NASCAR marketing meeting this week, FOX may have been able to go through its planned schedule and elected to make some changes to its basketball schedule.  Doesn't hurt that the Big East schools are playing well during non-conference play.
  • 1/10 - Xavier at Butler moved from 2pm on FSN to 4:30pm on FS1.
  • 1/17 - Marquette at Xavier remains at 12pm, but moves from FSN to FS1
  • 2/14 - St. John's at Xavier, previously scheduled for 3pm with a flexible network decision of FOX or FS1, moves to a 12:30pm tip on FOX.  The Oregon at UCLA game which was the other game being flexed remains at 3pm with no determination yet as to the network airing the game, but could fit on either one. EDIT: Oregon at UCLA is now a FOX telecast, per Oregon website
  • 2/21 - Seton Hall at St. John's moved from 2:30pm on FS1 to 12pm on FOX.  The Villanova at Marquette game at 2pm on FOX has moved back thirty minutes to a 2:30pm tip.
  • 3/7 - Seton Hall at Georgetown & St. John's at Villanova, both previously scheduled for 12pm with a flexible network decision of FOX or FS1, will now both air on FOX.  The former remains at 12pm & the latter moves to 2pm.
The possible motorsports conflicts are around the final three dates
  • 2/14 is the Sprint Unlimited, but it is on FOX at night.  FS1 could be carrying some pre-race items from Daytona.  The ARCA race from Daytona is this day as well, which was shown live on FS1 last year in the late afternoon.
  • 2/21 has the Xfinity series from Daytona on FS1.  Presumably some Daytona 500 related coverage as well.
  • 3/7 has the Xfinity series from Las Vegas on FS1 and could have some Saturday practice coverage for the Sprint Cup race from that track the next day.
* ESPN MediaZone schedules for ESPN & ESPN2 are out through February and ESPNU through January, which means tentative plans have been set for the games on February 28th, which had all potential games on ESPN or ESPN2 with flexible tip times, and plans for ESPNU on January 3rd, when the network may air a NFL wild card playoff game.

All plans for those dates are tentative and ESPN says their College Gameday choices will be picked throughout the year.  So far MediaZone matches what I wrote earlier: the games & sites may not be as flexible as first thought, unless ESPN makes minor tip time adjustments.

* Was trying to figure out why there was a gap between the Conference USA (1:30pm) & Big East (8pm) championship games on FS1.  Think I might have spotted the gap and it may not be NASCAR as its race will be on FOX that day.  The FIA Formula E race from Miami on 3/14 will start at 4pm ET in a one hour timeslot.  

* If you were not aware, the Cure Bowl will air on CBS Sports Network next year.  The matchup will be the Sun Belt vs. the American, which Texas St. probably wishes was around for this year (wouldn't have helped Georgia Southern).

* As you probably know, UAB's decision to drop football puts the school's conference affiliation in a bind.  It probably puts a strain on C-USA as well when it comes to any negotiations that may have started towards new television contract as all three (FOX, CBSSN & Sinclair/ASN) expire after the next athletic year (2015-16).  C-USA might be one of the few current cases in college sports where the "bigger is better" philosophy for membership size has not worked out as they've seen the number of national telecasts decrease over the past couple years.

UAB intends to add men's cross country & track, so it looks like they plan to remain at the Division I level.  How that affects the possibility of remaining in C-USA, whose bylaws require all full members to sponsor football, remains to be seen. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Statistical Breakdown of CFB on TV in 2014 by Conference

Please note that these breakdowns are specific to the conference's television contract.  Non-conference road games revert to the home school's television contract.  The four independent schools are not listed here but you can see their breakdown on this page.

For entertainment purposes only, like when someone comes along to correct my math :)

  • Breakdown by network and compared to 2013
    • ABC: 7 (-7)
      • A 50% drop from 2013 
        • Count does not include ACC Championship game in either year.
      • Florida St. appeared in six of the seven games.  Only Notre Dame vs. Syracuse did not feature the Seminoles.
      • Four in primetime & three at 3:30pm ET
        • One of the 3:30pm games was regional only and not shown with a ESPN or ESPN2 reverse mirror
    • ESPN: 18 (+6)
      • Nine on Saturdays, three on Fridays, five on Thursday & one Labor Day game
    • ESPN2: 6 (+3)
    • ESPNU: 15 (-3)
    • Clemson had the most ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU cable appearances with eight, followed by Louisville, Pittsburgh & Miami (FL) with seven and Georgia Tech with six.
    • ESPNEWS: 2
    • ESPN3: 14
      • All non-conference games in September
    • Regional syndication (RSNs & ACC Network) accounted for 32 games
      • 17 RSN games
        • Two in primetime
        • North Carolina was the only school not to appear here.
        • NC State, Boston College and Syracuse had four appearances each.
      • 15 ACC Network games
        • One split telecast window
        • Up one game from 2013
        • Florida St. was the only school not to appear in this package.
        • North Carolina had the most appearances with five.
  • 2014 was the first year of a new television contract for the conference.  ESPN controls the rights to the conference and sublicenses a package of games to CBS Sports Network
  • Breakdown by network.  The number in parenthesis are the number of games on Saturdays
    • ABC: 3 (all)
      • All were reverse mirrored
    • ESPN: 6  (1)
    • ESPN2: 7 (2)
    • ESPNU: 13 (6)
    • ESPNEWS: 14 (all)
    • ESPN3: 11 (all)
      • Two of the games were intraconference games.
    • CBS Sports Network: 15 (13)
      • One game per week selected as part of the in-season selection process
      • SMU had the most CBSSN appearances with six.
    • Three of weeknight/day games were on Black Friday
  • Missing from this conference, when compared to the old television package signed under the Big East, is regional syndication through ESPN.  One game, Stony Brook at Connecticut, was aired on regional television.
  • It is my understanding that the American is guaranteed 28 games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  They had 29.
    • Both UCF and East Carolina appeared seven times each as part of the 29 games.  Memphis, who clinched a share of the conference title, appeared three times.  Both Cincinnati & Houston appeared five times are part of the primary package. 
  • The conference had 84% of its conference controlled football games on televise (58 of 69).  The goal is to televise somewhere between 80 to 90 of conference controlled football games.
  • ESPN selected eighteen or nineteen Big 12 games available to be selected by them
    • Depending how you count the Oklahoma St.-Florida St. game in Arlington, that could be the nineteenth Big 12 game for ESPN.  I've counted UCLA vs. Texas as a Big 12 game because ESPN organized it but FOX televised it, presumably by asserting telecast rights based on the location of the game.
    • ABC: 9 or 10 (+2 or +3)
      • Two ABC games were shown regionally without a reverse mirror to ESPN or ESPN2
    • ESPN: 7 (+2)
    • ESPNU: 1 (-2)
    • No games nationally on ESPN2. 2013 had two games on the network
    • Longhorn Network: 1 (-1)
      • LHN carried two games, but one counts as Texas's institutional game
    • There were 14 (or 15) national exposures on through ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.  ESPN's Big 12 rights agreement requires 13 to 15 national exposures.
  • FOX carried 38 games through their national rights package.  Comparison to 2013 in parenthesis
    • FOX: 8 (-2)
    • FS1: 23 (even)

    • FSN: 7 (even)
      • FSN additionally carried four Big 12 schools institutional games to multiple regions
      • Kansas appeared on FSN the most (four)
    • FOX is required to carry six games each on their broadcast network plus six games on a national cable outlet
  • Overall, the conference had 45 (or 46) full national games.  The requirement is 25 full national games over ABC, ESPN, FOX and FS1.  This number includes reverse mirror showings on ABC & ESPN or ESPN2.  Without the reverse mirror games, the number is 43 (or 44) games.
  • On the broadcast networks, TCU appeared six times and Baylor five times.  Kansas St. just twice, but led all schools in national cable appearances with eight (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1).  Kansas had the most appearances on FSN (four) for games that were not bonus/institutional games.
Big Ten
  • Breakdown of games by channel
    • ABC: 20
      • Ten full national games, nine reverse mirror & one regional game without a reverse mirror
    • ESPN: 5
    • ESPN2: 16
    • ESPNU: 9
    • ESPNEWS: 5
    • BTN: 40
  • In total, ESPN carried 55 Big Ten controlled games.  Until this season, ESPN's capped number of Big Ten games was 41.  The additions of Rutgers and Maryland appear to have increased the number of games ESPN could take substantially.
  • The number of games on ESPN is down from 2013, from nine to five, while the number of games on ESPN2 nearly doubled, up from nine to sixteen
  • ESPNEWS carried its five games earlier in the year.  None after September.
  • The conference had three November night games, bucking a trend of scheduling no night games past the end of October.
  • BTN had eight multi-game telecast windows, down from twelve in 2013.  Six of the eight windows carried two games concurrently.  No window carried more than three games at a time.
  • Ohio St. had the most appearances on ABC (eight), followed by Michigan St. (five) and Michigan (four).
  • Should be noted that the conference's membership again changed between 2013 & 2014.
  • FOX and C-USA appear to group all games on all FOX owned properties (FS1, FSN and FOX College Sports) into a thirty game bucket.
    • FS1 and FOX College Sports each carried nine games
      • FS1's number is down three from '13
      • FOX College's number is down one from last season
      • Note that one game moved from FCS up to FS1 (FAU-Marshall on 10/25)
    • FSN carried 12 games, up four from 2013
    • Five of the nine games on FS1 were on Saturdays, which is up one game from '14
  • The number of C-USA controlled games on CBS Sports Network declined for the third straight year.
    • 2012: 15
    • 2013: 12
    • 2014: 7
  • Overall, sixteen C-USA controlled regular season games were shown on national television (FS1 or CBSSN).
  • American Sports Network filled a gap that regional cable stations like Time Warner-Texas & CSS previously filled.  
  • The conference had eight weekday/night games on television in '14 which is two less than '13.  The split of Thursday & Friday games was even at four apiece compared to '13 when seven of the ten games were on Thursdays. 
  • The numbers are fairly flat compared to 2013 for ESPN television platforms
    • ESPN: 2 (no games in '13)
    • ESPN2: 6 (does not conference championship game in either year)
    • ESPNU: 7 (even)
      • An eighth ESPNU game was lost due to cancellation (Kent St. at Buffalo)
    • ESPNEWS: 1 (down two)
    • ESPN stopped syndicating MAC games to local stations in 2014
  • The biggest change was ESPN taking over rights to all MAC controlled football games.  Previously they only had a portion of the games and the conference could then work with regional broadcasters or local stations to carry games.  55 MAC controlled games will air on ESPN3 exclusively this year, compared to 43 last year.
  • Conversely, nine games were televised by regional broadcasters in 2013.  This year just four games were regionally televised, all by Buckeye Cable.
  • CBS Sports Network carried twenty three games.  Nineteen on Saturdays and four on Fridays
    • Breakdown by timeslot of the Saturday games using Eastern time as the base
      • Mid-afternoon: 2
      • Evening/Primetime: 7
      • Late Evening: 10
  • ESPN carried twenty four games.  Sixteen Saturday games and eight weeknight games
    • Breakdown of games by network compared to 2013
      • ESPN: 3 (-1)
      • ESPN2: 7 (+2)
      • ESPNU: 7 (-3, note that one game on ESPNU in '13 was sublicensed from CBSSN)
      • ESPNEWS: 3 (+2)
      • ESPN3: 4 (-1)
    • Nearly all MW games on ESPN Networks started later than 8pm ET.
      • Ten of the games on ESPNU or ESPN2 started at 10pm ET or later.
      • Two ESPNEWS games started at 4pm ET
    • Boise St. led with five appearances on ESPN or ESPN2.  Utah St. and Fresno St. had three each.  Colorado St. had one and Air Force had zero.
  • Pac-12 Networks carried 35 games over 32 telecast windows
    • Breakdown by local start time (Saturday games only)
      • Pre-noon: 4
      • Noon - 3:30pm: 18
      • 4pm-6:30pm: 3
      • 7pm or later: 7
    • The seven 7pm or later starts on Saturdays are down four from 2013
  • ESPN carried twenty-two games.  Seventeen on Saturdays
    • ABC: 6 (5 Saturdays)
      • Three at 3:30pm ET (one reverse mirror) & two primetime games on Saturdays
    • ESPN: 13 (9 Saturdays)
      • Two at 3:30pm ET
    • ESPN2: 2 
    • ESPNU: 1
  • FOX carried twenty-two games.  Sixteen on Saturdays.
    • FOX: 10 (9 Saturdays)
      • Five in the mid afternoon and four in primetime on Saturdays
    • FOX Sports 1: 12 (7 Saturdays)
      • Utah at Oregon St. was moved in its entirety to FOX Sports 2, with additional coverage on Pac-12 Networks & local stations, due to the MLB playoffs.
      • FS1's seven Saturday games had four late evening starts (7pm local time or later)
  • The number of late evening games is often a talking point when it comes to the Pac-12.  Overall, FOX and ESPN carried fourteen Saturday late evening ET / primetime PT games.  This is two less when compared with last year.  Both ESPN and FOX carried one less late evening game.
  • For games on broadcast networks, USC led with five games.  Oregon, Stanford and UCLA each had four.  Arizona St. & Washington both had three and Arizona had two.  For games on national cable outlets, Arizona St., Utah and Oregon St. each had six games and Arizona and Oregon each had five (ESPNs, FS1 & 2).  Colorado led the way with nine games on Pac-12 Networks.
  • CBS carried fifteen regular season games with their usual single primetime game and one doubleheader of 12pm & 3:30pm games.  Nothing much to report.
  • Breakdown of SEC games on ESPN platforms.  Numbers are down across the board on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, which makes sense based on what I posted earlier this year (hit the number on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU on the nose: 32).
    • ESPN: 17 (-4)
    • ESPN2: 7 (-5)
    • ESPNU: 8 (-3)
    • SEC Network: 48
      • 49 if you count the Iron Bowl simulcast
      • 44 unique telecast slots.  Four slots had two concurrent games.
  • FOX's regional sublicense package carried only five games which is lower than most years where it carried around eight games.  The package did not have any intraconference games.  These games will return to ESPN next athletic year.
  • SEC Network carried 20 intraconference games exclusively.  Each week had at least one intraconference except for September 6th.  Comparing this to '13 using SEC TV, FOX RSNs and CSS games, this is an increase from 11 games.  Please note that those three packages carried 29 games.
  • As we know and I botched, Alabama had five appearances on CBS which is why the Iron Bowl ended up on ESPN.  LSU and Auburn had the most appearances on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU with six.   Kentucky and Vanderbilt had the most SEC Network appearances with eight.
  • Alabama and Ole Miss did not play a intraconference game exclusively on SEC Network, A simulcast of the Iron Bowl aired on the network.
Sun Belt
  • The number of Sun Belt games on ESPN's television networks increased slightly.  Possibly due to increase in membership size.
    • Six games on ESPNU on Thursdays or Fridays
    • Two midweek games on ESPN2
    • Two additional games on ESPNEWS early in the season
  • With the loss of the Sun Belt Network partnership between Comcast's CSS and Cox Sports TV, ESPN3 picked up the slack.  48 games were aired exclusively on ESPN3
    • Some of the games were branded as Sun Belt Network & aired sporadically on ESPN GamePlan
  • The only school producing games for regional television was New Mexico St. through AggieVision