In the latest installment of “ESPN Runs The World,” Auburn and Kansas State are still waiting to write their September football game into their schedules in pen. For now, the actual date of the game is in pencil because ESPN hasn’t decided whether it will be played on Saturday, September 20th or moved to Thursday, September 18th.
Auburn AD Jay Jacobs says his school’s fine with moving the road game to Thursday night. Kansas State AD John Currie says the four-letter network had better make a decision soon or else his school will lock it in as a Saturday battle:
“If they (ESPN) can get done what they need to get done and move everything around, the game will be played on Thursday. But I have also told them we need to know so our people can make plans. If we go along too long and they can’t resolve it, we will just set the game on Saturday and move on.”
This situation brings to mind a new issue ESPN will face in the fall. When the Longhorn Network was launched two year ago, Texas’ opponents immediately voiced displeasure with the fact that they would have to receive the Longhorn Network just to see their own school play ball.
The SEC Network launches this August. The league plans on airing three games per day on the channel. That will require — especially early in the season — a lot of the fans of non-conference SEC foes to have the SEC Network (or perhaps an ESPN pay-per-view package through their cable/satellite provider).
For ESPN and the SEC, they want the new network to be carried nationally anyway, so this would be a win for them. But you can expect to hear a few grumbles from the fans of SEC opponents when their games are schedulee for the infant network… before all potential providers have signed on to carry it.