Monday, October 31, 2016

Notes on 11/5 Six Day & 11/12 TV Selections

* I was a bit surprised to see the Washington at California game pushed to the late Pac-12 window on ESPN while the Oregon at USC game will precede it at 7pm ET.  Maybe more that the Washington at California game wasn't at 3:30pm ET.  Both games involve schools at the top of their respective divisions with USC, Utah and Colorado tied on record (Utah defeated USC, USC defeated Colorado, Utah & Colorado will play the final weekend).

I suppose the reasoning for the order is two-fold:
  • Folks may be more likely to stay up for the higher ranked Huskies compared to the Trojans.
  • Nebraska at Ohio St. and Alabama at LSU will draw plenty of viewers.  Similar to FS1 showing Kansas at Oklahoma at 7pm ET on 10/29 where a large portion of the game would be played opposite the World Series, Clemson at Florida St. and Nebraska at Wisconsin, it made more sense to have Washington at Utah outside of that fray.  Same with the placement of the two Pac-12 games, plus Kansas at West Virginia at 7pm ET.
* Use of the ACC Network split telecast window works only when you have a pair of games that don't have schools sharing any geography, such as Pittsburgh at Miami (FL) & Georgia Tech at North Carolina.  The split for distribution is rather easy:  western Pennsylvania and most of Florida for the former and at least Georgia & North Carolina for the latter.  The Georgia Tech at UNC game, in my opinion, should be the game more affiliates should have interest in.

* 11/5's Syracuse at Clemson & Oklahoma St. at Kansas St. pairing is a somewhat rare 3:30pm ET ABC window where a reverse mirror was set up not involving a Big Ten.  The most recent of these was 11/28/15 involving North Carolina at NC State & UCLA at USC.  Prior to that was 10/4/14 between Baylor at Texas & Wake Forest at Florida St.

* For the 11/12 games held for six day selections, I don't think it can be assumed that the Big 12 games being held would be split where the game airing on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 will be at 3:30pm.  Putting the Big 12 game at 3:30pm would make it a near lock that the ABC 12pm game is a national Big Ten game.

* It will be interesting to see where Northwestern at Purdue is slotted.  There's a bit of an aversion to kickoffs at 3:30pm or later at Ross-Ade and all home games in 2016 have started at 12pm ET.  The most recent game to start at 3:30pm ET was the Minnesota game on 10/10/15, televised by ESPNU.  The opening on BTN may not be for this game either.  The last BTN game hosted by Purdue that started later than noon was 2012's visit by Michigan which started at 4pm ET, which was kinda, sorta, tacked onto the Big Ten's night game release for 2012, at least by the Boilermakers, because the conference didn't note it in their release.

* In their release regarding the SEC games being held for six day selections, the conference happens to note CBS's second selection will be after their first and an ESPN selection.  What I take this to mean is that CBS and ESPN had a pair of games in mind at the top, then ESPN selected Mississippi St. at Alabama, because it is reasonable to assume that this will be the main ESPN's last Alabama game until the College Football Playoff provided they reach it, and for CBS, they appear to be holding their final Crimson Tide appearance for the Iron Bowl.  Whether Mississippi St. at Alabama was officially 2nd or 3rd, I don't know if it matters, but I believe it was half of the meat in a CBS selection sandwich.

* The selection of Stanford at Oregon by Pac-12 Networks unlocks all games for all Pac-12 TV partners for the rest of the season.  Stanford was the only Pac-12 school that had the possibility of having their final game, vs. Rice, locked into a TV partner based on the selection of the TV partner for the The Big Game vs. California.

* I believe that the TV windows for the Pac-12 Networks were adjusted slightly.  Once the decision was made to start Oregon St. at UCLA at 6pm PT, which is the earliest it could start once FOX elected to use its primetime telecast window, a decision was made to put a gap between the Pac-12 Networks windows instead of having them run back-to-back.  If they would have run back to back, a 2:30pm PT start for Stanford at Oregon would have been "legal" based on the start time, but my guess is that, unless an exception was made, FOX would have preferred to have either a game start at 2:30pm PT or 6pm PT, but not both.

* Colorado at Arizona is the first Colorado game to be selected by ESPN or FOX as part of the rolling 12 day selection process in 2016 for the Pac-12.  Their other scheduled appearances on those two platforms were previously scheduled weeknight games.

* FOX's primetime window minimum of four Pac-12 games was met by the selection of Washington at USC.  Six Pac-12 broadcast network windows have been used by FOX.  Two more are required and can be at any available time.

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