Friday, May 20, 2016

Notes on Early Season & Special Date ACC selections

ACC Controlled TV Schedule

* Outside of the Georgia Tech vs. Boston College game in Dublin, only four other Saturday games were set for ABC or ESPN's television networks, matching 2014 & 2015.  The conference, because of several end of season rivalry games with SEC schools, ends up with a slightly backloaded non-conference schedule in November every other year, with 2016 being one of those years.

* Eight of the fourteen members will play at least one game on ESPN3 during the first three weeks and five of the six remaining members play a game on either the RSN package or ACC Network during that time.  Only Boston College skips playing on those three networks / packages and they happen to play two ACC games over the first three weeks, which are usually more valued by broadcasters, and a road game at Massachusetts which could air on ESPN3 or another network depending on any broadcasting contracts that UMass signs for its football games.

* The Charlotte at Louisville game on the ACC RSNs makes sense, or in general that an ACC RSN game is airing on Thursday 9/1 instead of Saturday 9/3.  September 1st has only three MLB games in the evening with only two primary feeds of FOX RSNs being used (North for the Twins & Florida for the Marlins).  Saturday has no major MLB conflicts in the early afternoon, which might be a place to show multiple Big 12 games that might be labeled as Member Retained Games, utilizing RSNs that have an alternate / PLUS feed.

The Astros at Rangers game on 9/3 also presents a small roadblock, as any Big 12 game could end up on an alternate feed in parts (all?) of Texas as the baseball game is airing on both FS1 and FOX Sports Southwest as it is a non-exclusive FS1 telecast.

* The two 7:30pm Friday start times look new to me.  Not sure if there was anything behind starting those games a half hour earlier than most Friday night games.

* Three weeknight games look set to be or will be part of doubleheaders
  • Louisville at Duke (7pm) looks to have Mississippi St. at BYU following it on 10/14, probably at 10:15pm, unless the game in Provo starts earlier on ESPN2.
  • Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech (7pm) and BYU at Boise St. (10:15pm) will be a doubleheader on 10/20.
  • With Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh starting at 7pm, that leads me to believe California at USC will air on ESPN around 10:15pm or 10:30pm ET on 10/27.
* As it was noted to me, North Carolina at Duke on 11/10 likely means Utah at Arizona St. would air on FS1 or possibly the Pac-12 Networks, unless it airs on ESPN2.  At that point in the year the state of Arizona is aligned with the Mountain Time Zone, meaning a doubleheader on ESPN would have the game start around 8:45pm local time in Tempe.

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