Monday, April 13, 2015

Parsing Out Games for the Mountain West TV Deals in 2015

The Mountain West has a unique set of provisions when it comes to its television contracts.   Some are school related, for example with both Boise St. and Hawai'i.  Other provisions involve the process of the two national rightsholders and their game selections, where CBS can select and handful of games for CBS Sports Network ahead of ESPN.  And there is ROOT Sports, who is more likely to televise games involving schools in their regional television footprint.

So I figured I would try my hand at mapping out the Mountain West selections.  In a previous post, I mapped out the games I thought CBS had selected as their top eight games.  So after that they would have fourteen remaining selections.

ESPN has the rights to all Boise St. home games, which means that ESPN would have sixteen remaining selections in 2015 as the Broncos have six home games.   ESPN and CBS have the ability to swap one Boise St. home game for a conference road game, but I do not believe a trade of games between the networks is required.  Of the four games CBSSN has access to, I believe the road games at Utah St. and UNLV would be the ones CBS would be willing to part with.  In my opinion, the San Jose St. road game is the least likely to be offered up for a trade because of the late season date.  Similarly, the game that would least likely fit into the CBSSN schedule is the home game vs. Wyoming on 10/24.  The reasons for that will be more apparent as you continue reading.

Hawai'i is also unique because it does not partake in the Mountain West's TV deal with respect to a monetary payout.  They derive their TV revenue from a local television deal with Oceanic Cable, who makes the games available on a pay-per-view basis.  For the school to receive its maximum payout, seven games must be made available to the PPV package.  Typically the games come from the Mountain West controlled games.  The two non-conference road games they play are both at Big Ten schools (Ohio St. and Wisconsin), so those will both appear on outlets that should preclude them from being offered in a PPV package.

So let's take a look.  There are a handful of places in both the CBSSN & ESPN lists where weeknight games could be possible and I've marked them in bold.   Some games have already been moved to weeknights.

CBSSN (22 games)
Colorado at Hawai'i (9/3)
Morgan St. at Air Force (9/5)
Arizona at Nevada (9/12)
UCLA at UNLV (9/12)
Utah at Fresno St. (9/19)
New Mexico at Wyoming (9/26)
Hawai'i at Boise St. (10/3, trade for Utah St. road game with ESPN)
Fresno St. at San Diego St. (10/3)
Boise St. at Colorado St. (10/10)
New Mexico at Nevada (10/10)
UNLV at Fresno St. (10/17)
San Diego St. at San Jose St. (10/17)
San Diego St. at Colorado St. (10/31)
Boise St. at UNLV (10/31)
Army at Air Force (11/7)
Hawai'i at UNLV (11/7)
UNLV at Colorado St. (11/14)
Wyoming at San Diego St. (11/14)
Nevada at Utah St. (11/21)
Boise St. at San Jose St. (11/28)
BYU at Utah St. (11/28)
UNLV at Wyoming (11/28)

With the CBSSN schedule there is one real "problem" week and that is week eight (Thursday 10/22 - Saturday 10/24).  Currently scheduled for those days in the evening is the PBR World Finals, which are being shown live on CBSSN each of those nights at 9pm ET.  Tulane at Navy is scheduled for CBSSN at 1pm ET on 10/24 and while it is an American Athletic Conference game, it is outside the conference's TV deal as it is a Navy home game.  It is my understanding that the AAC will have at least one game a week on CBSSN coming from their TV deal, but a Mountain West game could certainly be placed here.

ESPN (22 games)
Washington at Boise St. (9/4)
Minnesota at Colorado St. (9/12)
Tulsa at New Mexico (9/12)
Idaho St. at Boise St. (9/18)
Fresno St. at San Jose St. (9/26)
Colorado St. at Utah St. (10/3)
UNLV at Nevada (10/3)
Utah St. at Fresno St. (10/10)
San Jose St. at UNLV (10/10)
Boise St. at Utah St. (10/17)
Nevada at Wyoming (10/17)
Hawai'i at New Mexico (10/17)
Wyoming at Boise St. (10/24)
New Mexico at San Jose St. (10/24)
Wyoming at Utah St. (10/31)
BYU at San Jose St. (11/7)
New Mexico at Boise St. (11/14)
San Jose St. at Nevada (11/14)
Air Force at Boise St. (11/21)
San Diego St. at UNLV (11/21)
Colorado St. at Fresno St. (11/28)
Nevada at San Diego St. (11/28)

One note regarding Boise St. - up to three of their Mountain West controlled games can air on non-Saturday dates.  They currently have three total weeknight games with two of those games part of the Mountain West TV contract: 9/4 vs. Washington and 9/18 vs. Idaho St.  A third game, at Virginia on 9/25, is not part of the count because it is part of the ACC's package of games.  With that said, each of the past two years have seen BSU with two non-Saturday games in the Mountain West and a third non-Saturday game as a non-conference road or neutral site game, so if that trend continues, the remainder of the Broncos' schedule could be Saturday games.  But one more game could move to a weeknight on ESPN.

Also, remember that ESPN can spread its initial 22 games among all of its platforms, including ESPNEWS and ESPN3.

Hawai'i PPV (7 games, webcasts back to mainland on MW Digital Network)
UC Davis at Hawai'i (9/19)
San Diego St. at Hawai'i (10/10)
Hawai'i at Nevada (10/24)
Air Force at Hawai'i (10/31)
Fresno St. at Hawai'i (11/14)
San Jose St. at Hawai'i (11/21)
UL-Monroe at Hawai'i (11/28)

ROOT Sports (9 games, out-of-market webcasts on MW Digital Network)
New Mexico St. at New Mexico (10/3)
Wyoming at Air Force (10/10)
Air Force at Colorado St. (10/17)
Utah St. at San Diego St. (10/24)
Colorado St. at Wyoming (11/7)
Utah St. at New Mexico (11/7)
Utah St. at Air Force (11/14)
Colorado St. at New Mexico (11/21)
Air Force at New Mexico (11/28)

San Diego St. has had a game in the regional package each of the last two seasons.  FOX Sports San Diego has picked up the ROOT Sports production in both cases.  Note that Utah St. at San Diego St. is the same Saturday (10/24) where CBSSN may not be able to carry a Mountain West game.

MW Digital Network (some Campus Insiders productions, some self produced)
Southern Utah at Utah St. (9/3)
UC Davis at Nevada (9/3)
New Hampshire at San Jose St. (9/3)
Savannah St. at Colorado St. (9/5)
Mississippi Valley St. at New Mexico (9/5)
Abilene Christian at Fresno St. (9/5)
North Dakota at Wyoming (9/5)
San Diego at San Diego St. (9/5)
San Jose St. at Air Force (9/12)
Eastern Michigan at Wyoming (9/12)
South Alabama at San Diego St. (9/19)
Idaho St. at UNLV (9/26)
Fresno St. at Air Force (10/24)
Nevada at Fresno St. (11/7)

In 2013, the Mountain West Digital Network carried three intraconference games, but just one in 2014.  I have three on the digital network this year.

Finally, ESPN and CBSSN can come back and choose two games each once ROOT and Campus Insiders/MW Networks chooses the games they will produce.  For the purpose of this exercise, I didn't place a 23rd or 24th game on either TV partner's schedule.  ESPN could certainly add two and place them on ESPN3, where CBSSN doesn't have the digital exclusive platform to use at this time.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

bigddan11 said...

While it is not likely, if CBS needed to air a game on Oct 24 to meet their full set of MW games they could always move it to mainland CBS. After all the BYU/SDSU MBB game in 2011 game aired on CBS but counted as one of the MW CBSSN games. They could even do it at night, like they do the MW Championship.

Because of their locations the 10/24 Utah State at San Diego State screams ESPNU or 3 to me while San Jose State at Air Force screams ROOT Sports. Supporting that is the fact that ROOT has picked up every Air Force home game not on an ESPN Network or CBSSN since 2013. I do realize they passed over a couple of games in 2012 when they first had the contract, but those were non-conference games, and Altitude ended up picking them up before they started MW Net in 2013. I think they would have been Root Sports games if there had been a MW Net i 2012.

I'm sure it has to do with Colorado Springs not being too far away, but I agree with virtually every other game possibility you have listed.