Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 CFB TV Facts & Figures By Conference

I've done similar posts to this one the last three years.  Hope you enjoy this.  Tried to double check most of the numbers listed here.  The conference name for each section ties back to the report of 2016 conference controlled games.

I did not do any breakdowns for the independent schools nor Navy, who has a unique section under the American's page.

  • Fifteen games on ABC.  Up two from 2015.
    • Eleven of the fifteen involved Florida St., Clemson and/or Louisville
    • Including the ACC Championship Game, the ACC will have had the most conference controlled games on ABC in primetime in 2016 (five).
  • The total number of games on ESPN and ESPN2, 23, was up three from 2015.
    • The ESPN2 game count of eight was flat from 2015, so the increase was solely on the ESPN side of the house.
  • Wake Forest and Florida St. did not appear on the ACC Network's over-the-air package.
    • I know, I'm stunned to that Wake wasn't on the over-the-air package, but they appeared five times on the RSN package, the most of any school on that particular package.
  • Overall, Virginia appeared seven times combined between the RSN and over-the-air network package, the most of any ACC school.
  • 26 games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU.  Comparison to 2015 in parenthesis and includes the conference championship game.
    • ABC: 4 (-1)
    • ESPN: 6 (-1)
    • ESPN2: 6 (-2)
    • ESPNU: 10 (+2)
    • Two games scheduled inside of this group of four networks (Navy at East Carolina on ESPN & Tulane at UCF on ESPNU) were moved to later dates in the season and ended up on ESPN3 and ESPNEWS, which may have been why the count of games across these four networks was two short of what has been reported to be the minimum number of games on those four networks.
  • Ten of the 26 games on the four primary outlets were chosen as part of the in-season selection process.
    • Houston and USF were each involved in three of those in-season selections.
  • The number of ESPN3 exclusives were constant compared to 2015 at 10.
  • American Sports Network was a new outlet for televised games, carrying six games.
  • Cincinnati appeared on CBS Sports Network five times.
    • Two of those five were scheduled before the season started.
  • The number of games on broadcast television, either regionally, nationally or reverse mirror, was flat compared to 2015.  ABC carried eight games and FOX carried seven.
    • Oklahoma appeared four times on FOX and overall six times out of the fifteen games, the most of any Big 12 school.
    • Oklahoma St., Baylor and Texas all had four appearances each.
    • Five games aired in primetime between ABC (1) and FOX (4).
  • ESPN pay TV game count.  
    • ESPN: 5
    • ESPN2: 5
    • ESPNU: 4
    • Longhorn Network: 1
      • Iowa St. at Texas is this game.  The UTEP game counts as Texas' institutionally controlled game.
  • FOX Sports pay TV game count
    • FS1: 21
    • FSN: 6
      • FSN aired an additional four games that were institutionally held, plus Oklahoma had their reserved game on pay-per-view distributed and produced through FOX Sports.
  • Eight of the ten institutionally held games (one per school) involved a FCS opponent.  Only UTEP at Texas and UL-Monroe at Oklahoma were between two FBS schools.
  • This was the first season where FOX and ESPN operated as equal partners with respect to game selections.  ESPN's maximum game count also increased from 19 in prior years up to 23.
  • Of the seven games I considered secondary national / broadly syndicated, specifically games on FSN & Longhorn Network that weren't claimed as institutionally controlled games, Iowa St. appeared in three of the seven.  Kansas St. and Kansas each appeared twice.
    • As a side note, with the Big Ten moving 25 games over to FOX platforms next year, specifically FOX and FS1, it will be interesting to see if more Big 12 games move to FSN.
  • The split 
    • ABC and ESPN Networks: 56
      • ABC: 19
        • Fifteen full national telecasts on ABC. Four were reverse mirror with ESPN2
      • ESPN: 11
      • ESPN2: 8
      • ESPNU: 8
      • ESPNEWS: 10
    • BTN: 42
      • Aired over 34 unique telecast windows
  • Excluding the conference championship game and two weeknight games, sixteen Saturday games were played at night.  This is up two from 2015 using the same criteria.
    • BTN: 10
    • ABC: 4
    • ESPN: 1
    • ESPN2: 1
  • Purdue continues its trend of not playing a home game on BTN with a start time later than 12pm ET since 2012 vs. Michigan.
  • Of the nineteen ABC games, eighteen of the nineteen games involved at least one of the following schools: Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio St., Penn St. and Wisconsin.  BYU at Michigan St. on 10/8 was the outlier.
  • The Big Ten and SEC were the only conferences to have at least one conference controlled game on broadcast networks every week of the season.
  • The Big Ten has had the most conference controlled games each season since 2013, including conference championship games.
    • 2012: Big 12 beat them by one, 21-20.
  • Western Kentucky was involved in four of the eleven regular season games that aired on ESPN Networks or CBS Sports Network and could make a fifth appearance if they win their division.
    • Marshall had three appearances.  C-USA West Division winner Louisiana Tech and FIU had two appearances each.
  • Unlike previous seasons, very few C-USA start times were set during the season.
  • Four of the eleven regular season games on ESPN's TV channels and CBS Sports Network were Saturday telecasts.
    • Proportionally, this is about the same as 2015 when FS1 and CBS Sports Network aired five Saturday games out of fourteen.
  • The number of webcast exclusives increased six times, from six games solely through the C-USA Digital Network to 36 games through the rebranded CUSA.TV and new partners Campus Insiders and ESPN3.  
    • The increase can be directly attributed to a drop in regional and secondary telecasts with beIN Sports and American Sports Network combining to televise 25 games, where FOX College Sports, FSN and American Sports Networks more than doubled that in 2015 (54 games).
  • Western Michigan had seven of their games selected for airing on either ESPN television channels or CBS Sports Network, the most of any MAC school. 
    • Toledo and Ohio each appeared five times.
  • Thirteen games aired on ESPNU and ESPN2 with another ten on CBS Sports Network.
    • The number of games on CBSSN was expected to increase over 2015 as part of a sublicensing agreement with ESPN.
  • The airing of Buffalo at Western Michigan on ESPNU was the first in-season Saturday selection for a ESPNU telecast for the conference since Fresno St. at Toledo on 9/20/08.
    • First in-season Saturday selection for any ESPN TV channel since Navy at Toledo on 10/19/13.
  • Eight games appeared on American Sports Network
    • A ninth game, Buffalo at Western Michigan, was returned to ESPN for a national telecast.
  • ESPN regular season game count, which excludes conference championship game.  Number in parenthesis is comparison to 2015 which also excludes conference championship game.
    • ESPN: 1 (0)
    • ESPN2: 12 (+1)
      • Seven in-season selections
    • ESPNU: 5 (-1)
    • ESPNEWS: 1 (+1)
    • ESPN3: 3 (-4)
  • All ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3 games were in season selections.
  • Excluding Boise St., who has specific requirements as to the number of games on ESPN TV channels, three other Mountain West schools appeared on ESPN or ESPN2 three times (Wyoming, Utah St. and New Mexico).
  • Breakdown by start time for home team for all Saturday ESPN television and CBSSN games
    • Before 3pm local time: 6
      • Includes a 2pm Hawai'i Time game.
      • Five on CBS Sports Network and one on ESPNEWS.
    • Between 3pm-6pm local time: 3
      • All on CBS Sports Network
    • After 6pm local time: 23
      • Ten on CBS Sports Network, five on ESPNU and seven on ESPN2.
  • Breakdown by TV channel, excluding the conference championship game.  
    • ABC: 3 (0)
      • 2015 has one reverse mirror game with ESPN2 where 2016 has none
    • FOX: 10 (0)
    • ESPN: 15 (+1)
    • ESPN2: 4 (-1)
    • FS1: 12 (0)
    • Pac-12 Networks: 35 (+1)
  • USC made the most broadcast network appearances with five (two on ABC & three on FOX), followed by Washington with four and Utah with three.  All Washington and Utah appearances were on FOX.
  • Washington St.'s game vs. Colorado was the first time the Cougars had a Saturday game selected as part of the in-season selection process for either ABC or FOX under the current television contracts.
    • Last selection prior to this was vs. USC on 9/22/07 on ABC.
  • Colorado had its first Pac-12 controlled broadcast network game, as a member of the conference, in 2016.
    • Previous broadcast network game of any kind: at Ohio St. on 9/24/11.
    • Previous broadcast network game for the Buffaloes where the conference they were a member of also controlled the TV rights to the game: their final Big 12 game vs. Nebraska on 11/26/2010
  • Breakdown by start time for home team for all Saturday non Pac-12 Networks telecasts
    • Before 3pm local time: 7
    • Between 3pm and 6pm local time: 10
    • After 6pm local time: 16
  • Breakdown by start time for home team for all Saturday Pac-12 Networks telecasts
    • Before 3pm local time: 18
    • Between 3pm and 6pm local time: 9
    • After 6pm local time: 7
  • All SEC schools except Mississippi St. and Vanderbilt appeared in at least one game that aired on CBS
    • Kentucky's appearance was in a game sublicensed to CBS from ESPN.
  • Breakdown of ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU games
    • ESPN: 17
    • ESPN2: 6
    • ESPNU: 8
  • SEC Network aired fifty games with eight of those games airing on the alternate channel.
  • Appearances on CBS by division, excluding the conference championship game
    • East: 17
      • Two appearances from sublicensed games
    • West: 14
      • One appearance from sublicensed games
  • Alabama & Tennessee had the most CBS appearances with five each.
    • Alabama had only one SEC Network game.  Kent St. on 9/24
      • Middle Tennessee had two non-conference games vs. SEC schools that both aired on SEC Network
  • Missouri led all schools with nine SEC Network games, followed by Kentucky with eight and Georgia, Vanderbilt & South Carolina each with seven.
  • Missouri had two games on CBS and the previously mentioned nine SEC Network games.  They had no appearances on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU during the season.
  • Five games on ESPN or ESPN2, a single-season high for the Sun Belt.
  • Four games were selected for ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS as in-season selections.
  • Arkansas St. appeared in five of the thirteen games on ESPN's TV networks
    • Georgia Southern appeared four times, followed by Troy and Appalachian St. with three appearances
    • The only games that didn't involved Arkansas St., Georgia Southern, Troy or Appalachian St. were two non-conference games where the opponent was a ranked Group of Five school: Houston at Texas St. & San Diego St. at South Alabama.
  • UL-Monroe had all of its Sun Belt controlled games on ESPN3.
  • New Mexico St. also did not appear on any of the conference's television packages (ESPN TV or American Sports Network).


DunwoodyVol said...

Tennessee had 5 CBS appearances also (Fla, Ga, A&M, Ala and Mizzou).

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Thanks. Will update.

Darrell McKown said...

Regarding the Big 12, it seems like 11-13 games are going to have to move over to FSN. You have to assume that FOX is going to open up a 3:30 ET slot for a Big Ten game almost every week (or a couple night games and push a Pac-12 or Big 12 game to the afternoon). Assuming 12-14 games on the broadcast network and three Big 10 FS1 games are on Friday nights, you have 8-10 games that have to air on FS1 on Saturdays that I don't see room for on FS1 right now. Plus you have the 3 early December games that will move back into the season with the championship game starting next year.

Between MLB, UFC and NASCAR, I don't see FS1 having room for more than maybe one or two extra games. It looks like they squeezed every game they could onto FS1 and only used FSN as the overflow.

daniel anderson said...

Would FOX look at giving up some NASCAR content like the truck races to NBC? NBC would like to have the truck races, since they could fill some weak spots in their schedule.

arc727 said...

It's too bad FOX couldn't really get FS2 going to supplement FS1 (like ESPN/ESPN2). Unless FOX and FS1 add more time slots, then I would have to agree that more Big 12 games next year will end up on FSN, thus losing their national broadcasts.

Serge said...

I've tried to run a couple of scenarios for FOX/FS1 CFB schedule next season, and all of them include using an additional outlet for games.

Big FOX had 17 windows this year (over 14 weeks, CCG excluded); I expect it to have 24-26 in 2017 (10 for B1G, mandatory 8 for Pac-12 and 6-8 for Big XII). Using this season as template, Big FOX had 18 open (non-sports) windows in the Noon/4p/8p slots in Weeks 1-13, so they could easily add 7-9 more for CFB next year without major shuffling (or affiliate angst)...

FS1 is trickier because, with less inventory available until now, they've filled most timeslots with other programming; still, up to 19 windows could be made available by doing this:

6 open Thu/Fri windows in Sept and early Oct, before MLB postseason starts (in addition to 4 currently used; an ARCA race would have to move to FS2);

2 Sat noon windows opened by moving NASCAR Trucks qualifying sessions on 9/24 + 10/22 (in this scenario the 10/29 truck QF and race stay on);

Up to 11 more by displacing UFC Fight Nights and their prelims (which currently clog most 7p/10:30p slots in Sept and Nov), either moving some to a different network (FXX?) or night, or scrapping some altogether (I've read UFC is considering reducing its Fight Night offerings to ensure better cards in its upcoming TV negotiations)... In this scenario, UFC PPV prelims would stay on FS1 as usual; TUF finales happen in Week 14 so no conflict there...

Still, from all those options, I expect FS1 to add no more than 7-8 additional windows, airing about 40 CFB games per season (they're not scrapping every Fight Night nor adding weeknight games for every slot). 40 games on FS1 plus about 25 games on Big FOX add up to 65 games; with FOX's commitments to the B1G (25 games), Pac-12 (22) and Big XII (I can't imagine FOX not matching at least ABC/ESPN's 23, with this year's 28 the highest possible number), that leaves about 8-10 games without a FOX home.

My solution? Place those 8-10 games (mostly Big XII, but also a few low-profile B1G matches which this year aired on ESPNU/NEWS) on an additional outlet, one with decent reach (sorry FS2) and an open schedule (FX, FXX, FOX News are out)... So the answer could very well be (wait for it)... FOX Business... available in XXM+ households, with an open weekend schedule, playing the role CNBC does for NBCU...

Sorry for the long post... That's what happens when you don't have your own space to rant...