Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Notes: Mountain West National TV Schedule, Atlantic 10 on ASN, FS1 doubleheader from Pearl Harbor

* The Mountain West released its primary schedule of Saturday ESPN and CBS Sports Network telecasts on Tuesday.  Here's the link of all the Mountain West controlled games selected by both parties.  Here's a few brief notes on the games selected and other scheduling items surrounding those selections:
  • Fresno St. will have a unique four week stretch of 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT Saturday starts on CBSSN between 9/19 and 10/10.  They'll also play a fifth straight late start vs. UNLV the following week, but on a Friday.
  • The trade of Boise St. games between CBS Sports Network and ESPN was ESPN sending the Idaho St. home game to CBSSN in exchange for the road game at UNLV airing on an ESPN platform.
  • Two Army games appear to have been locked into their time slots on CBSSN.  The Wake Forest game on 9/19 is locked into the 12pm ET start due to three other games already scheduled at 3:30pm, 7pm and 10:30pm ET, respectively.  The Bucknell game on 10/17 also appears to be locked into a noon start with the Air Force at Colorado St. game starting at 3:30pm.  Army has requested all of its Saturday games to kickoff at 12pm or 3:30pm with 12pm being preferential.
  • There was a report a few weeks back from the Virginian-Pilot that NC State turned down a request for moving their game at Old Dominion to Friday 9/18 on CBS Sports Network.  Looking back on that and we now see the 9/19 is completely on CBSSN, so it appears that the game could revert to be a FOX selection.
  • The games on 11/28 on CBSSN are somewhat uniquely scheduled.  BYU at Utah St. will start at a fairly normal start time of 3:30pm ET.  Assuming a three and a half hour telecast window, 7pm would start the next event.  What is different is the start time of the Colorado St. at Fresno St., which is 9pm ET, which leaves only two hours between the end of one game & the start of the next. What CBSSN could be trying to fit in is the championship game from a basketball event, such as the Emerald Coast Classic or the Corpus Christi Challenge.  My money would be on the Emerald Coast event, which has three teams from Power 5 conferences (Illinois, Iowa St. and Virginia Tech) and a fourth who won a game in the NCAA Tournament in '15 (UAB).  With the finish of the football game at 12:30am, again using a three and a half hour TV window, they could carry the final of the Great Alaska Shootout, maybe by moving the tip time of that game back an hour.
  • I struggle nearly every year with the rightsholder for the Colorado-Colorado St. game in Denver.  Going back to 2008, the it seemed to air on the Pac-12 or Big 12 TV partner for two straight years, then revert to the Mountain West rights holder.  So I would have thought that 2015's game would have reverted to the Pac-12 and it didn't:
    • 2008: FSN
    • 2009: FSN (game in Boulder)
    • 2010: The mtn.
    • 2011: FSN
    • 2012: F/X
    • 2013: CBSSN
    • 2014: FS1
  • Since I did take a stab at parsing out which games each Mountain West TV partner would pick up, here's how I did with the national packages.  In short, not great and that's with having the ability to place Boise St.'s games with specific rightsholders: 
    • CBSSN: 10 of 22
    • ESPN: 8 of 22
    • Potential Hawai'i PPV: Six matching games, so far.
  • At the risk of sounding repetitive, Army's start times on CBSSN should be available by the end of the week.  Their agreement with CBS requires home start times to be set by May 1st.
* The Atlantic 10 have signed a enhanced agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting's American Sports Network.  Two key items in the deal with respect to men's basketball are that the syndicator will show at least 32 men's basketball games and air the two first round games in the men's basketball tournament involving seeds 11 through 14.

The two tournament games aired on Comcast RSNs in 2015 (noted with the conference logo here).  I am not sure if this package of games is replacing the SNY/Comcast regional package or the Campus Insiders package, or if this is a new package of games that will be selected out of the games that did not air on any of the national TV packages nor the regional & internet exclusive packages.  For example, Richmond has had games on local stations in recent years, Dayton has had games on Time Warner Cable & FOX Sports Ohio, Davidson on local cable, etc. and the 32 games could come from a new source.

* FOX Sports 1 will televise a MBK doubleheader from Pearl Harbor on 12/7/15.  It will include the Villanova-Oklahoma game previously discussed plus a game between Oregon and Navy.  It will be part of a four day stint that FOX will be in Hawai'i with various studio and live programming.  More on FOX's stay in Hawai'i can be found here.

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