Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 (Kinda) Midseason CFB TV Selection Report

I wanted to get a midseason report out after the 10/13 selections, but I ran out of time.  This is based on the selections just completed for 10/20, which leaves five weeks of selections remaining.

A lot of the counting up of appearances was done manually, so if I'm off on the count, correct me so I can correct the counts here.

* The minimum of three ABC games has been achieved (yes, I'm aware two were shoved into a single reverse mirror window on 9/8).  I believe you'll see one more ABC game on Black Friday based on the available windows and games.
* 22 games have been scheduled for ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU with a minimum of 28 games across those networks.  Two more games are likely for those networks on Black Friday.

Big 12
* ESPN has used 17 of their 23 Big 12 selections.  The conference championship game is not part of the 23 selections.

  • ABC: 4
  • ESPN: 7
  • ESPN2: 3
  • ESPNU: 2
    • A maximum of four to five games on ESPNU
  • Longhorn Network: 1 (vs. Iowa St.)

* 27 games have aired on ABC, FOX, ESPN and FS1, which meets a requirement of at least 25 national exposures across those four networks.

Big Ten
* Michigan needs to appear once on BTN over the remaining games to fulfill requirements to have two games, with one being a game vs. another Big Ten school, on BTN.
* FOX Sports can air up to nine games in primetime on FOX & FS1, but they look like they'll only have around five to seven, with one games being the Akron-Nebraska game that ended up being canceled.  ESPN should easily get into the six to nine game range of primetime windows.  They've already carried five games at night and have two more ABC windows scheduled for 7:30pm that could end up being Big Ten games.
* FOX Sports has used 20 of their Big Ten selections and ESPN has used 16.  Both conferences have a max of 27 selections per season.
* Week Ten (11/3/18) is the last week that both ESPN Networks and FOX Sports can select a game to air at night without prior consultation with the competing schools.  From that point forward, networks will make schools available multiple weeks in advance of the possibility of a night game and both competing schools must agree to the night game selection.  In 2017, only one night game was played past the after this deadline: Purdue at Northwestern on ESPN2 at 7pm on 11/11/17.

* BYU has one more required ESPN appearance to be made.  There is an allowance for at least one game on ESPNU.  They have made three appearances on ESPN2, which fulfills a requirement for at least three BYU home games to appear on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

* ESPN has met their ABC minimum of two games, with one being a night game.  Fourteen of ABC's 22 selections have been used.
* FOX Sports hit their required four Pac-12 games on FOX at night and needs to place one more game on their broadcast network.  They have used 16 of their 22 selections.
* Stanford, UCLA and Washington must have one of their remaining games air on Pac-12 Networks, as there is a maximum of nine games total for a school that can air amongst the FOX Sports and ESPN packages.  UCLA and Stanford play the final week of the regular season.  Both Stanford and Washington also have games available vs. Oregon St.

* LSU & Georgia has three CBS appearances scheduled.  There is a maximum of five times that a school can appear on CBS.  A sixth appearance can be allowed for under special circumstances.
* Alabama, Florida and Tennessee have two appearances scheduled each.
* Georgia's appearance vs. South Carolina does not count as a CBS appearance as it was a game sublicensed from ESPN.  The same for Tennessee's appearance vs. West Virginia.

Some commentary
* An early takeaway I have is that FOX will likely go heavy on the Big 12 in November since they're a bit ahead of ESPN on their usage in the Big Ten and Pac-12.  Their Big 12 package is not capped on the FOX Sports side in terms of the number of games they can carry.  They do have UFC commitments potentially each of the first three Saturdays of November, which could limit the number of games they can carry unless the UFC items in some areas are moved to F/X or FS2.  They also have a pair of FSN windows for the Big 12 in November.
* Six day holds should start to be used more regularly over the next five weeks worth of selections.  Only one has been used on the ACC (10/6) and one on the Pac-12 (10/6 by FOX).
* Both 10/27 and 11/3 have ABC windows scheduled for 7:30pm ET.  I think there are games (no, I'm not telling you what I think, but you can guess) targeted by ESPN to place on ABC and I'm unsure that there are better options.  Notre Dame at Northwestern was preselected by ESPN to air at some point during the day.


Doug said...

FWIW, the UFC folks are showing 11-03 as being PPV, which would seem to settle the question of whether or not FS1 has UFC commitments on that night (note that the same schedule does show the FS1 commitments on 10-27, 11-10, and 11-17).

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Right. 11/3 is PPV. Just depends where the prelim matches air.

Doug said...

....which I now realize is why you have UFC listed as a possibility for only the early evening slot on FS1 in the spreadsheet of available windows, with the late evening slot open. So, as usual, you were completely on top of things from the start!

Also, I didn't realize that ABC could use reverse-mirrored games to meet their minimum for the American. It seems like like this provides a pretty glaring loophole by which ABC can essentially circumvent the requirement by showing an American game as part of an extremely limited reverse mirror (e.g., airing the game on ABC in just one or two markets). Is there anything that stops them from doing this?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

There's a lot I do miss Doug, so let's not get carried away.

Re American - don't think there's much they can do. Right now, they're the only G5 conference that gets guaranteed appearances on a broadcast network, so that's a plus that can't be ignored either.

Doug said...

Re: American, reverse mirrors, and minimum requirements, I guess it's true that any G5 conference probably has to take what it can get in terms of network exposure. But the same point also applies to the Pac-12 and its second (non–primetime-required) ABC game, which ABC is indeed reverse-mirroring this week with (naturally) an American game.

It just makes me wonder why conferences bother negotiating these minimum requirements at all (for ABC, at least) if ABC can so easily get around them via reverse mirror.

Unknown said...

It wouldn't surprise me if there is a clause that stipulates that the ABC games must go to a minimum of XX% (25??) of the country to count.

ALL 3 of this seasons games would qualify. with so much less Big 10 inventory. The American is the conference that seems to be benefitting from linear and OTA coverage (strictly talking Saturdays)

gcotton said...

I know Nebraska is garbage this year, but the 11-3 game at OSU might make it to the ABC late game.....If not, this will be the first time in I don't know when, that OSU does not host a night game during the season. Nevermind, I just looked at the rest of the B1G slate that day, I'm sure ABC will pick PSU/MICH if they have the chance. Could see 3 primetime games that week: ABC: PSU/MICH; CBS: BAMA/LSU; FOX: WVU/TEXAS

daniel anderson said...

What i don't understand is why North Carolina would get a Conference USA game(UCF-Memphis) when Washington-Oregon was the bigger game.

Anonymous said...

just a hunch maybe it was because East Carolina that is the same conference as UCF/MEM could be why but Matt might have more on it but that's my guess