Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Notes on Big East MBK Schedule Release

Big East Conference Schedule (see each school for non-conference TV info)

* FOX and the conference, smartly, have elected to hold their all day marathon of intraconference games to January 2nd and away from New Years Eve, which will be the date of the College Football Playoff's semifinal games.  Conference play will start on December 30th and there will be two games on New Years Eve on FS1, but both should be over in time for the start of the first semifinal.  CBSSN will have a game that should run into the first quarter of the first semifinal on 12/31.  CBSSN, on the other hand, is not Nielsen rated.  Granted, Big East basketball doesn't move the needle very much, but FS1 is a rated network and may have an alternate programming strategy for that evening.

* Speaking of the January 2nd marathon, it won't be a continuous marathon.  For whatever reason, the Villanova at Creighton game will start at 10pm.  Maybe FOX has another event to show that evening or are planning to air another college basketball game in between, potentially from the Pac-12 or C-USA.

EDIT: FS1 could have a UFC PPV prelim card to air on 1/2/16, which could account for the break.  This was originally the date of the Rhonda Rousey-Holly Holm fight which was moved to November.

* Unlike the 2014-15 season, the schedule is currently set up to only show non-conference games on FS2.  Last year a handful of conference games appeared on the network due to other programming, often motorsports related.

* Here's the breakdown by network, excluding the conference tournament which will air completely on FS1.  I'm also not counting the doubleheader being played in Hawai'i.
  • FOX: 12
  • FS1: 98
  • FS2: 15
  • FSN: 20
    • All games in unique telecast windows, where previously games on 11/13 would run concurrently if needed.
  • FOX College Sports: 1
  • CBS: 2
  • CBSSN: 17
    • CBS has the ability to sublicense up to 20 games which can be spread over CBS and CBSSN.  I do not know if the St. John's vs. South Carolina game being played at Mohegun Sun is being sublicensed from FOX or not.
* For games scheduled on Saturdays in November, most are on FS2 or FSN to avoid college football.  The games on FSN will air after college football games, though they may not been seen in all areas due to conflicts with the NHL and NBA.  FS1 will show the Georgia at Seton Hall game on 11/28, which happens to coincide with a scheduled break between planned college football windows, after the 4pm ET game and before a 10pm ET game.

FOX did originally list a Big 12 game as airing on FS1 at 3pm ET on 12/5, but they've schedule a Big East doubleheader for that date with 12pm & 2pm games, so the earliest the football game could be slotted for is 4pm ET.

* DePaul will play on FSN five times, which is interesting as Chicagoland does not have an FSN affiliate.  At times, FOX has worked to clear FSN content on local stations that they own.  In the Chicagoland area they own both the FOX broadcast network affiliate WFLD and MyNetwork TV affiliate WPWR, where they showed a few Big East games back in 2013-14.  Providence will also appear on FSN four times but FOX has worked to clear those games with Cox Cable system in the state of Rhode Island.

Conversely, Villanova will not appear on FSN.  Philadelphia is also a city where FSN does not have an affiliate but FOX does own the local affiliate.

* Only on game on FOX broadcast network will air on a Sunday: Villanova at St. John's on January 31.  Happens to be the off week before the Super Bowl / Pro Bowl Sunday.   It is also the date of the 24 Hours of Daytona, which would conveniently be ending around 2:30pm ET.

* There are seven instances, five within conference play, where FS1 will have Big East doubleheaders starting at 6:30pm ET instead of 7pm, ie. 6:30pm & 8:30pm instead of 7pm & 9pm.  Don't know if FS1 is trying to get a head start on games or something else is up.  BTN, majority owned by FOX, often scheduled Wednesday doubleheaders for those same times.

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