Monday, June 1, 2015

Notes on Partial Big 12, C-USA & Pac-12 CFB TV Release

If you want to look through everything on a per-week basis, here's the schedules.

First, notes on the FOX Sports CFB Release
  • Not really surprised that there are no games scheduled for FOX Sports 2.   At this time, FOX may not be able to schedule games on that network.  And they might not want to right now.
  • Unlike 2014, FOX Sports 1 stayed away from taking any Thursday or Friday night games while they would be potentially carrying the American League Division Series & Championship Series.  They took a lot of flack for having to move a game over to FOX Sports 2 and making extra plans to show the game on Pac-12 Networks and locally due to the NLCS last year.  Smart move.
  • The TV windows on their spring press release rarely ever holds up throughout the season.  Don't be surprised if there are changes made closer to the season to account for the MLB playoffs.
  • There are three "Teams TBA" windows on 9/5 & 9/12.  I think they're going to be used on the Big 12.  See their section.
  • Overall, the number of scheduled windows break down like this for the regular season:
    • FOX - 17 (-1 from '14)
    • FOX Sports 1 - 40 (-3 from '14)
      • 29 on Saturdays (-2 from '14)
    • FSN - 26 games over 25 windows (+3 games from '14)
      • Currently, one TV window has two games.
    • FCS - 10 (no change)
    • Note that 2014 was a 15 week regular season (14 weeks plus Championship Saturday) where 2015 will be 14 weeks (13 weeks plus Championship Saturday).
  • Based on the the total number of telecast windows across all outlets, here's the number of games by conference (93 games)
    • 22 - Pac-12
    • 30 - C-USA
    • 41 - Big 12
      • 36 or 37 through the national package & four or five 3rd tier games
  • Three games were set for television outlets without a start time & a fourth has not yet been set for TV
    • 9/5: Akron at Oklahoma (FOX Pay Per View) & Sam Houston St. at Texas Tech (FSN)
    • 9/12; UTEP at Texas Tech (FSN) & Stephen F. Austin at TCU (not announced)
      • For SFA at TCU, I suppose it is possible that the game could air on an ESPN platform.  This particular game is not TCU's 3rd tier game.
    • The 9/5 games are considered 3rd tier / institutional games, where the other two are part of FOX's national package.
  • Of the "Member Institution Retained Football Games" (Big 12's new phrasing), half of them (5) are against other FBS opponents.  Rice is the opponent in two of them.  Last year, three of the ten 3rd tier games involved FBS opponents.
  • This will be the first season since 2007 that ESPN will not carry a Big 12 controlled Thursday night game.  FS1 will carry all three.
  • The two Big 12 games on 12/5 will be split between the ESPN and FOX packages.  FOX says their game will be on FS1.
  • ESPN's maximum number of Big 12 games is 19.  Assuming the 12/5 game plus the Baylor at TCU game on Black Friday, they will have 17 selections to use over thirteen weeks.
  • Based on the 12/5 game plus the five FS1 selections, FOX has met it minimum for a national cable network.  FOX broadcast network will need to air another four games to achieve their broadcast network minimum of six.
  • Counting the two 12/5 games, assuming the game assigned to ESPN is on a full national platform, ten games are set for full national telecasts.  ESPN and FOX must combine for fifteen more national telecasts for the remaining weeks.  Full national games on ABC, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX Sports 1 count towards the 25 games that must air to the country, which includes games that are reverse mirrored on ABC and either ESPN or ESPN2. 
  • In terms of when the weeknight games were announced, here's the order with the TV partner
    • Purdue at Marshall (FS1)
    • Temple at Charlotte (CBSSN)
    • Southern Miss at Marshall (CBSSN)
    • Six remaining non-Saturday moves for national TV (mix of FS1 & CBSSN)
  • Four games between 10/31 & 11/21 (one per week) will air on FOX College Sports.  Appears that FOX will include that network in the 12 day selections of its C-USA games.  Three of those four weeks have three C-USA games set aside for FOX.
  • CBSSN's number of C-USA selections remained flat compared to 2014 (seven w/three intraconference games), but will have no games after Rice at UTEP on Friday 11/6.
  • Neither FOX nor CBSSN pre-selected NC State at Old Dominion on 9/19.  CBSSN wanted to air the game on a weeknight, but NC State declined the request to move the game.  It appears the game will air as part of the American Sports Network package, which should be announced in the summer.
  • By airing Stanford at USC as a primetime game on ABC, ESPN has already achieved its minimum number of Pac-12 controlled primetime games.  What is somewhat interesting about this telecast window for ABC is that it is not exclusive.  The Pac-12 Networks will be airing games throughout this telecast window.
  • Counting FOX's Black Friday window, they have two of their eight broadcast network selections accounted for.  Of the minimum six remaining selections for FOX broadcast network, at least four have to air in primetime.  
    • Note that Saturday afternoon windows on broadcast networks are not intended to be exclusive.  Only Saturday night windows and it appears exclusivity can be waived in select cases.  
  • Both ESPN and FOX have fifteen selections remaining per network over ten Saturdays.
  • FOX Sports 1 will carry three weeknight games, one of which is on Black Friday.  This is down from five last year, which did not have a Black Friday game.
  • Pac-12 Networks on 9/19 has an odd start time for the Wyoming at Washington St. game.  I assume the Utah St. at Washington and Wyoming at Washington St. games will be attached to each other on the Northwest RSN and possibly the Rocky Mountain RSN.  Right now, I would expect all other networks to air the San Jose St. at Oregon St. game.
  • The move of New Mexico at Arizona St. to Friday 9/18 "will be televised live to a national audience on a network to be announced later".  While Pac-12 Networks is offered through many providers on a national basis through sports tiers outside of the conference footprint, in my opinion, this doesn't quite feel like a national telecast.  I completely understand the need to move it as both Arizona & Arizona St. would have been playing in the evening on 9/19 without the move, potentially on the Pac-12 Networks.

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