First off, started my first cut of the NFL mock draft. Thought I’d be way off of the “experts” but I am actually pretty close with them (including having Blake Bortles go numero uno to the Texans).
Now, the Rogers NHL mega-super-duper contract. Some details have come out about the new contract discussing when games will be shown on the 3000 channels they plan to show the games on.
First off, it looks like there will be games shown on Thursday nights on Sportsnet 360. That’s interesting since NBC Sports doesn’t show NHL games on Thursday nights. So either Rogers will produce a game, possibly involving two American teams, or they will simsub a game from a Fox Sports affiliate. Either way, this means Sportsnet 360 will not be showing college football on Thursday nights this season. With the regional Sportsnets showing the NFL Thursday night game (which is dumb in my opinion and may deserve a whole post on its own), that leaves Sportsnet One. To be perfectly honest, I can’t see Sportsnet One showing the Thursday night games either so I think we have seen the end of the ESPN Thursday nighters on Sportsnet. TSN may pick up some or all of those games. Rogers also has the contract to show FOX network games although they didn’t utilize it last year (FS1 expected to have a full slate of Thursday night games this season). So either TSN picks up this package and shows the games or else we all might not get any of the Thursday night games. So we start with (potential) bad news.
Next comes the Saturday NHL package. Not that Sportsnet showed many Saturday night games but that option is gone as they are showing at least a few hockey games at 7:00 and at least 1 hockey game at 10:00 every Saturday. Their NHL pre-game show is slated to start at 5:00 every Saturday, meaning the possibility of a 3:30 college football game airing on the Sportsnet regionals is probably gone. We may see some on Sportsnet One or Sportsnet 360 but that depends on what they are showing as well. September is out since the Jays will be still playing. Potentially some October and November games but don’t count on it. The kicker is the potential for a lot of early Saturday afternoon hockey games. The plan is to have them on most Saturdays but there are no specifics as to where they will air. My assumption is that they will be on the Sportsnet regionals but I could be wrong. This takes college football pretty much entirely off of Sportsnet this season. There may be a game or two here and there but don’t expect much. At the very least, expect less than this past season where they showed very few regular season games.
TSN (more specifically, TSN2) may start showing more double- and tripleheaders this season with the loss of the NHL package. They are expected to get the junior hockey package but many of those games air on Friday nights. I think they will show more than they did this past season, it is just a question of how much more.
The SEC Network starts in August. This may impact the games we get, not only on Peachtree TV (which shows an SEC game every Saturday at noon), but also the specialty packages. Does this help fill out the channels that aren’t used on a daily basis or does it take more games away from the packages making it tougher to fill? Only ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU games are shown on these specialty packages (along with the odd ESPN3 game). My hope is that with the use of the SEC Network, along with ESPNews, they would start showing those games as well. Hopefully, in the summer we may find this out.
So, in summary, expect less games on the regular cable channels. I have said it before but I am sure Rogers and Bell will raise the prices of their college football specialty packages, knowing more people will buy them with less of the games on their regular cable packages. A bit of dirty pool but it wouldn’t surprise me. Chances are it will be a few months before the entire shakedown is known. American TV schedules for college football are slowly coming out and will over the next month or so as game times are filled, stadium times are determined, etc. Whenever I find something out on any of this, I will post.