This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/2/21 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to. Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.
Monday, September 20, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021
- Minnesota at Purdue (12pm)
- Northwestern at Nebraska (7:30pm)
- WKU at Michigan State (7:30pm)
Monday, September 13, 2021
This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/25/21 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to. Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
- I'm not a guesses machine when it comes to guessing when your team's games are going to be played for the entire season.
- I don't guess farther out than 12 days in advance.
- I'm very poor at getting things right, so do not think about using those guesses to book travel and lodging for a game. I try to know as many guidelines and rules that networks and conferences try to adhere to, but I'm not perfect.
- Conference USA is now confirmed to have an increased presence on CBS Sports Network as they've taken some of the games ceded by NFL Network after their agreement with the conference was dissolved one year into a four year agreement.
- UConn's contract with CBSSN starts this season for home games on the network.
- The Sun Belt signed an extension with ESPN one year into their current agreement, providing the conference with a few more linear TV games during the season.
- Liberty signed a new agreement with ESPN that will provide them with at least one linear TV game per season.
- I'm unsure if Stadium's C-USA games will air on the Bally Sports RSNs and any affiliated RSNs. As far as I can tell, the Mountain West games will be on Stadium's over-the-air affiliates.
- The Big Sky moved over to ESPN+ for the majority of their games from PlutoTV. ESPNU will also televise a couple Big Sky games each season.
- The WAC will also use ESPN+ for the majority of the games its schools play in FCS football this season as some schools play a schedule of WAC and ASun "conference" games (dubbed AQ7 or WAC-ASun Challenge) for an autobid to the FCS playoffs.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Here's what surprised me in the early season CFB TV releases:
Talk is kinda cheap when it comes to the Mountain West and wanting a specific range for start times. This isn't necessarily shade towards the Mountain West office, but it was highly touted that the conference would only go outside of the boundaries of their "earliest" start time of 11am local and in the first "real" season of the deal, CBS used all three of their broadcast network windows for games that would start locally at 9am (Boise State at San Diego State), 10am (Boise State at Utah State) and 10:30am (Army West Point vs. Air Force being played in Arlington, TX).
I do remember that the conference was willing to make exceptions outside the early bound of their early game start time as there were strong hints dropped that FOX wanted to bring their Big Noon Kickoff crew to Boise when they would have hosted Florida State last year. And there is the matter that all three of these games will lead into SEC telecasts, which is kinda cool.
The ESPN Thursday night schedule feels a bit lackluster, even if it truly isn't. Both the Big 12 and Pac-12 are missing from ESPN's Thursday night schedule, leading it to be a rotation of games from the American, ACC and Sun Belt until the SEC contributes the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving (I'll be watching Bills-Saints that night, thank you). Maybe I feel this more because of seeing the Sun Belt on Thursday nights on ESPN, but the conference admirably contributed to the schedule last year when called upon during the first year of a new rights agreement. Boise State at UCF seems nice, but it doesn't sound like either one will be in the Top 25 to start the year and if either or both are, they'll be at a place where only one will be in the Top 25 after the weekend.
And its not new to see the Thursday schedule become de-emphasized compared to Fridays. This has been a thing for several years and coincided with the NFL going full season on Thursdays. I'll be curious to see if this flips in 2022 as the NFL's Thursday night games move to Amazon Prime for the vast majority of viewers.
"Pac-12 After Dark" hits broadcast TV. I've seen cases where networks have slotted a Pac-12 game after 10pm ET and said "Yes, (ABC or FOX) is possible" and often thought to myself "No, it isn't. Stop it". Then last year we had a a Utah-UCLA game tentatively scheduled for 10:30pm ET on FOX before it was cancelled due to COVID issues.
But now we have a legit scheduling choice being made, and part of this is due to FOX's MLB commitments as the Yankees will host the Mets at 7:30pm ET on 9/11, pushing FOX to air Stanford at USC after the baseball game.
I'm also curious if this is a way to do the reverse of placing Pac-12 games at noon ET or if this is truly a one-time deal.
They're going to phase in use of ESPN+ for the SEC fans. This seems to be a way to push SEC fans over to ESPN+ by moving over a handful of football games to the platform, but giving the fans the ability to watch them online via the SEC+ portal this year, which only requires a SEC Network subscription.
And this also seems to mean that the SEC Network Alternate is going to go away as a usable platform, though I could see it popping up in the event of games running long due to weather or other issues.
No early Black Friday game on ABC? At the moment, that's a question because I'm curious on the plans. They noted that the three Black Friday games that intend to air on ABC and ESPN would be at 3:30pm and 7pm ET. Maybe the early slot will end up with the NHL or college basketball like the Battle 4 Atlantis 3rd place and championship games.
What was the deal with the Oklahoma statement about when they wanted their game vs. Nebraska to air? Sounds like they didn't like the choice of 11am locally / 12pm Eastern even if it gets preferential pregame treatment from FOX. The network has USC at Washington State in mid-afternoon and MLB in the evening.
I'm going to stay out of the competitiveness of this matchup. I understand this is a big anniversary for this game. I don't know if FOX was able to choose this ahead of ESPN or if ESPN prioritize selecting first from another conference to air a different game as ABC has Auburn at Penn State in primetime and an ACC game to be determined in mid-afternoon.
I suspect that if Nebraska at Oklahoma wanted to be on at a different time, it might have had to accept airing on ESPN or FS1, and didn't like either option.
Other things that seemed noteworthy, or overparsed, by me.
- When the Pac-12 noted that three games would be aired on Pac-12 regional networks, they did it using the branding of the Pac-12 Now online app instead of those regional networks. Feels like they're greasing the wheels for folks to get behind using the app exclusively in the future for situations like these.
- Fresno State at San Jose State on Thanksgiving on FOX or FS1 is interesting. I could see this on FOX after Bears at Lions, or in the late evening after whatever FOX and FS1 settles on for their Las Vegas Invitational schedule.
- At some point, FOX's MLB postseason commitments will become known, probably in September, and that will cut into a few TV windows they can offer, along with their Premier Boxing Champions schedule. Then again, there are rumblings that the PBC on FOX contract may be mutually agreed to end early.
- Similar to FOX's commitments, we'll need to see if any Top Rank Boxing and UFC cards are plugged into ESPN's schedule, along with any special Saturday NBA or NHL games.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Today on @TheHerd, FOX Sports' @mulvihill79 revealed an important weekend of programming this fall:@OhioStateFB hosts @oregonfootball on September 11 for @CFBONFOX Big Noon Saturday, followed that night by @Yankees at @Mets on FOX and Sunday's Week 1 @NFLonFOX doubleheader. pic.twitter.com/C1f5KUs7R4— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) May 13, 2021
I think its important to note that this announcement was centered around the weekend of 9/11 and 9/12. This wasn't a college football centered announcement. This was a "We got some big stuff planned for the 9/11 weekend". Note that they didn't give away their full plans for the weekend either as they have an opening in the mid-afternoon for college football and announced nothing about it, so that doesn't mean for sure that a specific Big 12, Pac-12 or Big Ten game will be on ABC in primetime. This programming announcement had a focus on specific tentpole events that would lead into the NFL schedule, which was released the prior evening.
The second thing is that there was an assumption that FOX chose this game over Ohio State-Michigan or another Big Ten game. The fact is that we don't know that either. We don't have any clue about the draft orders that are associated with these conferences except for the times that they discuss them in public. If this was more of a college football centered announcement, Mike Mulvihill would have been discussing if they had taken Auburn-Penn State, Notre Dame-Wisconsin, Oklahoma-Texas, Notre Dame-Stanford and Ohio State-Michigan.
But it wasn't, and that's OK. The fact that both they and ESPN made game announcements (Egg Bowl to Thanksgiving this year and 2022) was great, because near this time last year, we were told that TV announcements would be delayed and we ended up with a summer of rescheduling. No one found that fun. I find the fact that anything was announced today was a positive and I'm looking forward with some optimism, and I'm a pessimist by nature, to a nice day and evening of schedule updates in about 2 weeks.
Monday, May 10, 2021
- North Carolina A&T at Duke moved from Saturday to Friday. I'm expecting it to air on ACCN at 7pm ET. I expected the game to be streamed and did not have it listed
- Toledo at Notre Dame has had its start time confirmed at 2:30pm ET on NBC.
- CBS starts its schedule of SEC games this particular week.
- Typically, BTN will not have a night game when ABC is carrying the Big Ten in primetime, which is why I don't have one as I've placed Auburn at Penn State in primetime on their network.
- Since FOX doesn't have an open window in the evening, I've had to place a 2nd game on FS2, moving a Big 12 game there and taking the game that was scheduled for FOX and placing it on FS1. Also had to alter the start time for the afternoon FOX game. I think a good argument could be made to swap the 3:30pm FS1 and FS1 games too.
Friday, May 7, 2021
- I wasn't aware that the Las Vegas Kickoff Classic game between BYU and Arizona is organized to the Las Vegas Bowl. Why is that important? ESPN Events owns the Las Vegas Bowl. I had FOX televising this game and I can't see an ESPN Events operated game being televised by another network
- Apparently there are rumblings that Boise State at UCF could end up on Thursday night. If that's the case, I'm under the impression that it is being moved to air on ESPN, not ESPNU. ESPN2 should be busy that night with the US Open. If this game is truly being moved to Thursday to air on ESPN, I think that means Ohio State at Minnesota will air on FOX or FS1.
- A few minor changes, swapping games from one time to another.
Monday, May 3, 2021
|AT&T SN Regional||8||0|
|MW Digital & Stadium Facebook||9||0|
|FS1 & FS2||N/A||16|
|AT&T SN Regional||24||0|
|MW Digital, Local TV & Stadium Facebook||92||55|
SEC - CBS went into the season knowing that their rights agreement for the SEC would be expiring in a few years, though the formal announcement by Disney didn't come until December. They came into the season choosing more games up front and airing less games.
The ABC appearance for the SEC was a unique circumstance where an ACC game was canceled that morning and CBS had already had their SEC game canceled for the week and replaced with a Mountain West game. ESPN had a SEC game already and since CBS was dark for the conference that week, it appears that there was no issue with ABC airing it.
The large decrease in football games on ESPN/2/U is a bit surprising but, similar to the ACC, I believe it was done to keep SEC Network fully stocked as ESPN could draw from so many other places to fill up their other networks.
Continuing a theme that you'll see for most conference, the basketball numbers for linear TV were pretty close to pre-pandemic levels. Digital was often sacrificed to keep those numbers up.
Sun Belt - Much like Conference USA, the Sun Belt benefitted from the late start of several Power 5 conferences, filling holes on Saturdays and on ESPN's weeknight schedule. 2020 would have been the first year of a new rights agreement to have a slight increase in games, but they really took advantage of the decisions that other conferences made to postpone their season's start.
In men's basketball, the majority of games remained on digital outlets like ESPN+ and school produced platforms, but there was a slight uptick in games on ESPN Networks linear TV (4, up from 2).
WCC - Our final conference is the West Coast Conference, who has three national linear TV partners in ESPN Networks, CBS Sports Network and Stadium. Stadium also backs the conference's streaming service, WCC Network, and provides out of market streaming for most non-national TV games.
And while the conference consistently scrambled to have games available for schools to play to feed the mouths of those TV partners, they mostly matched the previous season by...you guessed it...taking from their digital inventory when they had to.
|Other TV and streaming||135||72|
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Over The Air
Regional TV with CUSA.TV &
|ESPN Digital &|
Regional TV with ESPN Digital
|Stadium Over The Air||8||16|
|MVC TV Network||22||21|
|ESPN Digital & Other Regional TV||118||89|