Friday, August 7, 2015

FOX CFB Scheduling for Soccer & MLB, MBK Events

* It appears that the CONCACAF playoff match to determine the Confederations Cup representative in 2017 could be moving to Saturday, October 10th from an announced date of Friday, October 9th.  The game is being played at the Rose Bowl and UCLA is off that weekend, but with FOX Sports as the TV partner, a move has a few complications.

FOX will start its coverage of the ALDS on FS1 either Thursday 10/8 or Friday 10/9.  It does not have any college football scheduled for Friday, but FOX has a windows scheduled for 7:30pm ET and FS1 has two set aside at 12pm and 4pm ET on Saturday.  No decisions have been made as to when the LDS games will start but FOX does have to provide MLB Network with two LDS games.  FOX already may know which dates MLB intends to scheduled the ALDS, so they may already know that they'll either only have on.  I don't think FOX broadcast network will have any LDS games.

FOX may also know which football games will be available to them in the 12 day selection process or at least when they'll be selecting in comparison to other networks.  If they have the ability to select a game like Oklahoma vs. Texas, which is a game that is typically played during the daytime for many reasons, that 7:30pm window could become a 12pm or 3:30pm window on the broadcast network, remain open as part of a (split?) doubleheader with a game window moving from FS1 or some other combo.

Saturday does give FOX a bit more flexibility with the soccer match, even with more potential events for FOX and FS1 to schedule.

* ESPN Events will now take operational control of the NIT Tip Off event.  Note that the NCAA retains ownership but ESPN will handle tickets, finding teams, etc.  The event will be played at the Barclays Center beginning in 2015 as part of a four year deal with the management company that handles both the arena in Brooklyn and the Nassau Coliseum, who will get the event in 2017.

The postseason event's semifinals and championship game will remain at Madison Square Garden, scheduled for March 29th and 31st.

Also, the Barclay Center Classic, scheduled for 11/27 and 11/28, should be an evening affair on 11/27 with the NIT Tip Off 3rd place and championship in the early afternoon.

* ESPN announced telecast schedules for several early season men's basketball tournaments and events.  Some of the events had games that weren't yet set for TV.  The next several paragraphs are intended to fill in some of the blanks.  For some reason, ESPNEWS isn't used for these events, so I didn't bring it up here.

If you want to look over the schedule, weeks 2, 3 and 7 on the basketball side are the places to be.  On the football side, weeks 12 and 13.

* 11/19
  • ESPN2 (possibly) & ESPNU - For the four games not set for TV that are part of the 2nd half of the quarterfinal brackets in Puerto Rico and Charleston, I believe ESPN will slot those closer to the start of the season based on the best available teams.  ESPN will not be involved as it will be carrying East Carolina at UCF football game.  ESPNU will have a UL-Monroe at Texas St. at 9:30pm, so its available windows are limited
  • With limited openings, I think Creighton at Indiana ends up on BTN.
* 11/20
  • ESPN2 & ESPNU - There's nothing new regarding the Puerto Rico & Charleston 1st semifinal games having flexible TV options.  For several years the 5pm slot when these two events were played were flex slots.  With the 2K Classic moving to a Friday-Sunday format, the flex slot time has changed
  • ESPNU has a hole in the schedule after the 1pm slot and the 2nd Puerto Rico semifinal at 5pm.  Provided that the Xavier at Michigan game isn't slotted for some mid-afternoon Friday game, it should remain empty.  The consolation game from Charleston at 3:30pm doesn't allow for proper slotting of the Puerto Rico game.
  • ESPN should have NBA.  ESPN2 is wall-to-wall with MBK before until Air Force at Boise St. at 9:30pm and ESPNU has mostly MBK except for the noted 3pm window.  Seems more likely that Xavier at Michigan will end up on BTN.  I don't think ESPNEWS will be used.
* 11/21
  • ESPN3 - Plan on both games any games from the Hall of Fame Tip-Off to air on ESPN3.  Its a Saturday and college football is more than likely to take up the telecast windows where these games will be played.
* 11/22
  • ESPN & ESPN2 - It looks like the plan is for ESPN and ESPN2 to carry the championship & 3rd place games from the Hall of Fame Tip-Off and 2K Sports Classic.  It could look like the following:
    • 12pm ESPN: HoF 3rd place; 1pm ESPN2: 2K Classic 3rd Place; 3:30pm ESPN: 2K Classic Championship; 5:30pm ESPN or ESPN2: HoF Championship
    • 12pm ESPN2: HoF 3rd Place; 1pm ESPN: 2K Classic Championship; 3:30pm ESPN2: 2K Classic 3rd Place; 5:30pm ESPN or ESPN2 (probably ESPN2): HoF Championship
    • ESPN, in a few of their events, seems to be open to shifting around the 3rd place & championship games for better television slots.
* 11/23
  • ESPNU - The MGM Grand Main Event should be split between an early game on ESPN3 and a late game on ESPNU.  ESPN2 is completely booked with games from Maui, Brooklyn and Kansas City.  ESPN has Monday Night football and is out.
* 11/24
  • ESPNU - The Legends Classic consolation round will lead into a MAC football game.
* 11/25
  • ESPN2 - Since the NIT semifinals have moved to Thanksgiving, the network will have the ability to schedule a full day block from Maui, the Battle 4 Atlantis and, potentially, the MGM Grand Main Event. 
  • ESPNU - You might see the 3rd place game from Las Vegas plus the 7th place game from Maui.
  • AXS - AXS gets two of the quarterfinal games from the Bahamas and the entire consolation bracket.  Typically the AXS games are slotted for the evening.
* 11/26 (Thanksgiving)
  • ESPN - Last year, the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals aired at 1pm & 3:30pm ET.  ESPN could put them later in the day if they want.  No college football on ESPN on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1997.
  • LHN - With Texas in the Battle 4 Atlantis, I wouldn't be completely surprised if they simulcast their Thursday & Friday games on the Longhorn Network, provided they win on Wednesday.  Wednesday's game is scheduled for AXS, but a win guarantees that the remaining two games will be on an ESPN network.
* 11/27 (Black Friday)
  • ESPN - Expect the 3rd place & championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis to air on ESPN in the early afternoon.  Depending on the scheduling of the Bahamas games, they could potentially put one of the Miami Hall of Fame event games on ESPN.  I think a 5pm game from Miami is more likely to air on ESPNU.   I don't think you'll see any other football games on ESPN besides Baylor at TCU.
  • ESPN2 - ESPN2 has basketball games scheduled from approximately 3-7pm ET and 9:30pm-1:30am.  Making the leap that the Battle 4 Atlantis championship round would be on ESPN above should allow for a college football game at 11am or 11:30am ET.  Between 7pm & 9:30pm could be the 2nd half of the Miami Hall Of Fame doubleheader.
  • ESPNU - Currently has college basketball games from 12:30pm-4:30pm ET.  Assuming the first game of the Miami basketball doubleheader, a college football game could air after 7pm ET. 

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