Friday, April 8, 2016

CFB Schedule changes this week & TV related items

* Conference USA had a pair of date changes, presumably both for TV.  Rice at Western Kentucky was moved from Saturday 9/3/16 to Thursday 9/1/16 and Maryland's visit to FIU moved to Friday 9/9/16 from Saturday 9/10/16.

As written in this space recently, and probably overdone, overstated, overwrought, etc., C-USA doesn't publicly have any TV rights deal for the upcoming athletic year.  With that said, at this time, incumbent rightsholders CBSSN and FS1 both have 9/9/16 and 9/1/16 open.  Be aware that Indiana at FIU was also moved to 9/1/16, so a pair of C-USA games should have national TV platforms on the opening Thursday night.  Also, Sinclair's American Sports Network had three Southland football games on Thursday nights in 2015, so it can't be ruled out that ASN, if they were to remain rightsholders or moved up the food chain, would take on one or two of these games.

* In a surprising move to me, Notre Dame at Texas was moved to the Sunday night of Labor Day weekend (9/4/16) with a note by both parties that the game would be in an exclusive evening national telecast window.  Brett McMurphy for ESPN announced that the game would be on ESPN or ABC, but no one from the schools, Big 12 or ESPN would corroborate that.  I asked ESPN PR for comment and they noted that they were still putting together their schedule for Labor Day weekend and that it would be released in the coming weeks.  I appreciate their response, but I must it admit that it neither confirmed nor denied McMurphy's tweet, but since his tweet hasn't disappeared yet, I suppose its fair to consider it a minor confirmation.

I have to admit that I wouldn't have expected the game to move to a Sunday, nor that it would air (likely?) on an ESPN network.  ESPN typically has MLB commitments on Sunday nights & the US Open on ESPN2, provided it isn't moved or sold elsewhere.  FS1 is scheduled to show qualifications for the NHRA US Nationals from Indianapolis from 5-7pm ET.  I think its possible for either ABC or FOX to provide some airtime to show this game.

* As we've seen this week, April is typically when the final weeknight pieces are put in place for the upcoming season along with the first few Saturday TV start times.  Based on last season, April should yield C-USA's final weeknight date changes, the Mountain West's weeknight & Saturday national packages for CBS Sports Network and ESPN Networks & the Big Ten's night game schedule, based on previous seasons.


Serge said...

Quite surprised as well by the ND-TX date change, although it moves it from a crowded Week 1 Saturday and gives it a nice spotlight...

As for the game being on an ESPN platform (probably ABC as the new TV season doesn't start for a couple of weeks), it shows two things to me: (1) For all the talk about FOX having first dibs for Big XII games this season, we only know so much about the ins and puts of that deal; and (2) ESPN STILL IS ESPN...

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Regarding point #1, you're correct. These days the press releases are as far as I can get with many of these entities and beyond that, I'm pretty useless when it comes to getting any other "inside" info. When I asked the Big 12 about this "1st pick by FOX/ESPN based on the year" thing, the answer I received from the conference was "They do a draft of who picks when (e.g. first pick, second pick, third pick each weekend) during the summer."

So what they seem to do is pick slots first, then do the 12 day picks around that.