Rivalry game on BTN? Why?

Submitted by trueblue262 on October 15th, 2012 at 9:25 AM

My apologies if this has been discussed in earlier threads, but WTF? Why would this game not make the ABC or even ESPN slate? Not sure how everybody else feels, but I can't stand the watching games on BTN.



October 15th, 2012 at 9:37 AM ^

I may be remembering incorrectly, but I thought the BTN could choose certain games throughout the year, so they made sure each team was on its network a certain number of times.

If you look at the slate this week, it's not a very appealing week, even for the weak Big 10. Ohio State, the top ranked team, is playing Purdue (who has gotten crushed its last two games) and other contenders (e.g, Nebraska and Wisconsin) play Northwestern and Minnesota, two low profile teams.

So UM-MSU is the "big" game, and  maybe BTN picked it and the networks were like, "Eh, neither team is in the Top 20 -- you can have them."


October 15th, 2012 at 9:52 AM ^

It seems like the big Michigan - MSU rivarly has been on BTN more often than not. I thought this was because BTN gets a few "good ones" a season, and ABC / ESPN doesn't feel this game gets enough national interest versus other choices on the same weekend. (Seems like Penn State rubbernecking is the in thing from national point of view this season, and the rest of the non-BCS ranked B1G is not worth watching.)

The upside is it further fuels Sparty's inferiority complex.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

I'm assuming that ABC/ESPN chose the Nebraska-Northwestern game as their #1 choice (which is defensible: large Nebraska fan base, kind of an elimination game in the division, big upset last year, sure to have offensive fireworks) and that the BTN utilized one of their opportunities to move up in the selection priority to grab MSU-UM.

The only confusing thing is that the OSU-Purdue game is also an ABC simulcast, I'm not sure if the BTN can ever choose before an ABC broadcast. Regardless of the regionality of the MSU-UM game, I would think it would draw more viewers than OSU vs. a completely dead Purdue team.


October 15th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

people from outside the B1G, when they talk about Big Ten, it is generally about how much the Big Ten sucks, is Penn State going to become a crater, and looks like the Buckeyes would be B1G champions if they could play in the post season.

Exhibit A for the 1st point: Michigan was wiped off the map on national TV between Alabama and the ND interception fest. Now that we are into the conference schedule, there is nothing left that matters to see until maybe The Game. (If we get there, even the B1G championship game will be a joke because of Penn State and Ohio, and all those other "leaders".)

Nebraska and Wisconsin each have imploded nationally and within the conference. Everyone else has always been "who dat?". The only thing left of interest to watch are the ambulances, fire trucks and morgue vehicles around Penn State, and whether Ohio wins out (thus further shaming the entire B1G).


October 15th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

I dont like it because it implies that it isn't a particularly interesting game, and the production and announcers are a bummer. OTOH, I like being able to watch on btn2go and to get replays online. Either way, beat Staee.

oriental andrew

October 15th, 2012 at 9:59 AM ^

are you referring to ABC switching to Michigan-Illinois in the 4th quarter of the Red River Blowout?  Or did they switch away from Michigan to something else (maybe the Oregon State game) where you live?  I got the entire Michigan game in Chicago.


October 15th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

It's a rivalry game that has minimal interest outside of Michigan and maybe Ohio. I haven't looked at the schedule for this week, but it's understandable to not put it on ESPN.
Also, ESPN loves the SEC


October 15th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

My biggest complaint with BTN is the noise they make every time they drop the down and distance on the screen, it sounds like someone going "whooo"

Anyone else notice this? If not, I'm sorry, you won't be able to watch the games again in peace.


October 15th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

As a rule, I'd disagree.  Florida-Florida State was must see when both teams were good; Okl-Okl St; Tex-Okl; Alabama-Auburn; Texas - Texas A&M; even Pitt-West Virginia.  A lot of regional rivalry games have national interest when both teams are good.

Maybe what's baked into your statement is the fact that neither team this year is viewed nationally as particularly good, which I'd concede.


October 15th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

I suspect this is a good business decision for varied reasons:

  1. MSU is stumbling, having lost two in a row.
  2. UM & MSU are not even 100 miles apart, and are of little interest outside of the State of Michigan.
  3. My guess is the TV people have run the numbers, and the projected viewership fell below other possible games.
  4. The fact that this was a late decision (game time and TV network) indicates that it was being considered, at least until MSU lost this week.
  5. Even Michigan, which is improving, has lost two, and is barely in the top 25.
  6. How many regional games do you choose to watch outside of Michigan - MSU? Would you watch OK - Oklahoma State? Kansas - Kansas State? Texas - Texas A&M? Illinois - Northwestern? Iowa - Iowa State? For a regional game to be of significant interest, it helps when both teams are highly ranked, or at least ranked. Florida - Florida State, or Alabama - Auburn or USC - Stanford might be of more interest. This year, Ohio State - Cincinnati are both doing well.
  7. Isn't the BTN promised a marquee game or two?


October 15th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

In the absence of any good national game, I'm guessing that Disney chose Nebraksa-NW because of the likelihood that the game will see a lot of points scored. 


October 15th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

Bottom line here is that Nationally, this game is not that important vs. the other games of the day, or not that interesting. Nebraska vs. Northwestern the big guys at ABC Sports want more. Also, the BTN gets a few picks per year that they can go before the ABC pick. Perhaps - this is a game BTN wanted to show over the others - they knew there would be big interest in the UM side. Remeber, NBC's highest rated College Football game was UM @ ND this year - 1/2 of NBC's teams don't change - so we know that it isn't the Irish drawing the attention.



October 15th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

...those who complain or are happy about broadcast time/channel decisions solely based on personal impact:

  • ESPN/BTN: Subscriber to both. Therefore don't care which channel shows the game.
  • Start time: Reserve drill on Sat and we go from 0700 to 1530 so I'll be able to listen to the first half on my car's Sirius radio during the drive home and watch the second half on BTN HD.
  • Because it's unsafe, I'll refrain from the tempation to have the game streaming on BTN2Go (access provided by my Verizon FiOS subscription) on my iPhone (w/ a Verizon plan) during the drive.
  • I'll record the game on my HD DVR and so if I care to, I'll watch the first half at my leisure.

What's that? You don't care about my personal ability to access the Michigan game? You don't give a rat's ass about my television subscription choices? You aren't worried about the impact to me of broadcaster choices for channel assignment and game time start? I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked.


October 15th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

I care Shoe.  I care deeply.

Others here on the board may brush off the importance of your television viewing choices but I am NOT one of them.  Even now as I write this from my desk at work my partner just stuck his head in the office to ask "Did MGoShoe get his Michigan/MSU watching plans settled yet?"  You see - even though I live in Ohio I have alerted all my friends, family and co-workers to your plight and they too have started a mini candlelight vigil to ensure your ability to watch the game when you want and how you want isn't diminished in any way.



October 15th, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

As I predicted this year, Sparty was extremely overrated going in, and are a 7-5 team at best.  Sparty has played so badly that ABC doesn't consider the game worthwhile, leaving BTN their opening to exercise their option on this game.

I hope Michigan proves ABC right by hanging 50 on Sparty.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

That would be nice, but if we've learned anything about MSU thusfar is that their defense is good enough to keep them in any game they're playing.  I believe we win this week, because we're the better team, but it won't be another 30+ point rout that we've enjoyed the past two weekends.

That said, I'm completely confident in being able to fire up a victory cigar around 7:15 PM this Saturday night.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

If you have dish can you still call them and order the BigTen Network just for a day? My dad did this the other year and they charged him 5 dollars or something. Does anyone know if this is possible??


October 15th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

I don't like BTN announcers but it is what it is.  It might not just be a UM/MSU factor but a Big Ten factor, seeing that the conference looks about as bad this year as it's ever been.  Even if MSU had beaten Iowa, I didn't think we would get ABC for this game.

Not that I want to remember the game but wasn't the 2009 game on BTN?  The one where Forcier threw the interception in the end zone in overtime. 

The networks for past UM/MSU games:

ESPN on ABC - 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011

ABC - 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005

ESPN - 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2002, 2006

CBS - 1985, 1986

BTN - 2009, 2012


October 15th, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

Not sure how everybody else feels, but I can't stand the watching games on BTN.

So don't. Go online and buy a ticket. From what I'm reading, Spartan fans are shedding their tickets to avoid having to sit through the comeuppance in Ann Arbor this weekend. Prices online are falling, so pick a pair or seats and come out and watch the game live.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

unfortunately, abc/espn regional coverage is also fairly poor. certainly the announcers are comparable - derek rackley and danny kannel(?sp) appear to be familiar with the teams but are very green and do not add much. although, i find myself correcting and scoffing at their comments which is fun. actully, everything is fun when your team is ahead by  a lot.