Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thoughts on Week 12 CFB TV Selections & Six Day Holds

Here's the schedule.  Scroll to the bottom and click "Show Non-Televised Games" to see games that were not set for a specific time and/or TV network

* There's typically one week in November that ends up being a week where TV punts on making a lot of television decisions, or at least the decisions at the top of the food chain.  2016's Week Twelve happens to be that week with eighteen games awaiting start times & TV, plus another five who were set with a start time, but not a television outlet.  Those five (Indiana at Michigan, UTSA at Texas A&M, Ohio St. at Maryland, Arkansas at Mississippi St. & Chattanooga at Alabama) all have their TV network options in the ESPN family.

* Yes, I was surprised Florida at LSU, formerly known as LSU at Florida, wasn't selected by CBS and that it would be a daytime game.  My best guesses of what was at play:
  1. ESPN originally selected LSU at Florida and, possibly, an agreement was struck to keep the rescheduled game in the ESPN family of networks.
  2. There may have been some concessions/considerations between the schools regarding when this game would be played.  LSU at Florida was originally scheduled to be a 12pm ET start.  Placing the game on SEC Network, with the slightly odd start time or 1pm ET / 12pm CT, keeps the daytime start of the game in play.
  3. A 1pm ET / 12pm CT start doesn't work on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU without significant changes to the scheduling for other games.  For example, the possibility of a reverse mirror with ABC using ESPN2 can't happen without shifting those two TV windows if Florida at LSU airs on ESPN2.
* At the moment, I count 24 openings for 23 games, so either ESPN has dropped an opening or...man I hope I counted right...see the next couple points.

* I wasn't aware that ASN had a window available for Temple at Tulane, much less at the same time as Buffalo at Western Michigan, which is slightly curious because of WMU's current status as undefeated & the top ranked Group of Five team.  Makes you wonder if there's something going on behind the scenes with the Broncos' game and if ESPN wants the game back as it was sublicensed to ASN.  Maybe it depends on tonight's result vs. Kent St.

* I can't yet figure out what the backup plan is for the event that Oklahoma at West Virginia isn't the ABC primetime game as a national game, or falls out of favor.  Maybe Clemson at Wake Forest?  A few people have asked about the possibility of Washington St. at Colorado or maybe USC at UCLA.  I suppose that possibility exists by dropping the late ESPN window if Buffalo at Western Michigan isn't coming back to ESPN.  Dropping the late window and moving the ESPN game to line up with ABC at 8pm could create a primetime reverse mirror, but is this worth it for the third best Pac-12 game?  Also, ABC doesn't need to air another Pac-12 game in primetime.  They've aired their required two games and both happened to be 8pm ET starts.  I also want to be clear that multiple reporters pegged ESPN's window specifically at 7:30pm PT / 10:30pm ET and not as a flexible start time for them.

* I have read that there's a big push for The Big Game (Stanford at California) to be during the day if at all possible.  I'm well aware that the festivities around the game are geared towards a daytime kickoff.  I had not tracked this until it was brought to my attention, but three of Cal's four home games this year have started at 7:30pm local time, which happens to be one of the available start times for two of the telecast windows.  I imagine fans of both schools really don't want a 11am start time either, so I assume they are targeting the 12:30pm PT FOX window (less likely, in my opinion) and the 2:30pm PT Pac-12 Networks slot (more realistic).


Anonymous said...

ESPN can't put Florida-LSU in the Reverse Mirror even if it wanted to. CBS would raise a stink about ABC airing an SEC-controlled game.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Correct. What I'm refering to is, for example, ESPN2 airing the game at 1pm, which if they wanted to reverse mirror the 3:30pm ESPN2 window, they can't without moving both ABC & ESPN2 back about one hour to 4:30pm.

Chris said...

will you be guessing the 6 days picks later in the week?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Probably Saturday afternoon.