Sunday, November 26, 2017

TV Facts & Figures For The 2017 College Football Season

2017 was a bit of a mess, particularly early in the year where scheduled TV appearances were set aside or cancelled altogether as schedules were readjusted for weather issues, along with the annual weather delays that slotted games that were scheduled for a specific network and ended up elsewhere.  If you look over 2017 and feel that these numbers were slightly skewed, I won't argue the point.  I didn't see any conference's contractual numbers that were missed because of these problems.

* Florida St. ended up with two ACC controlled games on ABC, the lowest number of ACC appearances on the network since 2009 when the Seminoles had a single appearance on ABC.  Likewise, Louisville had only one ACC appearance on ABC.
* Miami led with five ACC appearances on ABC.  Clemson was second with four appearances.
* Raycom had its first nighttime window that I can recall for ACC football.  UL-Monroe at Florida St. was scheduled for evening but the window was cancelled due to the game's postponement.  They were granted a makeup with Duke at Virginia Tech on 10/28.  It was explained to me that Florida St. had requested the nighttime window to stay out of hot daytime weather the first few weeks of the season.

* A breakdown of regular season games by network:
  • ABC: 3
    • One was split national where others saw it on ESPN2
  • ESPN: 7
  • ESPN2: 6
  • ESPNU: 15
  • ESPNEWS: 7
  • CBS Sports Network: 15
    • An additional five aired on CBS Sports Network as part of Navy's expiring TV deal
  • ESPN3 or local/regional TV: 17
* East Carolina never appeared on ESPN or ESPN2.  Tulane appeared once on ESPN2.
* The Pirates appeared in seven of the fifteen CBSSN sublicenes.
* USF made the most appearances across the primary TV networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU) with eight games.  Memphis & Temple each had seven and UCF had six.  Note that UCF's lost game vs. Georgia Tech was scheduled for ESPNEWS.
* The American had several alterations to their schedule, to their credit, to make sure the entire conference schedule could be played.  If you'd like to see how the schedule was originally set, take a look.

Big 12
* Just twelve games on broadcast television, the lowest number for the Big 12 since I started tracking in 2005.
* Three of the five games on ABC were part of reverse mirror / split national presentations.
* 39 games aired on ABC (full or split national with ESPN2), ESPN, ESPN2, FOX or FS1.
* Texas played twice on broadcast television and had only one game involving them announced as part of the in-season selection process (Red River Rivalry), and that game could have been selected by ESPN before the season started & not announced.
* Oklahoma led the way with five appearances on broadcast television as part of the Big 12 TV deals.  Oklahoma St. appeared four times and Iowa St., Texas Tech and TCU each appeared three times.
* Three games aired on FS2, the first time games were scheduled or intended for scheduling on FS2.

Big Ten
* Thirty regular season games aired on broadcast television between ABC & FOX with an even split of fifteen games.
* In terms of cable networks, the breakdown is as follows:
  • BTN: 41
    • Aired over 32 telecast windows
  • ESPN: 5
  • ESPN2: 6
  • ESPNU: 1
    • Per contractual rules, only non-conference games can air here.
  • FS1: 12
* Regular season primetime games per entity, including weeknight games.  Anything after a 6pm ET start:
  • ABC: 4
  • BTN: 9
  • ESPN: 1
  • ESPN2: 1
  • FOX: 3
  • FS1: 5
* Some fun facts re: the Big Ten appearances:
  • Courtesy Sean Kelly, Nebraska never appear on an ESPN platform in a Big Ten controlled game.  Rutgers also never appeared on an ESPN platform.
  • Michigan never appeared on the four primary packages' cable networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or FS1).
  • Rutgers led with ten games on BTN.
  • All of Michigan St.'s appearances on FOX Sports platforms were on FOX broadcast network.
  • All of Penn St.'s appearances on ESPN platforms were on ABC.
* BYU didn't appear on ESPNU this season.  There was a requirement/guideline/suggestion that at least one game per season appear on ESPNU.  They did have four games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 so maybe that washes away the need for a game on ESPNU.
* For the third consecutive season, BYUtv aired a pair of games.  Only one game per season is required to air here, but ESPN can defer picking up a game if they desire and other contractual obligations are met.

I don't want to leave Conference USA out.  Most of their television & internet schedule was set before the season started, so I don't really have anything to add.  Feel free to view their conference controlled TV schedule which still had a lot of local telecasts, plus the addition of Stadium-produced Facebook offerings.

* Ten games aired on ESPNU, the most on the network since they aired the same number in 2007.  To be fair, two of those games (Kansas at Ohio on 9/16 & Western Michigan at Buffalo on 10/7) were added to the schedule due to weather related schedule adjustments.
* Northern Illinois appeared six times across ESPN's linear television platforms and the CBS Sports Network sublicense package, the most of any MAC school.

Mountain West
* In terms of the breakdown of ESPN platform games, the games on each network is as follows:
  • ESPN: 1
  • ESPN2: 12
  • ESPNU: 6
  • ESPN3: 5
    • VMI at Air Force & Fresno St. at San Jose St. were selected by ESPN after their original 22 selections.
* ESPNU carried three Mountain West games outside of where ESPN platforms have typically carried them, which was either Saturday afternoon or early evening.

* USC lead all Pac-12 schools with six appearances on broadcast television.
* The fourteen regular season games on broadcast television beat the number that ABC & FOX aired each of the last two seasons, excluding the conference championship game.
* Nine of the 12 schools played at least once on broadcast television.  Arizona, Arizona St. and Oregon St. did not.
* The five ABC games is the most that network carried since 2014 when they showed six Pac-12 games.
* Utah appeared the most times on ESPN or FOX pay TV platforms with seven appearances.
* Arizona St. had the least number of appearances among the two primary TV partners with 3 games.  Consequently, their eight appearances on Pac-12 Networks lead all schools with Oregon St. second with seven appearances.
* Oregon's sole appearance as part of ESPN's portion of Pac-12 games was the Civil War vs. Oregon St., which was selected by ESPN before the season started.
* USC never appeared on FS1.

* Georgia was the only SEC schools to hit the maximum number of five CBS appearances.  All of Georgia's appearances were at 3:30pm ET.
* In the "no one wants to play at 12pm ET" department, Ole Miss had four 11am local starts on SEC Network.
* Alabama, Texas A&M & LSU each had six total appearances on ESPN or ESPN2.  One could make the argument that LSU's appearance vs. BYU was not part of the SEC's television contract.  
* Texas A&M made two additional SEC appearances on ESPNU.
* Kentucky never appeared on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.  They had ten appearances on SEC Network and one on CBS.
* Mississppi St. never appeared on ESPN2 or ESPNU.  All their games were on CBS, ESPN or SEC Network.  Their 11/18 game on CBS may have been from a sublicensed TV window from ESPN too.

Similar to Conference USA, the Sun Belt had only one linear national TV appearance set during the season (12/2, Troy at Arkansas St.).  Feel free to view their information.

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