SEC Network & Basketball Scheduling

This post is in light of elpjuly4 and Bill C.'s pondering of future start times as it relates to the SEC Network, so I decided to run the numbers.

SEC Network officials have been publicizing that there would be 100 MBB games televised. Looks like, per the SEC site, there were 138 games that were/are televised this season on something outside of CBS/ESPN/2/U. Fifty-nine of those came in the non-conference, and 71 in-conference (plus eight SEC Tournament games).

Combining SEC TV, FSN, CSS and ESPN3 -- the four networks operating as the "second tier" below CBS/ESPN/2/U -- there are 113 games. Essentially, these games will likely transition to SEC Network games. The other 25 games are what are considered "third-tier" -- MSN for us, CST for LSU, Sun Sports for Florida, etc. -- and it's unknown whether these will be televised or not.


All 25 of those third-tier games came in the non-conference, so whether those would be televised in the SEC Network depends when it's scheduled -- if it's on a November Saturday, and it's not already picked up by CBS/ESPN/2/U, it won't be on SECN because of their football tripleheader -- and whether it's worth televising.

There were three MBB NC games televised on football Saturdays this year; obviously, with the SECN FB tripleheaders, those three games wouldn't be televised next year. Another 11 November NC games were televised on Fridays or Sundays, which will either cut into either VB broadcasts or won't be shown. Otherwise, schools did a decent job scheduling around various dates in the non-conference, and many of those could theoretically be picked up. There were, however, four games televised on "opening Friday" of the season, and a handful of weekdays when there were more than two games scheduled. Obviously, not all of those games are going to make the SECN.


All 79 conference games that were not picked for first-tier broadcast made the second tier (although eight were on ESPN3 -- more on that later), so let's presume those 79 games go SEC Network next year. Problem is, those games are/were all scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- four each Wednesday, and between three and five on Saturdays. I guess it's theoretically possible to do Saturday quadrupleheaders, but you're obviously not going to get more than two on SECN on Wednesdays (hello, dreaded 6pm/8pm windows). So they're obviously going to have to move conference games around if they're going to want to get everything on TV in the first place. Aside: Could this mean an SEC "Big Monday"?!

I'll say this: I don't envy the schedulers, who'll need to balance competitive equality as it relates to not having back-to-back road games in three days, etc., not to mention making sure facilities are available for women's games (some of which will also be on SECN, BTW), etc.

Not all on TV?

Inasmuch as 1) there are existing conference games relegated to ESPN3 (there were eight this year), and 2) SECN will have an ESPN3-like component, is it possible that our game vs. A&M, for example -- which will be on ESPN3 -- is "SEC3"-only next season? Will be interesting to find out.


It'll be interesting to see which NC games get picked up, I wouldn't be surprised if some current Wednesday conference games move to another day, and I guess it's possible not every conference game will be televised.

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