Friday, December 4, 2015

2015 CFB TV Facts & Figures - SEC

The 2015 season had a pair of minor changes with the SEC's TV contracts. One change was bringing back the sublicensed content from FSN back into ESPN's inventory for use on the SEC Network and ESPN's other national television platforms.

A second change appears to be due to ESPN televising the US Open, where CBS negotiated with ESPN to sublicense two games, though it should be noted that it doesn't appear that CBS was allowed to take the best available games on those Saturdays.  Since the games were sublicensed from ESPN, CBS also did not retain exclusivity over ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU for those two games (Louisville vs. Auburn on 9/5 and Georgia at Vanderbilt on 9/12)

Here's some notable items on the SEC, excluding the conference championship game:

* Alabama made six regular season appearances on CBS, which usually requires CBS to exercise a clause in their contract with the conference to get a sixth game.  It was floated out there that when CBS took the Iron Bowl, it may have been due to LSU vs. South Carolina on 10/10 being allowed to air on ESPN at 3:30pm ET during CBS's telecast window, which is supposed to be exclusive from ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.  I have not been able to confirm that, so for the moment, I'm under the assumption CBS wanted the Iron Bowl and exercised their option.

* Georgia appeared on CBS five times, second only to Alabama, though it should be noted that the two games ESPN sublicensed to CBS (Louisville vs. Auburn & Georgia at Vanderbilt) did not count towards CBS's appearance maximums, meaning Georgia had only four of those games count towards their CBS number.

* South Carolina & Kentucky were the only schools not to appear on CBS, regardless of whether a game was sublicensed from ESPN or not.

* East Division winner Florida made two appearances on CBS.  Overall, the SEC West schools accounted for 22 appearances on the broadcast network, while East schools made just eleven appearances.

* After the Florida vs. Georgia game on 10/31, CBS carried seven games.  Only one of those games, the Black Friday matchup of Missouri and Arkansas selected in May by CBS, involved a school from the Eastern Division.

* It is a bit unfair to compare game counts to 2014 on ESPN due to re-absorbing of the FSN sublicensed games and then sending CBS a couple games.  Here's the breakdown of games by network:

  • ESPN: 21
  • ESPN2: 7
  • ESPNU: 10
  • SEC Network: 49
* 68% of the games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU started at 6pm ET or later (26 of 38).  In an interesting twist, the conference also had the most noon ET starts on ESPN (five), with a six game originally scheduled for 12pm but moved due to flooding in South Carolina (LSU vs. South Carolina on 10/10).

* Arkansas & Ole Miss made the most appearances on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU with seven games for both schools.  LSU, Florida and South Carolina each made six appearances.

* For games on the SEC Network, Kentucky had the most appearances by far with ten games.  Missouri was the runner up with seven appearances, with South Carolina and Vanderbilt each with six games on the network, regardless of whether the game was on the alternate channel or the main feed.

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