Thursday, July 23, 2015

ESPN making deals, MW on ROOT/CI & Emerald Coast Classic adds TV

* ESPN has been active outside of the Power 5 football conferences, signing new contracts with the Southern, Southland and Missouri Valley conferences within the past month.  The big events for both the SoCon and Southland are the championship game of the men's basketball tournament and most of the events for those two conferences will be webcasts through ESPN3.  In the case of the SoCon and MVC, the schools will start receiving production equipment from ESPN to start self-producing events for ESPN3.  Over the last two to three years, ESPN has worked with multiple conferences, such as the Atlantic Sun, ACC, MAC and SEC, to take on production of games & events not shown on television.

The semifinals of the MVC men's basketball tournament have been added to ESPN's rights.  Previously these were packaged with the quarterfinals and first round games to be shown on regional TV (ie. FSMidwest, CSN Chicago, etc.).  ESPN already had rights to the men's basketball championship game which has been sublicensed to CBS for about a decade.  For the moment, it is not clear on the status of the sublicense of the game in future years.

EDIT: Per a teleconference announcing the deal, local and regional telecast deals have been preserved.  With respect to who will produce it, on-air talent, etc., I'm not sure.

Also, the existing sublicense of ESPN basketball to CBS ends after the 2015-16 season.

* The Mountain West released its ROOT Sports and Campus Insiders packages.  ESPN also used one of their supplemental picks on Tulsa at New Mexico.  Three games remain without live video at the moment.

Southern Utah at Utah St. (9/3)
New Hampshire at San Jose St. (9/3)
Mississippi Valley St. at New Mexico (9/5, a telecast is expected)

It has already been announced that the North Dakota at Wyoming game will not be televised or webcast.  Two other games, UC Davis at Hawai'i & Hawai'i at Nevada, have not had a TV announcement but other Hawai'i games not selected by CBSSN, ESPN and ROOT Sports have been picked up by Oceanic PPV with a companion webcast available through the MW Network.

* The Emerald Coast Classic semifinals and championship game will air on CBS Sports Network.  Last year CBSSN aired the championship game only.  The semifinals are scheduled for after the conclusion of the Boise St. at San Jose St. game on Black Friday and the championship game will fit in the two hour time slot between the conclusion of BYU at Utah St. and the start of Colorado St. at Fresno St.

I do not know what this means for the airing of the Corpus Christi Challenge which has aired on CBSSN during this timeframe the past couple years.  The Great Alaska Shootout is also during this time of the year and I'm told from a source that they are working to continue their relationship with CBSSN.

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