Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Quick CFB & MBK Notes

Apologies on the number of mistakes in the weekly blog entry keeping track of the 12 day selections and the updates to the schedule each week.  There's probably errors here too.  Will do better.


* If you're keeping track of who picked first for the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12, my belief is these are the weeks each network picked first, including future weeks:
  • Big 12
    • FOX Sports: 8/30-9/1, 9/8, 9/22, 10/6 (Oklahoma-Texas)
    • ABC & ESPN: 9/15, 9/29, 11/17 (Iowa St.-Texas, per ISU), 11/23-24 (WVU-Oklahoma)
  • Big Ten
    • FOX Sports: 9/22, 10/21 , 11/23 (Nebraska-Iowa), 11/24 (Michigan-Ohio St.)
      • Note: Big Ten treats Black Friday as a individual week independent from Saturday
    • ABC & ESPN: 8/30-9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/29, 11/3 (Notre Dame-Northwestern)
  • Pac-12
    • FOX Sports: 8/30-9/1, 9/8, 9/29
    • ABC & ESPN: 9/15, 9/22
    • Pac-12: None Yet
* Other random stats that may matter
  • Big Ten primetime games, including weeknights
    • ABC & ESPN: 3 (at least six per season, max of nine)
    • FOX Sports: 5 (max of nine per season)
  • FOX needs one more Pac-12 primetime game to fulfill their maximum.  ABC has met theirs.
  • FOX has met their minimum for Big 12 games on FS1.
  • Combined, FOX Sports and ESPN have to air 25 games nationally on ABC, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1.  21 have aired on these networks so far.
  • In-season selections remaining:
    • Big 12 
      • ABC & ESPN: 11 (max of 23)
    • Big Ten (assuming 27 selections each)
      • ABC & ESPN: 16
      • FOX Sports: 12
    • Pac-12 (22 selections each)
      • ABC & ESPN: 11
      • FOX Sports: 11
  • Sixteen American Athletic games have been scheduled to air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  At least two more will be added to this count on Black Friday.
* The sheer number of cancellations over the first few weeks, most of them due to the hurricane, might affect the overall number of selections each conference has for a particular network.  To the positive or negative?  I can't say.  I suspect Raycom, for example, will end up with an extra window somewhere, much like they did when ULM-Florida St. was postponed last year & a midseason primetime window popped up.  Even though it wasn't a primetime game, maybe they get an extra selection down the road.

* Conference Championship Saturday might look like the following with men's basketball scheduled from 3pm-9pm ET on ESPN2 and from 3:30pm-7:30pm on ESPN.  Should be able to finalize this on 10/1.

ABC: 12pm Big 12, 3:30pm American, 8pm ACC
ESPN: 12pm Sun Belt, 7:30pm Mountain West


* One of the trends that stuck out to me were more Sunday games on FOX & FS1, particularly from the Big East.  14 intraconference games will air on Sundays during the upcoming season, compared to six in 2017-18 and ten in 2016-17.  Three of those in 2016-17 were part of a opening weekend tripleheader on New Years Day.

Two of those Sunday Big East games will air on FOX with the start time dependent on the NFL playoffs, something CBS has done with multiple college basketball selections over the past decade.  Another two will be part of a doubleheader on 1/27/19, which is the Sunday between the NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl.   Last year it was used for a Big East-Big Ten doubleheader.

I reached out to someone at FOX Sports to find out if the greater use of Sunday was by design but have not heard back from them. EDIT: Per someone with knowledge of the scheduling process, building availability was the reason for the use of more Sunday slots.

There's also four Saturday night games on FS1.  To further the point regarding arena availability, two of those four games (DePaul at Seton Hall on 1/19 & Seton Hall at St. John's on 2/23) happen to have NHL games airing at the home site earlier in the day. A third game, Depaul at Butler on 2/16, falls on NBA All Star Game weekend and would sometime air after the Daytona Xfinity Series race, assuming it airs on FS1.  The fourth, Depaul at Xavier on 2/9, I believe would air after NASCAR practices and, likely, the Daytona ARCA race.

* Four releases from conferences where ESPN Networks have a lot of games (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and WCC) showed an increase in ESPN looking to program the best available games on the mothership.  Will be something to keep an eye on as the season moves forward.

* Also of note: the lack of announcements regarding non-conference games from the Big 12 and ACC.  Would expect something similar from the SEC.  Can't explain it, though I do expect it more from the SEC.

* Per Kansas, their home game vs. Villanova will lead into ESPN's FBS bowl game schedule on 12/15.  We're still waiting to see which game, if any, will lead into CBS's SEC Championship Game coverage on 12/1 with the Pac-12, American and SEC TV schedules waiting to be announced.

* Interesting to see ESPN and Raycom with a wildcard selection on February 26th.  One game airs on ESPN and the other on ACC Network with the choices of Syracuse at North Carolina & Duke at Virginia Tech.  I wasn't sure if these were games that were concurrent telecasts on those two entities for those games like the first Duke-UNC matchup, but UNC's schedule clearly marked those games are ESPN or Raycom where the Duke game is marked ESPN and Raycom

* I'm curious to see the effects of the schedule for the Alliance of American Football affecting the placement of games on CBS Sports Network.  I assume the games will be on Saturday nights, but I can't seem to find any information on that other than the schedule starting on Saturday 2/9 on the broadcast network.


youknowrobby said...

Texas vs OU what’s the hold up on what Fox channel? Has to be Fox National, right?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

No. It's aired on FS1 & ESPN the last two years, so it's not a given.