Friday, May 15, 2015

ACC Early Season/Weeknight TV, Neutral Site Games on TV, B1G Homecoming & MW Championship News

* A few brief highlights from the ACC early season & weeknight telecast schedule:
  • Notre Dame at Virginia will be full national on ABC on 9/12.
  • Three of the four Friday night games will start at 8pm
    • Both New Mexico at Arizona St. on 9/18 & Stanford at Oregon St. on 9/25 look like they are going to air on FOX Sports 1 or Pac-12 Networks, unless ESPN2 is used to show these games with the ACC games on ESPN.
    • Louisville at Wake Forest (7pm) & Wyoming at Utah St. will air as an ESPN2 doubleheader on 10/30.  I assume this is due to the NBA airing on ESPN that night.
  • Alcorn St. at Georgia Tech will be an RSN game on a weeknight (Thursday) and that package will not be used during the weekend.  I assume that FOX, who airs the RSN package, preferred to air a game this particular evening.  Might also be a sign regarding their approach to other Big 12 and C-USA games that weekend since FS1 is not available most of that day with two MLB games and expected UFC pay-per-view prelims.
  • The start time of 7pm for the North Carolina at Pittsburgh game on Thursday 10/29 could be a hint that ESPN will follow that game with Oregon at Arizona St.   West Virginia at TCU looks to be set for FOX Sports 1.
  • ACC championship game will air on ABC at 8pm or ESPN at 7:45pm.
* The Mountain West's football championship will move to ESPN2 starting with the 2015 game.  It appears that this move is for the life of the existing television agreement with ESPN, which ends after the 2019-20 athletic year.  ESPN & ESPN2 are the options available each year.

The game has already been set for 7:30pm ET.

* Big Ten homecoming start times have been released by the schools.  They are the games listed with ESPN Networks & BTN here.

* No neutral site game times have been announced, but Kevin Kelley of FBSchedules shared an interesting item regarding the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic game between Auburn and Louisville.
First off, you should follow FBSchedules.  He gets a lot of great information about game contracts and I'm grateful that he elected to share this.

What I found fascinating is that CBS does have to be offered the game first and decline it before ABC or ESPN can pick it up.  I have always struggled with who should be considered the rightsholder, but its fairly clear that the game is considered to be a SEC game.  CBS potentially has the space (more on that below) as ESPN now has full rights to the US Open tennis tournament.

What I don't know, or have knowledge of, is whether this was true for:
  • Previous Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classics
  • Other neutral site games like the Cowboys Classic or the Advocare Texas Kickoff in Houston.
    • Yes, its possible that when the Big 12 has played in these games, they are considered the rightsholder for TV purposes.  The UCLA vs. Texas game on FOX last year in a game organized by ESPN can fall into this pool.
What I do know is the following for '15:
  • Auburn vs. Louisville, per the Louisville website, will air in primetime on ABC or ESPN, so it appears that CBS did pass on this game if this information is accurate.
  • CBS is scheduled to air a Premier Boxing Champions event in September at 4:30pm ET.  That's important because CBS in theory has limited space on the weekends to show that event live to all viewers.  Starting on 9/13, there's the NFL.  SEC games start in September.  While CBS no longer has the US Open, I would think that CBS really only has two possible dates to air this boxing event: 9/5 or 9/6.  I personally think its 9/5 is the date.
  • We saw last year CBS lost out on the ability to carry the Iron Bowl because they had chosen their maximum of five Alabama games before the selection of the Auburn game was made available.  Yes, there is an option to choose a sixth game on occasion.  But if you choose an Auburn, Alabama or Texas A&M game here, you could run yourself short of potential selections later in the year or on a game you want later in the year.
I'm not sure if CBS will choose one of these games, if they have the ability to choose from all three.  I still feel like it is less likely.  But it is fascinating to know that CBS does have the option to do so.


Unknown said...

Options for Chick-Fil-A Kickoff
CBS-3:30, PBC on Sunday,
CBS-7:00 After PBC on Saturday
ESPN-7:00, PBC on CBS on Saturday

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Note that if its a night game on CBS, they don't get another one unless they negotiate with ESPN like they did a few years back for a second one.