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. 

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