Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bowls, Upfronts With Sports & Scheduling Around Soccer

* A large portion of the bowl schedule, mostly ESPN's bowl schedule if we're being honest, was announced on Thursday.  There are four bowls remaining to be scheduled.

  • The Frisco Bowl, formerly the Miami Beach Bowl as it is moving to Frisco, TX, is awaiting its finalized date & time.  The game was recently purchased by ESPN Events from the American Athletic Conference.  As Sean O'Leary noted on my Twitter timeline, December 20th would be an ideal date to place the game as there are no bowl games that evening.

    Further, when the game was played in Miami it was played on the Monday afternoon before the last Monday Night Football game before Christmas.  With Christmas falling on a Monday year, that leaves the MNF game before Christmas on the 18th, which might be a bit far away from the holiday to expect people to take a Monday afternoon off for a bowl game.
  • The Holiday Bowl is in process of negotiating a new television agreement, and per the game's organizers, is talking to ESPN and other outlets about a new deal.  December 26th seems like the planned date ESPN is holding open for the game with three other bowl games on that date all without start times.
  • The Foster Farms Bowl, who was in the same position last offseason as the Holiday Bowl is this offseason, will be on FOX but no date has been set yet.  The last 49ers regular season game is scheduled for Christmas Eve.  If I were to guess on a bowl game date, I'd look for something on December 27 or 28.  The 29th might not be a bad date either but with the Cotton Bowl at night, that date might require a earlier start to stay away from a TV window involving a NY6 bowl.
  • The Arizona Bowl's date is set for December 30th, but is awaiting for a finalized start time.  CBSSN may be finalizing the possible men's basketball games they could be carrying that day and working to fit everything in.
* ESPN's soccer sideline reporter Julie Stewart-Binks mentioned she's be on the sidelines for the US Men's National Team World Cup qualifiers on Friday 9/1 and Thursday 10/6, which has some implications for college football programming on 9/1, particularly with respect to the two Big Ten games scheduled that evening.

With ESPN carrying the match from Harrison, NJ along with shoulder programming like pregame & postgame, it will likely be on ESPN as ESPN2 should be carrying US Open tennis & likely means ESPN will only have one football game.  Depending on the start time of the match, either Utah St. at Wisconsin or Colorado St. vs. Colorado should be on ESPN.  

Washington at Rutgers appears to fit more within the FOX family, along with whatever game ESPN doesn't take.  FS1 has the Mexican National Team's World Cup qualifier too and may not have as much sway, or any, around when that game can start.

Colorado St. vs. Colorado could conceivably end up on Pac-12 Networks, though I'm guessing that the game wasn't scheduled for a Friday to not be picked up by either FOX or ESPN.

As for 10/6, ESPN has a college football doubleheader, so soccer may end up on ESPN2.

* FOX, as a programming entity & not just the sports division, and ESPN have their upfront presentations to advertisers this week, FOX on Monday & ESPN on Tuesday.  Coupled with spring meetings from several conferences, we might see the first early season TV announcements.  I've believed that this is the time we'll see announcements regarding the Big Ten's TV deals with FOX, ESPN and CBS (can't forget the basketball deal with CBS).  AdAge reports that it has been discussed with advertising executives, so I'm unclear as to the holdup unless it is with one of the other parties.

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