Friday, March 23, 2018

Pac-12 MBK Final: Does Its Tie-In With FOX Sports Need Improvement?

Jon Wilner from Bay Area News Group posted his most recent Pac-12 Stock Report and brought up how the Pac-12 men's basketball championship had a significantly lower number of viewers compared to all other top basketball conferences and was significantly outpaced by the Mountain West.

I responded back to Jon about it and we had a brief conversation on it over Twitter.  I thought it was worth posting it here instead of attempting to paraphrase it.

And a brief sidebar:
True, and I think its a relevant point because for a long time the semifinals were on FSN at the times they currently are when split between Pac-12 Networks, ESPN and FS1, and then were followed by a 3pm PT start on CBS for the championship game after the Big Ten Semifinals.

I don't think Friday night is the answer regardless of where it airs.  The final does better on Saturday on ESPN because it has the lead-in of the ACC.  FOX's best lead-in, and arguably one that should help both games, is to pair them together on broadcast television.  Right now they'd had to change other scheduling considerations to make it happen (this year, a Xfinity Series race aired on FOX before the Big East Championship), but to get the most back for your buck out of both, I think you have to lobby to hook yourself to Saturday and another championship game.


daniel anderson said...

The big problem with a 11pm start is the local news. But my Fox station does news at 10pm, so a 11pm start wouldn't hurt.

Morgan Wick said...

The big problem is that people still don't associate Fox with college sports, and that's more acute with college basketball where it's less popular in general, their most prominent conference the Big East doesn't attract as much of an audience on its own than Fox originally hoped, and the PAC-12 is one of the weaker power conferences from an audience perspective as well. If Fox had the Big Ten or even Big 12 championships it would do more for either or both of them than simply pairing the two together would, but it would probably do more to hurt them because people associate college hoops with CBS, ESPN, and no one else.

Unknown said...

The bigger problem is that FS1 is terrible, and it was a huge mistake for the Pac-12 to permit Fox to put conference tournament games, or any significant basketball or football games for that matter, on FS1.

FS1 is, at best, like having your games televised on ESPNU.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

FS1 is in 83m homes. To say FS1 is terrible is a joke.Ratings were up 25% this season! FOX in even years needs to have the Big East/Pac-12 doubleheader.