Monday, October 17, 2016

Notes on 10/27 - 10/29 CFB TV Selections

Alright, I included 10/27 in the title because the MAC had two games on the date were part of today's announcements, but there was nothing out of the ordinary there.

The entire week

* So...Washington at Utah....

FOX Sports, ESPN and Pac-12 Networks, at some point, all get the top selection on a given week during the season (at least I think Pac-12 Networks still gets a top choice at some point).  But to clear about a few things:

1) FOX Sports or ESPN having the top choice doesn't necessarily mean they'll have a broadcast network window available or have to use it, or that the broadcast network is the top choice.   It has, for the most part, seemed to work out that way, though you can look back at the opening weekend when neither entity had a game on ABC or FOX.

2) Of the four games available, this particular game was the least likely to be played in the late evening windows that both FS1 & ESPN2 had available, which would have been after 8:30pm local time.  The other three are all currently on the same offset vs. Coordinated Universal Time and are an hour behind Salt Lake City for another couple weeks.  So it had to air earlier in the day than what was available, which made one of the 3:30pm & 7pm FS1, or an afternoon Pac-12 Networks window, more likely unless ESPN did some major shifting.  Trust me, I tried "running the numbers" and initially had the game on ABC until realizing that they late evening window was for the Pac-12 and it was ESPN's only Pac-12 selection.

3) FOX has to manage some risk for the particular week they carry a Saturday World Series game.  We just saw a near five hour game in the SEC (Tennessee at Texas A&M).  FOX themselves had a situation where they moved a game to FOX News a few years back due to weather delays so they could join the World Series on time as the football game was a 3:30pm ET start.  Could they have put the Pac-12 on the broadcast network at a 12pm MT / 11am PT / 2pm ET start?  Maybe, but maybe they weren't willing to take on the risks if the game, for whatever reason, runs into the World Series. They appear to have had the top choice, so FS1 it is while the broadcast network carries West Virginia at Oklahoma St. at 12pm ET.

* I can't quite figure out why Northwestern at Ohio St. was moved off of 5:30pm, but maybe it involves some of the other selections ESPN made with respect to the Big 12 and SEC.  Maybe a desire to not start a game after 8pm Central in Fort Worth, Austin or Oxford.  The last game that I could find from the Big 12 that started at or after 8pm Central in the Big 12 was Oklahoma at Kansas in 2011.  The SEC has already had three 8pm CT starts this year, which, based on going back to 2011, could be the maximum number of starts at that time per year as each year had no more than three of those games.

* Might be relatively obvious, but at 3:30pm, don't expect a reverse mirror between the two Big 12 games.  Same with the two Big Ten games at 12pm ET.  Has it happened before where two games from the same conference were reverse mirrored against each other? Yes, back on 9/22/07 with very small distribution of one of the games on ABC.  Look at 3:30pm ET.

* Initial schedules sent to RSNs had an ACC doubleheader on October 15th and that appears to have been replaced with the doubleheader scheduled for 10/29.

* Having the ACC RSN doubleheader here may have been why ESPN was able to carry five out of six available Big Ten games.  BTN initially TV listings to services that included telecast windows at 12pm & 3:30pm.  In the end, the 3:30pm window was dropped.

* American Sports Network listed a open game at 12pm which appears to be not used, though the window itself already has two games.

* Of the four in-season MAC selections that CBS Sports Network has taken, all have involved either Western Michigan or Central Michigan.  Overall, eight out of eleven games on CBSSN will involve one of the three directional Michigan schools with a twelth game to be selected from Black Friday options.  Can't blame them.  The three schools are a combined 17-4.


potts316 said...

Why was Northwestern - Ohio State scheduled for 5:30 to begin with? Was ESPN planning to run studio fill/Goal Line from 3:30 to 5:30?

daniel anderson said...

A couple observations about 10/29:
You make a good point about FOX. They have to give priority to the World Series and Washington at Utah would have started as late as 3:30. FS1 getting that game was so that they wouldn't have that risk. Like you said we had a near five hour game in the SEC (Tennessee at Texas A&M) that wiped out local programming and caused a delay in prime time on CBS.

I have to agree with you about no reverse mirror between the two Big 12 games. Could easily do it, but a Big 10 game makes more sense on ABC. But ABC has done two Pac-12 games back in the day. look at 1993 as an example

Sat 11/13, USC @ Washington, ABC, 3:30 pm (regional), Roger Twibell,
John Spagnola
Sat 11/13, Arizona @ California, ABC, 3:30 pm (regional), Steve
Zabriskie, Ron Pitts

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Probably some sort of extended fill until 5:30pm. The start time allowed it to be selected as a night game.

Darrell McKown said...

A few thoughts on Washington-Utah:

I'm not sure why FOX decided to put Oklahoma-Kansas in primetime on FS1 instead of Washington-Utah. I would have switched those games. Perhaps they felt Washington-Utah was the better game and didn’t want to run it against the World Series?

Next year, FOX will have 25 Big Ten games to televise which will likely result in more telecast windows on the broadcast network, probably in the mid-afternoon time slot. So for a comparable week next year, you might have Michigan-Michigan State at noon and Washington-Utah at 3:30 leading into a World Series game.
If FOX had been able to change on the fly, an interesting alternative would have been to create a 3:30 window on the broadcast network for Washington-Utah, move Oklahoma-Kansas up to 3:30 on FS1 and run an advanced analytics-based simulcast of Game 4 on FSI (as they did a couple years ago). They would have overflow risk on both Washington-Utah and Game 4 though.

If ESPN had a shot at the game, which it doesn’t look like they did, seems like they could have run it at 3:30, moved Texas Tech-TCU to ESPNU at 7:15 and New Mexico St.-Texas A&M to run concurrently with Samford-Mississippi St. on the SEC Alternative Channel. Or put Washington-Utah on ESPN2/ESPNU at 7:15 and move New Mexico St.-A&M.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Re: Kansas-Oklahoma where it is vs. Washington-Utah - World Series, for FOX, probably plays into it. I'd want Washington-Utah where it is too. Can "hide" Kansas-Oklahoma in its spot while drawing in their fan base vs. Nebraska-Wisconsin & Clemson-FSU plus WS and get a decent showing for the more prominent Pac-12 game.