Friday, June 16, 2017

Notes: Holiday Bowl, Cayman Islands Classic & Men's Basketball Scheduling Considerations

* The Holiday Bowl has changed TV partners, moving from ESPN to FOX Sports with FS1 televising the upcoming matchup on December 28th.  In regards to why FS1 over FOX broadcast network where the Foster Farms Bowl airs, I can't give you a good reason if you are solely looking at the stature of the two bowl games.  The Foster Farms Bowl is behind the Holiday Bowl in the Pac-12's selection order, while the Big Ten is more proactive about placing schools at bowls to avoid recent reappearances at bowl games, even if it is to be believed that the Holiday is placed in a tier above the Foster Farms Bowl.

Either way, I suspect the date chosen for the Holiday Bowl was planned around the start of men's basketball conference play for the Pac-12 and Big East.  For the Pac-12, conference play is expected to start on 12/27 & 12/28, so if FS1 has interest in any games over those two days, they could be targeting 12/27.  Big East openers could be spread over the evening of Friday the 29th (Cotton Bowl at night) & afternoon of Saturday the 30th with the Fiesta & Orange Bowl games starting at 4pm ET, and FS2 or FSN could pick up a game or two if needed.  CBS Sports Network could also take a Big East game through their sublicense with FOX Sports too.

As for the Big Ten, they appear to be playing non-conference basketball during much of the week between Christmas & New Years based on non-conference games scheduled for Wisconsin, Purdue, and likely Ohio St. but that doesn't mean FS1 couldn't try to take one if they can fit one in.

* I exchanged tweets a few weeks back with Joe Wright, the CEO of the Cayman Islands Classic requesting information about television rights for the tournament being played November 20-22 and released its bracket yesterday.  Joe replied back that the information would be announced in eight weeks, which would peg the announcement to mid-July.  So where could it air?

  • ESPN's group of networks - This one feels less likely without using ESPN3 and ESPNEWS.  ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are expected have basketball from the Maui Invitational, CBE Classic, Battle 4 Atlantis and Legends Classic, coupled with Monday Night Football, the possibility of the NBA on Wednesday and one MAC football game for ESPNU on Tuesday.  The Men Who Speak Up Main Event has also had its championship game carried over this time frame in previous seasons too but the championship game has typically been at a time that would not interfere here.  
  • FOX Sports' group of networks - A large portion of the Big East's non-conference schedule is unknown, so I can't say that the schedule is open for their networks.  Right now, I spot two non-conference games over those three days.  EDIT: Per the comment at the bottom of the post, UEFA Champions League has a matchday scheduled for the US afternoon of 11/21 & 11/22, so there may be a conflict.
  • NBCSN - With the NHL schedule not yet released, along with NBCSN's telecast schedule, I can't give you a yes/no answer on that one.
  • CBS Sports Network - They should be tied up with final day of the Paradise Jam on Monday and the Cancun Challenge on Tuesday and Wednesday.  They could certainly be involved in the afternoon portions each day.
  • STADIUM - Same as NBCSN.  No real idea what programming they could have planned for those dates.
  • AXS.TV - I threw them in here because they are partial rightsholders for the Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • The field - Turner Sports? beIN Sports? Paid streaming of the event by a 3rd party?
The interesting part about the scheduling of the event is the semifinal games being split apart with one at 2:30pm ET and the other at 7:30pm.  From that point of view, if ESPN were the TV partner, maybe they figure out a way to use ESPN for Maui or the Cayman Islands in the afternoon as ESPN wasn't used on these dates, though it is the middle of NFL season where ESPN produces a lot of NFL studio programming.

Either way, it will be interesting to see where this event gets slotted in.


Anonymous said...

Fox Sports has UEFA Champions League group stage matches on 11/21-22, which takes out the mid-afternoon slot from the Cayman Islands (unless Fox somehow were to move soccer to FX).

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Thanks Chucky. For those who want to see it, here's the UEFA Champions League calendar, which includes the dates you mentioned.

bigddan11 said...

Fox may have UEFA Champions soccer, but that doesn't mean they couldn't use Fox College Sports. It's been a few years, but FCS did previously have the Vegas tournaments.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I'm a bit down on Fox College Sports when you consider that the suite of channels is no longer available through Xfinity's TV product & is online only.

Serge said...

I can see UEFA CL matches being moved, as this will be FOX's last year of that deal before Turner takes over.

Still, Cayman's field is underwhelming IMHO; CBSSN/ESPNx look like better partners, especially since the tournament is being promoted by the Mountain West Conference...