So…do I ever have egg on my face. I figured with Rogers going all in for the NHL that they wouldn’t bother with junior hockey and that TSN would pick up the contract. How wrong I am as Sportsnet has signed on through 2026 to cover junior hockey and I use that term in the loosest way possible. I don’t know how popular junior hockey is as a sport on television as it is in terms of actual arena attendance but Sportsnet doesn’t exactly have the best junior hockey coverage. Hell, Global did a much better job with their Saturday afternoon telecasts than Sportsnet has ever done (although part of that issue is the commentary teams which have been completely shit-tastic). Anyway, I don’t watch enough hockey anymore to really get mad, although the way it is affecting my college football TV options irks me a bit. Speaking of that…
The way the college football TV schedules will probably work out for most weeks this year is this:
Tuesday & Wednesday
- All games on the specialty pack (usually late-season MAC games).
- TSN2 will probably show somewhere between three and six ESPN Thursday nighters. The rest will go to the specialty packs.
- FS1 broadcasts will not be seen at all unless it’s a major game and that would probably be by accident as I can’t see FOX scheduling anything that could be major (although Baylor-Oklahoma would have been a nice game to see last year).
- HBCU football has at least 8 telecasts for the season on ESPNU and those are always broadcast on the specialty packs.
- Maybe a rare game will end up on TSN2 but most likely the specialty packs will get the few games that fall on this night.
Saturday early afternoon
- ABC shows a few early games during the season (i.e. Red River Rivalry, The Game, etc.) but most of the time in this area you would get a random MAC game or an early season game because of the sheer amount of non-conference affairs.
- CBS usually shows Air Force-Army and Air Force-Navy in this time slot and one SEC game during the season.
- Peachtree TV broadcasts the SEC Network noon game and I can’t see that changing this season. The interesting part will be if they consider also doing the late afternoon game.
- WSBK shows the ACC Network Game of the Week at 12:30.
- All ESPN, ESPN2, and most ESPNU games end up on the specialty packs. This time slot is also where you will find the few ESPN3, ESPNews and American Network games to show up.
- BTN usually has a noon Big Ten game for you Rogers customers.
- CBS Sports Network also has noon games, usually involving Army or Navy.
Saturday late afternoon
- ABC has at least one national game if not two regional games on the main network at 3:30.
- CBS has their SEC Game of the Week (they receive the first selection) at 3:30 starting week 3.
- FOX will probably show anywhere from 3-6 games in this timeslot nationally this year.
- NBC has the Notre Dame home games on at 3:30.
- BTN shows a 3:30 or 3:00 game most weeks but not all.
- CBS Sports Network shows a 3:30 game most weeks (usually involving Conference USA).
- ABC reverse mirror game, ESPN game and ESPNU game show up on the specialty packs.
- Good chance TSN shows games in this timeslot for a decent part of the season.
- Every week save a few, ABC has the game of the week in the 8:00 timeslot.
- CBS gets one game at night at 8:00 (think LSU-Alabama, Texas A&M-Alabama…basically Alabama vs. someone in the SEC).
- NBC moves the Notre Dame home game to this slot if it’s a netural-site game that’s deemed an Irish home game (read: damn near all Irish neutral-site games).
- FOX has their game of the week out of the Big XII or Pac-12 and starts them at 7:00 or 7:30.
- BTN has shown games here in the past but not that often.
- CBS Sports Network usually gets a Conference USA game in the 7:00 timeslot and a Mountain West game for the 10:30 slot.
- Good chance TSN will simsub the ABC game because why not?
- All other ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU games (for the most part) for every nighttime slot ends up on the specialty packs.
So there you have it. The one wrinkle in all this is the SEC Network. Whether those games will be shown on the specialty packs (I sure hope they are) is still a mystery. It would definitely be a way to bulk up the offerings, especially in the late afternoon timeslot where the specialty pack lineup is usually quite thin.
At this point, there are a few games getting grabbed up for specific time slots but nothing major yet. All the FBS conferences haven’t even got their schedules out so there is still quite a waiting game. Expect more news later next month or early the following month once the game schedules are finalized (more or less).
I’m going to take another crack at a mock draft in the next couple of weeks. Not a lot has changed at the top really, but the back half of the first round might see some bigger moves. Plus I will try my hand at two rounds instead of one (just so I screw up the picks that much more). Again, this is all based on no trades so there is no way it will happen this way although I will try to determine the teams that would seriously consider moving up in the draft.