Monday, October 23, 2017

Bedlam Start Time & Network

I think a convergence of events may have contributed to placing Bedlam on FS1 in mid afternoon on November 4th.

1) I warned after guesses post for Week Ten that any night game that ESPN or FOX wants from the Big Ten after 11/4 comes with the potential for the schools to veto the night game request (warning was in a tweet, see from  With no evening window on FS1 due to UFC commitments, the only place to fulfill this request was in the evening on FOX.

2) LSU vs. Alabama draws well and it was a forgone conclusion to air in the evening.  Courtesy SportsMediaWatch, the game's rating since 2012:

2012: 6.3
2013: 6.9
2014: 5.3
2015: 6.4
2016: 5.8

Its a reasonably safe bet to draw somewhere around a 6.0.  A couple years ago, Florida St. vs. Clemson was played at 3:30pm to stay out of the way of this one to draw a 4.7.  Ohio St. vs. Michigan St. did the best against it in 2014 with a 3.9.

3) So why not FOX in mid afternoon or, gulp, a pre-noon local Bedlam?  Its a reasonable question to ask.  I think there's a couple things at play:

* FS1 really hasn't had a tentpole college football game this season like it had with Oklahoma vs. Texas last year, which it used as a lead-in to a NLDS game that ended up being postponed due to rain.  This was their tentpole Big 12 game & I believe its their highest rated college football game to date.  The highest rated game they've had this year was Ohio St. at Nebraska on 10/14.

I also believe they're attempting to trade off of the high of a lot of people watching ALCS Game 7 too.

* In a weird way, whichever Big Ten game FOX ends up with at 12pm, either Penn St. at Michigan St. or Ohio St. at Iowa, I would assume (a terrible thing to do, I know) that game will push Bedlam like no one's business, even over the Pac-12 game airing after it.

Side note: For 11/4, with the first two windows on FOX being six day picks, they really can't promote anything before Bedlam right now.

* FOX only had five Pac-12 games on their broadcast network out of their required eight.  Going into 11/11, they have four Pac-12 selections left.  One is earmarked for FS1 at 11/25 at 10pm ET with UCLA vs. California selected already for Black Friday, so they may have no other selections that day.  One is likely to be used on 11/11 on the broadcast network with only a 12pm FS1 window, leaving two for 11/18.

So with the desire to move a Big Ten game to the evening with little resistance, plus requirements around the number of Pac-12 games they need to show, they might have backed themselves into a corner.  But its a corner they may OK with.

1 comment:

Serge said...

Michigan at Utah in 2015 is the highest rated FS1 game so far (Jim Harbaugh's first game as HC there; 2.9M vs 2.8M OK/TX last year).

PS - Unintended or not, I like the way you used "OK" in your last statement... Bedlam is always an "OK" affair, after all...