Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Remaining Early Season Start Times & MW Regional TV Guesses

Mountain West

* The regional TV schedule for the Mountain West does have to work around the schedules of the Colorado Rockies, Utah Jazz and Vegas Golden Knights which are carried on AT&T SportsNet in large areas of the RSN's territory.  The Jazz are also carried in some areas on ROOT Sports, which is why a portion of the Big Sky's TV schedule on that RSN has a few TBA start times.

Anyways, here's a guess on the remaining games from the Mountain West, placing them with particular TV or digital platforms:

AT&T SportsNet
9/1: Stony Brook at Air Force
9/8: New Mexico St. at Utah St.
9/29: Liberty at New Mexico
10/13: UNLV at Utah St.
10/13: New Mexico at Colorado St.
10/20: Utah St. at Wyoming
10/27: UNLV at San Jose St.
11/10: San Jose St. at Utah St.
11/17: Nevada at San Jose St.
11/24: Wyoming at New Mexico

A few notes on these:
  • Taking the Air Force game with the Rockies in the evening feels like a no-brainer with all other Air Force games selected by other MW TV partners
  • I looked at New Mexico St. at Utah St. as a good regional selection.
  • For October & November, I tried to balance the selections of UNLV and Nevada games based on if or when the Golden Knights were playing.  
  • There are occasions where ROOT only carried the Big Sky game & ATTSN only carried the MW game live, so this doesn't mean the two conferences would be aired as consecutive games.
Stadium Production on Facebook or ESPN Digital
9/1: Idaho at Fresno St.
9/8: Sacramento St. at San Diego St.
9/8: UTEP at UNLV
9/13: Tennessee Tech at Utah St.
10/6: New Mexico at UNLV
10/27: New Mexico at Colorado St.
11/3: San Jose St. at Wyoming
11/17: Utah St. at Colorado St.

ESPN and CBS Sports Network are each allowed up to two additional selections after AT&T Sports Network and Stadium make their selections.  One of those intraconference games could be an ESPN3 game.

School Produced Mountain West Network or No Streaming
8/30: UC Davis at San Jose St.
8/31: Portland St. at Nevada
9/1: Incarnate Word at New Mexico
9/15: Prairie View at UNLV
9/15: Wofford at Wyoming
9/22: Illinois St. at Colorado St.

Spectrum PPV for Hawai'i & Stadium app on the mainland
9/8: Rice at Hawai'i
9/22: Duquesne at Hawai'i
9/29: Hawai'i at San Jose St.
10/6: Wyoming at Hawai'i
10/20: Nevada at Hawai'i
11/3: Utah St. at Hawai'i
11/17: UNLV at Hawai'i

Conference USA

There are six regular season C-USA games, all involving FAU and UAB as the home teams, that are awaiting final start times.  Five of them are scheduled to air on Stadium or Stadium on Facebook with the sixth on ESPN3.  I suspect that FAU is working with Stadium on the games for their TV feed to figure out the best start time with respect to hot weather and UAB may be doing the same, though since both UAB games are on digital outlets, they have a bit more control on the start times.  All might be set by the time C-USA Media Days start up in a week.

The conference championship game's start time is also TBA.  If CBSSN carries the final day of the Belfast Classic, the football game wouldn't start any earlier than 1pm ET based on the tip times in Belfast.

Liberty, New Mexico St. and Massachusetts

Liberty & New Mexico St. set the start times for their home games already and both schools have produced telecasts before, so its likely that they'll continue down this route and figure out a way to distribute those games out of market digitally.  As for UMass, they are staying with Eleven Sports for national coverage, so they may be working with the network alongside other FCS game coverage to figure out the appropriate start times.

I put forth the possibility of both Liberty and New Mexico St. maybe looking at Eleven Sports with both schools producing the coverage for the national network, mostly because the Big Sky schedule had few start times announced (they could also be working with other FCS conferences like the Southland).

Liberty would be less likely because of their A-Sun sports coverage being part of ESPN Digital.  New Mexico St. I could see looking at it since they have the UMass model to follow, which still allowed for regional TV coverage (UMass used NESN) and free streaming through the UMass athletics website.  Whether they look at that or if Eleven is even interested, I can't say.  Would it be a step up from AggieVision w/FSAZ & Altitude regionally & ESPN3 and FOX College Sports nationally?  Possibly.

Monday, July 2, 2018

College Basketball Scheduling Notes for 2018: December

This one is a continuation of an early look at college basketball on TV for the upcoming season.  Here's a look at November if you haven't read it yet.

Many of these game dates came from The D1 Docket, Chris Dobbertean of Blogging The Bracket & Jon Rothstein


Championship Saturday falls on the first Saturday of December and bowl season starts on the third one, so there's plenty of possibilities for college basketball to be mixed in either before football games or in between.  As for Sundays, with both CBS and FOX on NFL duties, the cable networks are the winners

December 1st & 2nd
  • FOX only has the Big Ten Championship on Saturday.  The conference is expected to schedule their first round of conference play during this weekend, so look for a repeat of last year where CBS carried Indiana at Michigan to lead into SEC Championship coverage and FOX carried Ohio St. at Wisconsin before their Big Ten football coverage.  Maybe not those same exact games though.
  • FOX might also end up with a Big East game on the broadcast network leading into the Big Ten game.  Gonzaga at Creighton, Louisville at Seton Hall and Kansas St. at Marquette are possibilities
  • Look for Stanford at Kansas to show up on ESPN in the middle of the day on Saturday.  Another that should end up on ESPN2 would be Villanova at La Salle.  The HoopHall Miami event also has four games available to be taken across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  
  • Nevada at USC could end up on ESPN linear TV or FS1.  FOX isn't known for taking many Pac-12 non conference games.
  • CBS Sports Network should have options for Saturday, including Cincinnati at UNLV, possibly a Big East game that FOX elects to sublicense to them, Butler at Saint Louis, Wake Forest at Richmond and/or maybe Oregon at Houston.
  • Sunday is light, but Arizona at Connecticut looks like a midday game for ESPN to pick up.  UCF at Missouri could be on ESPN, but is likely targeted for the SEC Network.  Louisville at Seton Hall could end up being a Sunday game, which would firmly put it on FS1 as I don't see that one moving to CBS Sports Network via sublicense.
December 7th & 8th
  • CBS usually airs one game in the afternoon before the Army-Navy football game.  As a primary rightsholder to American, Big Ten and SEC, they have three great options: Xavier at Cincinnati, Louisville at Indiana & Michigan St. at Florida.
  • ESPN should be carrying at least one FCS Playoff game on Saturday, but after that they have options.  Georgetown at Syracuse is exclusive to them unless they were to sublicense it to CBS.  Two of the games listed above for CBS could end up on their air.  Besides that, they have a Duke game vs. Yale (ESPN doesn't miss a chance to show Duke), the Never Forget Tribute Classic doubleheader (Clemson vs. Mississippi St. & Florida St. vs. UConn), South Carolina at Michigan and 3-4 Big 12 games.  Notre Dame at UCLA is also available in the evening.
  • If FOX can get their hands on Louisville at Indiana, I imagine they'll take it.  Same with Notre Dame at UCLA.  They also have St. Joe's vs. Villanova and Wisconsin at Marquette from the Big East, which would work out well for FS1.
  • Kansas St. at Tulsa might be one that CBS Sports Network can get their hands on for Saturday. 
  • I'm not sure if ESPN would have rights to the Never Forget Tribute Games, and two other neutral site games on Saturday I'm unclear on the TV rights for: Kentucky vs. Seton Hall at MSG & Utah vs. BYU at Vivint Smart Home Arena.  If the former is a Big East game, its definitely on FOX as I don't see it being sublicensed.  As for the Beehive State game, ESPN has rights available to it if its classified as a WCC contest, but if its a Pac-12 game, ESPN might pick it up in the evening.
  • Sunday is set up well for ESPN.  Assuming they have the Jerry Colangelo Classic, they'll have a nice doubleheader of Gonzaga vs. Tennessee & Nevada vs. Grand Canyon.  Purdue at Texas is also available to them.
December 15th & 16th
  • ESPN becomes a bit limited due to bowl games on the mothership but ESPN2 and ESPNU should have space outside of 1-2 FCS semifinal games.  One game is likely to go to ESPN before their bowl game coverage.  My bet would be Villanova at Kansas over Gonzaga at North Carolina.  ESPN also could end up with the MGM Resorts Showcase (BYU vs. UNLV & LSU vs. St. Mary's), part or all of the Hall of Fame Boardwalk Classic (4 game bill in Atlantic City) & Crossroads Classic, and Tennessee at Memphis
  • CBS would be a nice place for Gonzaga at North Carolina to land. If not, maybe Utah at Kentucky.
  • CBSSN should have the Cure Bowl in the early afternoon, so they could look to carry games before and after, like if they could get their hands on the MGM Resorts Showcase.
  • FOX had the Crossroads Classic event last year.  Beyond that, not many choices.  SMU at Georgetown would probably be on FS1.
  • Sunday is quite empty.  FS1 might have the Rutgers at Seton Hall game & ESPN could have the Hall of Fame Holiday Classic.
December 22nd & 23rd
  • ESPN will have the Diamond Head Classic across its networks in the late afternoon & evening.  They'll also have bowl games on the 22nd on the mothership.  Besides those games, I would look for them to carry games like Georgia at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest at Tennessee & Kansas at Arizona St.  Maybe Seton Hall at Maryland too, though that one may be for BTN or FS1.  EDIT: Villanova vs. UConn should also be available to them
  • CBS moved the CBS Sports Classic to Las Vegas, which leads me to believe they'll have a game before it.  My pick for that is Villanova vs. UConn from MSG.  EDIT: CBS Sports Classic is in Chicago in 2018.  2019 is in Las Vegas.
  • FS1 should have the Las Vegas Classic in the evening on both Saturday and Sunday.  If FS1 can swing it, they might also carry the Orange Bowl Classic games in the afternoon.  As for the broadcast network, they might not carry any college basketball that day.  
  • I assume CBS Sports Network would look to carry at least one of BYU at San Diego St. & Akron at Nevada.
December 29th & 30th
  • ESPN has one more full Saturday of bowl games, specifically the CFP Semifinals plus the Peach Bowl.  Its a really light day for college basketball and conference play for several conferences won't begin this particular weekend.  Nevada at Utah is a nice game and might be worth a selection by ESPN or FS1, but that's it.
  • The Jimmy V Classic is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4th.
  • The Hall of Fame Classic is on Friday, December 7th.  Last year's tripleheader was on split between Pac-12 Networks, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
  • Tuesday the 18th offers Creighton at Oklahoma & Xavier at Missouri.
  • Wednesday the 19th offers a couple intriguing non-conference games with UCLA visiting Cincinnati and Auburn headed to NC State.  California at Fresno St. might be on CBS Sports Network's radar.
  • The 21st has Providence at Texas and Oklahoma at Northwestern, plus the Braggin' Rights game between Missouri & Illinois from St. Louis.