Monday, January 11, 2016

Notes on ASN and piggybacking on a couple Sports Business Journal items

* Sinclair's American Sports Network, starting on 1/11/16, will provide a 24 hour feed.  So far the stations carrying the feed are DT2 & DT3 digital subchannels,   Here's a list of the schools starting out with the feed:
As the tweet says, more channels will receive the feed as time goes on.  The stations in the graphic happen to be owned by Sinclair.  The ASN website has a guide of the programming that will be on the network.  Most of the weekday programming will end up being replays of old games, while weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings will have live events.  Two magazine shows for the Atlantic 10 and Conference USA will also make daily appearances.

Rights to events that ASN sublicenses from ESPN (events from the American and MAC) do not appear to be part of the full time feed.  At the moment, it doesn't appear that the full time feed has a webcast component, which would be helpful to get more of these events cleared throughout the country.  Maybe Sinclair is trying to figure out if they should or can charge a fee for an ASN feed to defray some of their costs.  I don't know.

* Two items that piggyback off of Sports Business Journal articles in today's issue.  The articles are behind a paywall and I haven't seen them myself so I could be way off base on the topic being discussed, but I'm going to take the headline & snippet and put some statistics around it.

  • Broadcast TV Flexes Muscles
    • My assumption is that conferences & network or network groups are stating to migrate events back to broadcast TV due to the cord cutting that is going on with pay TV.
    • Most broadcast networks have a relatively constant number, due to a limited number of conferences or properties.  2015, however, had the most ABC network broadcast windows (41) in a decade.  For the statistics I've been accumulating, 2005 was the previous high for with 38.  Most seasons they've been in the low-to-mid 30s.  The addition of a regular 12pm ET window is the main reason, plus the return of two primetime windows due to NASCAR moving to NBC for the Chase.
    • Men's college basketball has increased solely due to the addition of FOX as a broadcaster showing Big East and Pac-12 games the last two years.  2015-16 will have 53 telecast windows on broadcast networks, two more than last season and seven more than 2008-09, which was the last season ABC showed regular season games on its broadcast network.  Unlike earlier seasons where ABC and CBS had games, there are no multi-game windows, same as last year.  This number also does not include CBS's coverage of the NCAA tournament.
    • Everyone still has different ways of streaming out broadcast network content.  NBC and CBS have went free of charge for broadcast network events.  FOX has tied it to pay television subscription and ABC is tied into ESPN3, which is tied into your internet service provider.
  • FOX expects big impact from Big East
    • This is the second season that they've shown games on the broadcast network from the conference, so my assumption is that there should be more knowledge by college basketball fans that FOX will have games.
    • FOX's first three games, all non-conference, averaged about 0.5 in rating, per posts at Sports Media Watch.  Not great, but it seems like they are a tick higher than 2014-15.
    • Where they can benefit is that each game the rest of the way should have at least one ranked team involved.  Villanova will appear five times, including games vs. Butler and Providence.  Xavier could make up to three appearances, with two guaranteed.
    • FOX also has games involving Arizona and UCLA on the Pac-12 side.  UCLA recently dropped from the rankings but could climb back up after beating the Wildcats last Thursday.
    • To me, the question is whether you're going to be able to draw the fans that want to see ranked teams and top players like Kris Dunn.  FOX has to draw from the "hoops junkie" because most of these schools, due to being private, don't always have large alumni bases to draw from across the country.

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