Saturday, April 1, 2017

Recap of Updates to 2017 CFB Schedule

This is a rehash of tweets from the past ten days, so you may have read these 140 characters at a time already.

* Both Texas A&M at UCLA & West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech have made official moves to Sunday, September 3rd.  Had heard rumblings about the first one, but not the latter, though I made a wild guess at it for a mid-afternoon ESPN game.  The UCLA game was announced first and a Twitter user (the account is now private, but has ESPN in the bio) inferred the game was FOX's and that ESPN, actually ABC, would be having their own telecast, which looks correct at this point.

ESPN should have a Sunday Night Baseball game that night and I don't think the Pac-12 game is earmarked for ESPN2 or ESPNU with its 7:30pm or 8pm start time, so lets continue to assume FOX or FS1.  FS1 is scheduled to carry a NASCAR truck series race in the afternoon and show delayed coverage of NHRA qualifying from the US Nationals from Indianapolis, so both should be free based on whatever is decided.  FS1 has shown one Sunday night football game, SMU at Baylor, in 2014.  They also aired Purdue at Marshall on a Sunday afternoon in 2015, but the NASCAR truck series race from Ontario was scheduled for the prior weekend.

The last Pac-10/12 Sunday football game for FOX Sports, or any Pac-10/12 TV partner, was Fresno St. at Washington in 2004 which aired on FSN nationally.

* Both Northwestern games scheduled for Friday nights in October have been quietly moved back to Saturdays.
The 2017 Big Ten football prospectus confirms this in the PDF.  With both in October, not to mention both weeks had ACC Friday night games, my suspicion is FOX or FS1 was scheduled to carry these and has determined they'll have some other programming commitments, such as MLB postseason, and informed the schools that they could move those back to Saturdays.

* The Big Ten prospectus also confirms that FOX will air the 2017 football championship game on December 2nd.  Still waiting on the conference to announce the new deals with FOX Sports and ESPN.  Would assume they'll be out in April or May to get the word out to advertisers as marketing presentations typically occur in the spring.  The deals end on June 30th.

* Army start times have been set.  The Fordham game at 6pm ET should lead into Boston College at Northern Illinois between 9pm & 9:30pm ET on CBS Sports Network.  The UTEP game, with a 3:30pm ET start, is the first on-campus mid-afternoon game since 2011.

* ROOT Sports and the Big Sky Conference remain partners for football.  A new component is that the games on ROOT will be available to the conference's streaming platform, but not until 30 days after the game has aired.

* American Sports Network does appear to be going dark.  At this time, a limited number of events are on the board through mid-April, though with three specific schools hosting the majority of events. An official announcement hasn't occur, but the digital team signed off with final posts to social media on March 21.

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