Monday, September 20, 2021

CFB TV Confirmations for 2021 Week 5 (10/2/21)

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. 

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases. They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they will prove to be incorrect), along with the games that have already been set.

All times Eastern

12pm ABC: Texas at TCU
12pm FOX: Michigan at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN: Arkansas at Georgia
12pm ESPN2: Duke at North Carolina
12pm ESPNU: Memphis at Temple
12pm SECN: Tennessee at Missouri
12pm BTN: Charlotte at Illinois
12pm BTN: Minnesota at Purdue
12pm CBSSN:  Western Michigan at Buffalo
12pm ACCN: Pitt at Georgia Tech
12:30pm ACC RSN: Louisville at Wake Forest
2pm Pac-12: USC at Colorado
2pm ESPN+: Appalachian State at Georgia State
2:30pm ESPN+: Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
2:30pm ESPN+: ULM at Coastal Carolina
3:30pm ABC: Oregon at Stanford
3:30om CBS: Ole Miss at Alabama
3:30pm FOX: Oklahoma at Kansas State
3:30pm ESPN2: Texas Tech at West Virginia
3:30pm FS1: Nevada at Boise State
3:30pm SECN: Troy at South Carolina
3:30pm BTN: Ohio State at Rutgers
3:30pm ACCN: Syracuse at Florida State
3:30pm ESPN3: Ohio at Akron
3:30pm ESPN+: Tulane at ECU
3:30pm ESPN+: Bowling Green at Kent State
3:30pm ESPN+: Central Michigan at Miami (OH)
4pm ESPNU: USF at SMU
4pm ESPN+: Arkansas State at Georgia Southern
5pm ESPN+: Army West Point at Ball State
5:30pm Pac-12: Washington State at California
6pm ACCNX/ESPN+: Louisiana Tech at NC State
6:30pm FS2: Air Force at New Mexico
7pm ESPN2: Baylor at Oklahoma State
7pm FS1: Kansas at Iowa State
7:30pm ABC: Indiana at Penn State
7:30pm ESPNU: UConn at Vanderbilt
7:30pm BTN: Northwestern at Nebraska
7:30pm BTN: WKU at Michigan State
7:30pm ACCN: Boston College at Clemson
8pm ESPN+: Louisiana at South Alabama

9pm ESPN: Auburn at LSU
9pm Pac-12: Washington at Oregon State 
10:30pm FS1: Arizona State at UCLA

Six Day Network Decision (don't believe this is a six day hold)
Florida at Kentucky - 6pm ESPN or 7pm SEC Network
Mississippi State at Texas A&M - 6pm ESPN or 7pm SEC Network

Sunday, September 19, 2021

CFB TV Guesses for 2021 Week 5 (10/2/21)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast. Here are the known available telecast windows. 

I have done my best to list what TV windows are out there. Every listing service has a little different schedule for these networks. It is also possible that a window could be eliminated or the time of a window could shift slightly to accommodate a network's needs.

A few notes and considerations:
* Three Big Ten games are locked into their start times as homecoming games:
  • Minnesota at Purdue (12pm)
  • Northwestern at Nebraska (7:30pm)
  • WKU at Michigan State (7:30pm)
* Boston College at Clemson has been preselected to air on ACC Network, but the start time is not finalized.
* Air Force at New Mexico and Nevada at Boise State will air on a FOX Sports platform.
* FOX is scheduled to air MLB in the evening.
* ESPN advance schedule lists games at 6pm and 9pm ET, which in the past has meant a doubleheader of SEC games in the evening.
* FS1 has NASCAR Trucks in the early afternoon.
* FS2 has one slot in the evening.
* CBS Sports Network has a selection from the MAC at 12pm ET.

My thoughts
* On the most recent episode of Richard Deitsch's podcast, Gus Johnson believed that his next game after Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin is Michigan at Wisconsin.  They're not 100% accurate on knowing their upcoming schedule, but let's assume Gus is accurate and that FOX had the top Big Ten choice this week.
* I have ABC with the top Big 12 and Pac-12 selections.

12pm ABC: Baylor at Oklahoma State
12pm FOX: Michigan at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN: Mississippi State at Texas A&M
12pm ESPN2: Duke at North Carolina
12pm ESPNU: Memphis at Temple
12pm SECN: Troy at South Carolina
12pm BTN: Minnesota at Purdue
12pm BTN: Charlotte at Illinois
12pm CBSSN: Army West Point at Ball State
12pm ACCN: Louisville at Wake Forest
12:30pm ACC RSN: Louisiana Tech at NC State
3pm Pac-12: Washington State at California
3:30pm ABC: Indiana at Penn State 
3:30om CBS: Ole Miss at Alabama
3:30pm FOX: Texas at TCU
3:30pm ESPN2: Syracuse at Florida State
3:30pm FS1: Texas Tech at West Virginia
3:30pm ESPNU: ULM at Coastal Carolina
3:30pm BTN: Ohio State at Rutgers
4pm SECN: Tennessee at Missouri
4pm ACCN: Pitt at Georgia Tech
6pm ESPN: Arkansas at Georgia
6:30pm Pac-12: USC at Colorado
7pm ESPN2: Kansas at Iowa State
7pm ESPNU: UConn at Vanderbilt
7pm FS1: Nevada at Boise State
7:30pm ABC: Oklahoma at Kansas State
7:30pm SECN: Florida at Kentucky
7:30pm FS2: Air Force at New Mexico
7:30pm BTN: WKU at Michigan State
7:30pm BTN: Northwestern at Nebraska
7:30pm ACCN: Boston College at Clemson
9pm ESPN: Auburn at LSU
10pm Pac-12: Washington at Oregon State
10:30pm ESPN2: Arizona State at UCLA
10:30pm FS1: Oregon at Stanford

ESPN3 or ESPN+
Tulane at ECU
USF at SMU
Bowling Green at Kent State
Central Michigan at Miami (OH)
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
Western Michigan at Buffalo
Louisiana at South Alabama
Arkansas State at Georgia Southern
Appalachian State at Georgia State

Monday, September 13, 2021

CFB TV Confirmations for 2021 Week 4 (9/25/21)

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. 

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases. They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they will prove to be incorrect), along with the games that have already been set.

All times Eastern

12pm ABC: Texas Tech at Texas
12pm ESPN: LSU at Mississippi State
12pm ESPN2: Missouri at Boston College
12pm FS1: SMU at TCU
12pm ESPNU: Bowling Green at Minnesota
12pm SECN: Georgia at Vanderbilt
12pm BTN: Villanova at Penn State
12pm BTN: Ohio at Northwestern
12pm ACCN: Richmond at Virginia Tech
12pm ACCNX/ESPN+: New Hampshire at Pitt
12pm ESPN+: FIU at Central Michigan
12:30pm ACC RSN: Central Connecticut at Miami (FL)
1pm ESPN+: UMass at Coastal Carolina
2pm ESPN+: Toledo at Ball State
2pm ESPN+: Texas State at Eastern Michigan
2pm ESPN+: San Jose State at Western Michigan
2:30pm Pac-12: Washington State at Utah
2:30pm ESPN3: Maine at Northern Illinois
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
3:30pm FOX: Iowa State at Baylor 
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Clemson at NC State
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Rutgers at Michigan
3:30pm ESPN2: Louisville at Florida State
3:30pm FS1: Colorado State at Iowa
3:30pm ESPNU: UTSA at Memphis
3:30pm BTN: Kent State at Maryland
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Purdue
4pm SECN: Georgia State at Auburn
4pm ACCN: Kansas at Duke
5pm ESPN+: Arkansas State at Tulsa
6pm Pac-12: UCLA at Stanford
6pm ESPN+: Louisiana at Georgia Southern
7pm ESPN: Tennessee at Florida
7pm ESPN2: Kentucky at South Carolina
7pm FS1: Nebraska at Michigan State
7pm ESPNU: Navy at Houston
7pm ESPN+: Kansas State at Oklahoma State
7:30pm ABC: West Virginia at Oklahoma 
7:30pm SECN: Southern Miss at Alabama
7:30pm ACCN: North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech
7:30pm BTN: Akron at Ohio State
8pm FS2: Florida Atlantic at Air Force 
8pm ESPN+: UAB at Tulane
8pm ESPN+: Troy at ULM
9:30pm Pac-12: California at Washington
10:15pm ESPN2/ESPNU: USF at BYU
10:30pm ESPN: Arizona at Oregon
10:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Colorado at Arizona State
10:30pm FS1: Oregon State at USC

Sunday, September 12, 2021

CFB TV Guesses for 2021 Week 4 (9/25/21)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast. Here are the known available telecast windows. 

I have done my best to list what TV windows are out there. Every listing service has a little different schedule for these networks. It is also possible that a window could be eliminated or the time of a window could shift slightly to accommodate a network's needs.

A few notes and considerations:

* Bowling Green at Minnesota & Rutgers at Michigan are homecoming games and are locked to their start times. 
* Advance listings only have FS1 games at 12pm & 7pm ET.  There's a game listed on FS2 at 3:30pm ET, which I'm assuming is for the Mountain West.  If there's is a 3:30pm ET game, move a Pac-12 game from Pac-12 Networks to FS1.  My move would be Oregon State at USC, or move SMU at TCU from ESPN+ to FS1.
* I'm not certain on the number of Pac-12 Networks games.  I went with four game windows.  Could be less.
* BTN listings have two games at 12pm and 3:30pm, and a single game at 7:30pm ET.
* FOX has no primetime game, choosing to air MLB instead.  Their 12pm window has already been selected and check the link in the 1st sentence for that game.
* I assume FOX took the top Big Ten selection with their 12pm game, leaving ESPN to take the next best game.
* For the Pac-12, I gave ESPN the top choice and the top choice from the Big 12 as well.

12pm ABC: Nebraska at Michigan State
12pm ESPN: Tennessee at Florida
12pm ESPN2: Colorado State at Iowa
12pm FS1: Kansas State at Oklahoma State
12pm ESPNU: Bowling Green at Minnesota
12pm SECN: Georgia at Vanderbilt
12pm BTN: Kent State at Maryland
12pm BTN: Villanova at Penn State
12pm ACCN: Kansas at Duke
12:30pm ACC RSN: Richmond at Virginia Tech
1:30pm Pac-12: Washington State at Utah
3:30pm ABC: Rutgers at Michigan
3:30pm CBS: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
3:30pm FOX: UCLA at Stanford
3:30pm ESPN: Clemson at NC State
3:30pm ESPN2: Texas Tech at Texas
3:30pm ESPNU: Navy at Houston
3:30pm FS2: Florida Atlantic at Air Force
3:30pm BTN: Akron at Ohio State
3:30pm BTN: Ohio at Northwestern
4pm SECN: Kentucky at South Carolina
4pm ACCN: Louisville at Florida State
4:30pm Pac-12: Oregon State at USC
7pm ESPN: Southern Miss at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: Missouri at Boston College
7pm FS1: Iowa State at Baylor
7pm ESPNU: Georgia State at Auburn
7:30pm ABC: West Virginia at Oklahoma
7:30pm SECN: LSU at Mississippi State
7:30pm ACCN: North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech
7:30pm BTN: Illinois at Purdue
7:30pm Pac-12: California at Washington
10:15pm ESPN2: USF at BYU
10:30pm ESPN: Arizona at Oregon
11pm Pac-12: Colorado at Arizona State

ESPN3 or ESPN+
SMU at TCU
Central Connecticut at Miami (FL)
New Hampshire at Pitt
Arkansas State at Tulsa
UAB vs. Tulane
UTSA at Memphis
Toledo at Ball State
FIU at Central Michigan
Maine at Northern Illinois
San Jose State at Western Michigan
Texas State at Eastern Michigan
Louisiana at Georgia Southern
Troy at ULM
UMass at Coastal Carolina

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Welcome to 2021 CFB

Hey, its the 2021 season!  Its not 2020, which I'm thankful it isn't as the cancellations wore on me a lot (even more during men's basketball), though there's chances we could have some remnants of that as conferences have planned for various forfeit and no-contest contingencies, but let's move that aside and hope for the best.  If you're new to this site, a few things:

* The time of the site is based on Eastern time for each game.  Since there's a chance you're not based there, a drop down exists at the top of the page to change to a specific time zone.  Arizona is handled as a unique case in the drop down since it does not observe Daylight Saving Time, and for those outside of the US, Greenwich Time is available.



* The number of online exclusive games has increased over time.   The button to the left of the time zone option can hide those games.

* The Available TV Windows link at the top of the page goes to a Google Sheets document which has a grid of the available TV windows by most networks so you can see what is open for your team's game to be slotted.

* At the bottom of the page, the FBS games scheduled for each week not yet scheduled for TV can be shown via a button at the bottom of the grid.  Inside that grid, I try to list the TV options for each game.

* I try to guess where I think games will be slotted once 12 day selections start.  Those will have blog posts on Sunday morning before those selections are made the next day, which I also try to track.  A few notes about guesses: 
  • 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.
* Very few things have changed coming into this season with respect to broadcasters showing the games. 
  • 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.
If my site isn't suiting your needs for football, there's other places like LSUFootball who provides a list by channel number for DirecTV, FBSchedules who watching future schedules like a hawk, Eye on Sky and Air Sports who tracks all sorts of sports and the announcers and 506Sports who does the same and has those famous NFL coverage maps.

Enjoy the season.

Friday, May 28, 2021

My Takeaways From 2021 Early Season & Special Dates CFB TV Releases

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

Quick Hit On Oregon-Ohio State TV Announcement

You might have caught the news that FOX would be televising Oregon-Ohio State on 9/11 in their network's marquee slot of Noon Eastern Time.  I had a recurring of responses and they involved what games FOX didn't announce.

The announcement was made on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.  

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

Final Revision of CFB TV Week 3 Guesses for 2021

I don't have anything major to revise from Week 2 except for a couple items.
  • 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.
As for Week 3, the reason I have to make revisions is due to FOX's MLB schedule, which will televise games at night on Saturday.

Revisions from the original Week 3 guesses are in red

Thursday
No games yet have been moved to Thursday.  My choice to move to Thursday would be the Baylor-Kansas game.  FS1 has a NASCAR Truck Series race scheduled for 9pm ET.  I think that limits their ability to move any game to this night.

7:30pm ESPN: Baylor at Kansas

Friday
8pm ESPN: UCF at Louisville

Saturday
  • 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.
12pm ABC: Michigan State at Miami (FL)
12pm FOX: Nebraska at Oklahoma
12pm ESPN: South Carolina at Georgia
12pm ESPN2: Mississippi State at Memphis
12pm FS1: Nevada at Kansas State
12pm SEC: Stanford at Vanderbilt
12pm BTN: Northern Illinois at Michigan
12pm BTN: Delaware at Rutgers
12pm CBSSN: UConn at Army West Point
12pm ACCN: Northwestern at Duke
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Furman at NC State
2pm Pac-12: Minnesota at Colorado
3:30pm ABC: Georgia Tech at Clemson
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Florida
3:30pm NBC: Purdue at Notre Dame
3:30pm FOX: Cincinnati at Indiana
3:30pm ESPN: Virginia at North Carolina
3:30pm ESPN2: Maryland at Illinois
3:30pm FS1: Virginia Tech at West Virginia
3:30pm BTN: Tulsa at Ohio State
3:30pm BTN: Kent State at Iowa
3:30pm CBSSN: ECU at Marshall
3:30pm ACCN: Western Michigan at Pitt
4pm SEC: Georgia Southern at Arkansas
5pm FS2: FIU at Texas Tech
5pm Pac-12: Stony Brook at Oregon
5pm Pac-12 Bay Area: Sacramento State at California
7pm ESPN: New Mexico at Texas A&M
7pm ESPN2: Central Michigan at LSU
7pm FS1: Oklahoma State at Boise State
7pm CBSSN: Iowa State at UNLV
7:30pm ABC: Auburn at Penn State
7:30pm SEC: Tulane at Ole Miss
7:30pm ACCN: Florida State at Wake Forest
8pm Longhorn: Rice at Texas
8pm Pac-12: Arkansas at Washington
9pm FS2: Utah State at Air Force
10:15pm ESPN2: Arizona State at BYU
10:30pm ESPN: USC at Washington State
10:30pm FS1: Fresno State at UCLA
10:30pm CBSSN: Utah at San Diego State
11pm Pac-12: Northern Arizona at Arizona
11pm Pac-12 Oregon: Idaho State at Oregon State
Midnight PPV: San Jose State at Hawai'i

Friday, May 7, 2021

Final Revision of CFB TV Weeks 0 & 1 Guesses for 2021

I'm under the impression that start times and TV info will be released on their usual schedule at the end of May or early June, right after Memorial Day.  I looked over what I originally guessed for Weeks 0 and 1 and see a few places to make changes.

Here's what I'm changing:
  • 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.
The changes are in red

4pm FOX: Nebraska at Illinois
5pm ESPN2: North Carolina Central vs. Alcorn State
10pm CBSSN: UConn at Fresno State
10pm Pac-12: Hawai'i at UCLA
10pm AggieVision: UTEP at NM State


Wednesday
8pm ESPNU: UAB vs. Jacksonville State

Thursday
I expect one SEC game to move to Thursday night.

7pm ESPNU: ECU vs. Appalachian State
7:30pm ESPN: Boise State at UCF
7:30pm ACCN: USF at NC State
8pm FS1: Ohio State at Minnesota
8pm Pac-12: Weber State at Utah
8:30pm SECN: Kent State at Texas A&M
11pm Pac-12: Southern Utah at Arizona State

Friday
North Carolina at Virginia Tech has been confirmed as a Friday game.

7pm ACCN: Old Dominion at Wake Forest
8pm ESPN: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
10pm Pac-12: Northern Colorado at Colorado 

Saturday
12pm ABC: Oklahoma at Tulane
12pm FOX: Indiana at Iowa
12pm ESPN: Texas Tech vs. Houston
12pm FS1: West Virginia at Maryland
12pm ESPNU: Syracuse at Ohio
12pm SECN: Central Michigan at Missouri
12pm SECN: Bowling Green at Tennessee
12pm BTN: UTSA at Illinois
12pm BTN: Western Michigan at Michigan
12pm CBSSN: Holy Cross at UConn
12pm ACCN: Colgate at Boston College
12:30pm ACC RSN: Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech
2pm Pac-12: Nevada at California
3:30pm ABC: Alabama vs. Miami (FL)
3:30pm ESPN: Rice at Arkansas
3:30pm BTN: Temple at Rutgers
3:30pm BTN: Oregon State at Purdue
3:30pm CBSSN: Marshall at Navy
4pm FOX: Penn State at Wisconsin
4pm ESPNU: Miami (OH) at Cincinnati
4pm SECN: Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
4pm SECN: ULM at Kentucky
4pm ACCN: William & Mary at Virginia
5pm Pac-12: Montana at Washington
7pm ESPN: Stanford vs. Kansas State
7pm CBSSN: Duke at Charlotte
7:30pm ABC: Georgia vs. Clemson
7:30pm SECN: Florida Atlantic at Florida
7:30pm SECN: Akron at Auburn
7:30pm BTN: Michigan State at Northwestern
7:30pm BTN: Fordham at Nebraska
7:30pm ACCN: UMass at Pitt
8pm FOX: LSU at UCLA
8pm ESPNU: Baylor at Texas State
8pm Longhorn: Louisiana at Texas
8pm Pac-12: San Jose State at USC
10pm FS1: Fresno State at Oregon 
10:30pm ESPN: BYU vs. Arizona
11pm Pac-12: Utah State at Washington State

Sunday
7:30pm ABC: Notre Dame at Florida State

Monday
8pm ESPN: Ole Miss vs. Louisville

Monday, May 3, 2021

Comparing college sports TV content, 2019-20 to 2020-21 (Part 3)

Since I took a few weeks off to not check social media or think much about college sports, I neglected to finish this series of articles. Luckily I only had one to go.  To refresh you memory of what I was reviewing, take a look at parts 1 & 2.

Mountain West - Similar to the MAC, Big Ten and Pac-12, the Mountain West started its football schedule later and with cancellations, lost a fair number of games.  The conference was also in the unenviable position of starting a new series of rights agreements with FOX Sports, CBS Sports and Stadium, FOX Sports replaced ESPN as a rightsholder.  I don't know if there's an apples-to-anything comparison that can be made for the conference.

The Stadium deal seemed to be added for sports on linear TV that they were not already carrying, like men's basketball.  My assumption is they've been added for football too, but the short season, and the need to get games to both national TV partners and Hawai'i's PPV agreement kept them out of the game in 2020.

Football20192020
AT&T SN Regional80
CBS01
CBSSN2215
ESPN Networks23N/A
ESPN35N/A
MW Digital & Stadium Facebook90
Spectrum PPV76
FOXN/A1
FS1 & FS2N/A16

MBK2019-202020-21
AT&T SN Regional240
CBS13
CBSSN3745
ESPN Networks19N/A
ESPN312N/A
MW Digital, Local TV & Stadium Facebook9255
FOX00
FS1028
Stadium TVN/A5

Pac-12 - Besides the shortened season, the big change was to not use the Pac-12 Networks during football season to make sure they had as many games as possible for national TV rights holders, and even then, due to cancellations, they fell short of the 22 games that both ESPN (14) and FOX Sports (16, plus the conference championship game) typically pay for.

Pac-12 Networks reappeared to provide coverage during men's basketball.  Overall, the conference was about flat its it numbers when it came to national partners in that sport.

Football20192020
ABC73
ESPN Networks1611
FOX109
FS1128
Pac-12 Networks351

MBK2019-202020-21
ABC10
CBS33
FOX22
ESPN Networks4044
FS11920
Pac-12 Networks139106

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.

Football20192020
CBS1611
ABCN/A1
ESPN Networks4020
SEC Network
& Alternate
4837

MBK2019-202020-21
CBS77
ESPN Networks6258
SEC Network114112
SEC Digital6116

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).

Football20192020
ESPN Networks1532
ESPN Digital4723

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.

MBK2019-202020-21
ESPN Networks2221
CBSSN1211
Stadium TV99
Other TV and streaming13572

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Comparing college sports TV content, 2019-20 to 2020-21 (Part 2)

Finally got around to post #2 in this series.  We're going in alphabetical order and taking into account Division I conference who play FBS football and those with a significant amount of televised men's basketball.  So come back to post #1 if you haven't checked it out yet.

Big Ten - The big thing here, no pun intended, is that nearly every football number is down across the board due to the conference playing roughly half a season compared to 2019. The FS1 number being equal is interesting. In a couple places they ended up pulling games from BTN to replace games that were canceled.

When you look at both ESPN and FOX Sports* normally carrying 27 games for their respective rights packages, both networks fell far short in the regular season.  ESPN carried 15 and FOX Sports carried 16 plus the conference championship game.  And its one thing to look at it from a quantity standpoint.  Look at it from a quality standpoint and you'll remember that FOX lost out on Ohio State vs. Michigan at the end of the season, which pops a big number in TV ratings most years and may drive a better than average number when it comes to advertising sales.    

In basketball, most numbers are similar to what you would find in a full season, minus the BTN+ number going down. Some BTN+ games ended up on BTN as schedules shuffled during the non-conference portion of the schedule.  CBS's number is up when you consider they were able to air the conference tournament, FOX Sports' overall count when aggregating FOX and FS1 is only down one game, and ESPN's number is mostly the same when taking solely ESPN & ESPN2 (2019-20: 27, 2020-21: 31).  ESPNU is where there was a sharp decline (2019-20:12, 2020-21: 1).

Football20192020
ABC169
FOX185
ESPN
Networks
116
FS11212
BTN4018

MBK2019-202020-21
CBS911
FOX79
ESPN Networks3932
FS13431
BTN125123
BTN+297

*FOX Sports had 29 regular season games plus the conference championship game due to extenuating circumstances around the ALCS keeping a scheduled FS1 game from airing on that network.  FOX appears to have received two additional games during the regular season as a make-good.  

CAA - The CAA took a huge hit in visibility in 2020-21 in men's basketball.  One of the tenets from getting paid from their FloSports rights agreement was to reinvest that rights fee and pay for airtime on CBS Sports Network for men's basketball regular season games.  With the pandemic tightening the budgets at the conference and its schools, it appears that the decision was taken to not buy time in 2020-21 after airing eleven regular season men's basketball games in 2019-20.

CBSSN did continue to air the conference semifinals and the championship game as they did in 2019-20, but I believe the agreement to air games from the conference tournament is not tied to whatever the CAA elects to do with their money during the regular season.

MBK2019-202020-21
CBSSN143

C-USA - Conference USA was all over the map.  NFL Network disappeared as a TV partner for the conference's football content and to my knowledge this has never been acknowledged by either party.  ESPN aired games on linear TV for several weeks before the Big Ten and Pac-12 restarted play and CBSSN picked up several more games until Mountain West play started again.

Also, Facebook received no games to sublicense during the regular season from Stadium or CBS Sports except for a couple men's basketball quarterfinal games. And Stadium shifted their football games from the 24/7 OTA feed to the regional sports networks owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group. 

The conference did get a game on CBS though when a scheduled game involving BYU and Army was canceled.

What can you extract from any of this? I have no idea. Might need to see how TV is set up for 2021 to know how things shake out in the future for the conference.  Suppose that I could see a lessened use of Facebook, at least on the CBS Sports side as they continue to push Paramount+.

Football20192020
CBS01
CBSSN1013
CBSSN
Facebook
30
ESPN Networks010
ESPN Digital5021
NFL Network100
Stadium
Over The Air
70
Stadium RSNs011
Stadium
Facebook
80

MBK2019-202020-21
CBSSN811
CBSSN Facebook75
CUSA.TV,
Regional TV with
CUSA.TV &
School Streaming
8275
ESPN Networks55
ESPN Digital &
Regional TV with ESPN Digital
9174
Stadium Over The Air816
Stadium Facebook92

MAC - One of the things that intrigued me with the pandemic affected season is how sublicenses seemed to be paid attention to a bit more.  With both the MAC and the next conference in the list, the MVC, ESPN sublicenses content to CBS Sports Network and it seemed like they wanted to do their best to make sure CBSSN got its full allotment so that it could contribute its fees back to ESPN.

And in the case of the MAC, who played a limited football schedule, CBSSN still got in eight of the ten football games it would normally be allocated over a full season, plus it appears they received their expected allotment of 11 regular season men's basketball games and the semifinals of the conference tournament.

And ESPN carried 13 games on linear TV, so they were right around the amount of games you would normally find on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU during a season.  Digital is where the dropoff could be found as that's where the majority of MAC games end up until the weeknight games start in late October and November, which in 2020 is where the MAC decided to start their season.

Football20192020
ESPN Networks1713
CBSSN108
ESPN Digital4311

MBK2019-202020-21
ESPN Networks66
CBSSN1213
ESPN Digital159107
Non-ESPN Streaming62

MVC - The MVC juggled their schedule a ton during the season, almost as often as the MAAC did and it often seemed like it was done to make sure that their secondary and sublicense partners in CBS Sports Network and the MVC TV Network RSNs were taken care of.  And they pulled it off.  The MVC had a full conference tournament in both seasons, so the comparison is pretty close and the difference in digital can be explained mostly with the shorter non-conference season and any lost games in conference play.

MBK2019-202020-21
CBS11
ESPN Networks1010
CBSSN1010
MVC TV Network2221
ESPN Digital & Other Regional TV11889