Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Notes on STADIUM, ROOT Sports Rebranding & Bowl Schedule Updates

* I didn't catch something, or catch onto something that was brought up to me as a point of clarification about STADIUM, but its an important distinction to take note of as it was something that was mentioned in the Mountain West's release of their initial 2017-18 men's intraconference basketball schedule:
Regional partner AT&T Sports Net/ROOT Sports and the Mountain West Network on STADIUM will begin their picks after the national television lineup has been announced.
I'll get to the AT&T Sports Net part in the next section, but the part about Mountain West Network on STADIUM is what I'm calling out as it wasn't clear to me, or went right over my head, that the Campus Insiders brand is going away, along with the 120 Sports name.  It doesn't mean that much in terms of actually watching the games, but I think I'll have to be more clear about STADIUM the 24/7 single feed platform & STADIUM as the back end video provider for the Mountain West, Patriot League and WCC for live events. Maybe the STADIUM folks, conference and schools will be doing the same.  I think what I'll need to do for those events is go by the brand names those conferences use (MW Network, Patriot League Network, TheW.TV).

* Three of the four ROOT Sports regional sports networks will be rebranding to AT&T SportsNet in July.  ROOT Sports Northwest, which is not rebranding as it is majority owned by the Seattle Mariners, will retain a loose affiliation it appears as they'll continue to carry Big Sky and Mountain West sports.  I assume they'll continue be involved in the WCC's Game of The Week men's basketball package as well.

* Two of the three bowl games on December 26th have had their start times set with the Quick Lane Bowl at 5:15pm ET and the Cactus Bowl following at 9pm ET.  The Heart of Dallas Bowl could slot into a 1:30pm ET start with all three scheduled to air on ESPN.

So, where does this leave the Holiday Bowl?  Good question.  Based on those start times, I don't think it would be on ESPN on 12/26, which may have been the date left open by ESPN if they were to come to an agreement to televise the game as a post Christmas bowl.

The other date & time open on ESPN, potentially, is December 23rd at 10:30pm ET following the Dollar General Bowl.  Holiday Bowl executive director Mark Neville indicated they would like a post Christmas date, but did not rule out a pre-Christmas date.  It would be the only bowl game involving two Power 5 conference with primary tie-ins played before Christmas.

I would not rule out the possibility of the Holiday Bowl on ESPN2 as the Independence, Gator and Outback have aired on The Deuce in prior years so that ESPN could get multiple New Years Day bowls on the air at about the same time, or air a bowl game on a Monday without cutting into Monday Night Football pregame.  Bowl games on ESPN2 usually happen 1-2 times a year, so its not worth dismissing the possibility.  Could happen with the Heart of Dallas Bowl too if they wanted to run the game back to back with the Holdiay Bowl.  The Heart of Dallas Bowl originally started out as a New Years Day bowl game on ESPNU until ESPN bought the game a few years back.

Outside of ESPN televised bowl games, the Foster Farms Bowl had its date & start time set too.

No comments: