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Sports Media Weekly No. 161- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & ESPN Media Day Interviews

We have multiple guests on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report.

Our top story of the week is still evolving as it was announced late today that ESPN is backing our of its partnership with PBS’ Frontline show in producing an investigative documentary on concussions in the NFL.  ESPN claims the move is over a lack of editorial control on the project.  We speculate that there must have been a major disagreement between the parties.  We will follow the story as it progresses.

We then look at last Saturday’s launch of Fox Sports 1.  The three of us agree that as much as people want to send out flash judgments of what they’ve seen over the first five days on the air, it’s better to judge the success of the network over the long haul.

We wrap-up the news segment by reviewing my trip yesterday to ESPN as part of the network’s Media Day.  We discuss the state of ESPN, particularly through the words of ESPN President John Skipper, who held an hour-long Q&A session with reporters over lunch.

The day at ESPN also included panels on college football, the NFL, and a look at ESPN’s new digital studio, which will host SportsCenter beginning next year.

The second half of the show features my interviews with four members of ESPN:

  • SVP of Programming, College Sports Burke Magnus on the upcoming college football season
  • SVP of Content, Digital and Print Media Rob King on the network’s online properties
  • NFL Live host Trey Wingo
  • SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy who is celebrating his 20th year at the network

PROGRAMMING NOTE-  There will no Sports Media Weekly program next week.  Ken and I will return after Labor Day.

Sports Media Digest- August 22, 2013

NBC Digital Sees Best Traffic Month Ever in July

NBC Sports reports that its digital division saw record traffic during the month of July. Total viewership during the month topped pout at 102.6 million visits.

Here are the numbers as reportewd by NBC PT:

NBCSports.com recorded its best month ever in uniques and visits with 20.4 million and 51.8 million, respectively. Many SportsTalk sites also experienced their best-ever July:

  • ProFootballTalk recorded its best month ever in uniques and visits, with 9.8 million uniques, up 115 percent year-over-year, and 27.4 million visits, up 106% year-over-year.
  • ProBasketballTalk posted its best month ever in visits and page views for the third consecutive month, fueled by NBA free agency news. ProBasketballTalk had 10.8 million visits and 18.5 million page views in July.
  • HardballTalk had its best month ever in all key metrics, as its 3.8 million uniques marked the first time that the site exceeded 3 million, driven by the suspensions tied to the Biogensis fallout.
  • ProHockeyTalk scored its best month in visits for the third consecutive month, with 2.9 million visits, breaking the 2 million mark for the second time.
  • ProSoccerTalk saw its best month ever in all key metrics for third consecutive month, and the site’s 1.3 million uniques was the first time it surpassed one million.
  • MotorSportsTalk finished with its best month ever in page views since launching in February 2013 with 941,000.

GolfChannel.com, the digital website for 2012’s fastest growing cable network, posted its second consecutive month with more than 30 million page views and fifth consecutive month with more than 3 million uniques.  GolfChannel also generated more than 1 million video starts and drew a 25 percent uptick in unique visitors, compared to last year.

The NBC Sports Regional Networks’ digital platforms also spiked in growth, earning their best month ever in visits and page views, with 17.5 million visits and 31.7 million page views, up 62 percent and 25 percent year-over-year, respectively. CSN Philadelphia and CSN New England contributed remarkable advances, though all of the Comcast SportsNet regionals notched increases in uniques, visits and page views. Four NBC Sports Regional Networks posted their best month ever in a key metric:

  • Patriots and Celtics coverage pushed CSN New England to 4.1 million visits and 6.2 million page views in July, marking all-time highs for each metric.
  • CSN Philadelphia drew 1.9 million video starts, another record high.
  • 49ers and Raiders training camp stories boosted CSN Bay Area to 1.4 million uniques, its best month ever.
  • CSN Houston recorded its best month ever since its October launch in page views with 1.1 million as the Houston Rockets landed free-agent megastar Dwight Howard

NBC Sports Group apps also grew in July:

  • The NBC SportsTalk app delivered a record 6.2 million visits (the record was set in March 2013 at the height of NFL free agency) and 66 million page views and – its second best performance to date.
  • The NBC Sports Digital apps recorded their best month ever in visits and page views, with 18 million visits, up 55 percent year-over-year, and 117.8 page views, up 43 percent year-over-year.
  • NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets, has surpassed 6.1 million downloads.
  • Golf Channel mobile apps generated more than 500,000 uniques, the most ever for the platform in a month, and the second highest page views for a month ever with more than 28 million.
  • “The continued traffic growth across NBC Sports Digital properties shows our strategy focusing around video, NBCSportsTalk and mobile is working.  It also validates our important and growing partnership with Yahoo! Sports,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, NBC Sports Group.

“The continued traffic growth across NBC Sports Digital properties shows our strategy focusing around video, NBCSportsTalk and mobile is working.  It also validates our important and growing partnership with Yahoo! Sports,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, NBC Sports Group.

Fox Sports 1 and MLB to Produce Behind-the Scenes Access Leading to the Playoffs

Fox Sports and Major League Baseball have announced a collaboration which will give baseball fans an exclusive look behind the scenes with a specific team fighting to reach the Postseason and win the World Series.

Mission October will follow players, coaches and front office personnel over the course of a weekend series, and each show will be produced and edited as the weekend series unfolds, allowing for episodes to air on Monday evenings each week.

“Our fans crave behind the scenes access to their favorite stars, and they want to see it right away. Mission October satisfies both of those desires, and we know MLB Productions is up to the task of this extremely quick editing schedule,” said Chris Tully, Senior Vice President, Broadcasting, Major League Baseball. “We’re thrilled to be working with Fox Sports 1 on this series, which will provide a unique glimpse each week inside the inner workings of our Clubs during this most critical time of the season.”

“This is what the Pennant race is all about. Fighting tooth and nail to get the opportunity to play in October. It’s a privilege that MLB and the players have let our viewers be this close to the action at this most crucial and exciting time of the season. You will really get to see the race for October from the inside out,” said Michael Bloom, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Fox Sports 1.

The eight-part series will debut Monday at 7:30p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

The State of ESPN with President John Skipper

ESPN held its media today at the Bristol campus.  I was fortunate enough to attend and will be posting interviews over the next day or so.

One of the highlights of the day was a lunch-time Q&A session by ESPN President John Skipper.  Skipper took questions from the assembled media for over an hour and touched upon a number of topics…from the competition from Fox Sports 1, to the re-hiring of Keith Olbermann and Jason Whitlock, to the escalation of rights fees, and to the likelihood of live sports content migrating exclusively online.

Instead of picking out the highlights of Skipper’s comments I thought it best to post his entire Q&A session as a podcast.   The podcast is a long listen at over an hour, but gives us a good look at the state of ESPN.

Sports Media Digest- August 20, 2013

CBS Sports Network Acquires Rights to Athletic American Conference Football and Basketball

With its split this year from the Big East, the new American Athletic Conference has a new TV right home with the CBS Sports Network through a sub-licensing deal with ESPN.

The deal, which begins with the 2013-14 college basketball season and continues through 2019-20, calls for 30 men’s basketball games per year, except for the first year, which calls for 25 games. CBS Sports Network also will telecast a minimum of 13, and maximum of 15 football games beginning with the 2014 season.

“We are pleased and excited about this ESPN-CBS agreement, which provides our member institutions unprecedented national exposure on the industry leaders in college sports,” said American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco. “CBS Sports Network is another outstanding national platform for our schools, and we thank ESPN for its role in making this agreement possible. We look forward to giving our fans the best seat in the house as we compete on the biggest stage in college sports in this, our inaugural season as the American, and for many years to come.”

“This deal adds high quality college football and basketball games to CBS Sports Network’s already extensive line-up of live event programming,” said David Berson, President, CBS Sports. “We’re proud to extend our relationship with the American Athletic Conference and look forward to showcasing exciting action on CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network beginning this season.”

Waddle Joins ESPN Radio as NFL Analyst

ESPN Radio announced that it has hired Chicago-based talk radio host Tom Waddle to a multi-year agreement to provide analysis during the national Football Sunday on ESPN Radio program, beginning September 8 at 1 p.m.

The former Bears wide receiver will also appear on Sunday editions of SportsCenter and on ESPN2’s Cowherd on Football (9 a.m.), the new hour-long program focusing on both college and pro football discussion and commentary with host Colin Cowherd.

Waddle will continue his hosting duties on ESPN Radio Chicago.

CBS Sports Network Unveils Cast for NFL Pre-Game Show

CBS Sports today provided more details to its plan to produce a NFL pre-game show on the CBS Sports Network.

The program, entitled That Other Pregame Show, will debut at 9:00am ET on September 8th.

Adam Schein will host with analysis from former NFL player  Bart Scott, long-time Oakland Raiders executive Amy Trask, CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney, CBSSports.com fantasy analyst Nathan Zegura and Lead Off’s Allie LaForce reporting.

Contributions will also be made from the cast of CBS’ NFL Today; Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher, as well as host James Brown and Insider Jason La Canfora. CBS Sports’ NFL on CBS announcers will appear regularly from their game sites including Phil Simms, Dan Fouts, Dan Dierdorf, Rich Gannon, Solomon Wilcots, Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein.

The show will incorporate social media interaction with the last hour of the show centered on Fantasy Football picks as fans set their line-ups each week.

“In today’s television landscape, there is certainly room for another pregame show if that show offers a unique approach and perspective,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “That Other Pregame Show will accomplish that, as we combine all the assets of CBS Sports including CBS Sports Radio and CBSSports.com, creating a show focusing on the fans and how they consume football.”

ESPN.com Assigns Beat Writers to Each NFL Team

ESPN.com has announced that it now will have beat coverage for every team in the NFL as part of its expansion of its NFL Nation Network.

Each of the 32 NFL Nation reporters will contribute multiple daily reports – including news, commentary, analysis, audio and video. In addition to their work on ESPN.com, NFL Nation reporters will contribute to other ESPN platforms, includingNFL LiveNFL InsidersSportsCenter and other television shows, ESPN Radio national and local affiliate programs, ESPN Audio podcasts, ESPN The Magazine and more.

Here is the list of reporters or each NFL team:

ESPN.com NFL Nation reporters (and previous affiliation):
Baltimore Ravens: Jamison Hensley (ESPN AFC North blogger)
Buffalo Bills: Mike Rodak (ESPN Boston)
Carolina Panthers: David Newton (ESPN NASCAR writer) *
Chicago Bears: Michael C. Wright (ESPN Chicago)
Cincinnati Bengals: Coley Harvey (Orlando Sentinel)
Dallas Cowboys: Todd Archer (ESPN Dallas)
Denver Broncos: Jeff Legwold (Denver Post)
Green Bay Packers: Rob Demovsky (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Houston Texans: Tania Ganguli (Houston Chronicle)
Indianapolis Colts: Mike Wells (Indianapolis Star)
Miami Dolphins: James Walker (ESPN AFC East blogger)
Minnesota Vikings: Ben Goessling (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
New England Patriots: Mike Reiss (ESPN Boston)
New York Giants: Dan Graziano (ESPN NFC East blogger)
New York Jets: Rich Cimini (ESPN New York)
Oakland Raiders: Paul Gutierrez (CSNBayArea.com)
Philadelphia Eagles: Phil Sheridan (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Pittsburgh Steelers: Scott Brown (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
St. Louis Rams: Nick Wagoner (StLouisRams.com)
San Francisco 49ers: Bill Williamson (ESPN AFC West blogger)
Seattle Seahawks: Terry Blount (ESPN NASCAR writer) *
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Pat Yasinskas (ESPN NFC South blogger)
Tennessee Titans: Paul Kuharsky (ESPN AFC South blogger)
Washington Redskins: John Keim (Washington Examiner and Washington Post)
 
New roles have also been created for two current NFL Nation bloggers:
Mike Sando (NFC West blogger): ESPN Insider NFL columnist
Kevin Seifert (NFC North blogger): NFL Nation national writer

 

Sports Media Digest- August 19, 2013

Sox/Yankees Highest Rated SNB on ESPN

ESPN reports that last night’s Yankees/Red Sox Sunday Night Baseball (SNB) telecast was the highest rated SNB game of the season.

Last night’s game registered a 2.5 overnight rating, up 25 percent from a 2.0 for last year’s comparable Sunday Night Baseball telecast, which was also a Yankees-Red Sox game.

CBS and Mountain West Reach Deal on Coverage of Football Championship

CBS Sports has reached a a multi-year deal with the Mountain West Conference to telecast its football championship game.

CBS will televise this fall’s championship on Saturday, December 7th at 10:00p.m. ET.

“The new Mountain West football structure, which will culminate in an exciting match-up between two divisional champions, is one of many recent initiatives for the Conference as we enter our next era,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson.  “We are pleased that CBS Sports will serve as a tremendous platform for this marquee event, providing an opportunity to showcase the caliber of Mountain West football.”

“We’re thrilled to extend our relationship with the Mountain West and broadcast their inaugural football championship game,” said Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports.  “It’s a great addition to our college football programming and we look forward to providing fans with a full day of championship coverage for many years.”

The CBS Sports Network will air 23 games this season featuring teams from the Mountain West.

Bleacher Report Bolsters Coverage of the NFL

The Bleacher Report will be expanding its coverage of the National Football League this season.  The main additions will be in  new Fantasy Football stream in its top-rated Team Stream™ mobile and tablet app, as well additions to its NFL editorial staff and enhancements to its NFL video franchises.

Former NFL player Matt Bowen will join Bleacher Report as an NFL analyst.  Bowen will provide in-depth analysis of news around the league as well as previews on key matchups each week.  He will also be a regular video contributor for the site. In addition to his work with Bleacher Report, Bowen will continue to be a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

“We are committed to providing the best, most comprehensive experiences to our fans and these enhancements made to Bleacher Report’s coverage of the NFL are representative of how we’re delivering on that commitment,” said Dave Finocchio, founder and chief content and product officer, Bleacher Report, and VP, Turner Sports. “This major category launch to Team Stream, the addition of established, well-respected talent, and the growth of our video franchises will provide an even better experience for our fans.”

ESPN Creates Another Post-Season Bowl Game

ESPN announced today that it has created the Camellia Bowl, a postseason college football game matching-up the Sun Belt Conference against the Mid-American Conference (MAC) beginning in December 2014. The game will be played yearly at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., before the Christmas holiday and be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.

“The Raycom All-Star game helped shine a new light on the city of Montgomery, and we took notice,” said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President & GM, ESPN Regional Television. “From stadium improvements and opportunities for quality hospitality, to the downtown hotel properties, rich history and the wonderful museums like the Rosa Parks Center, it all came together for us. We have two conference partners excited about the bowl, a community we believe is hungry for a quality postseason event and civic and business leaders that have a great can-do spirit.”

“The Sun Belt Conference marks a significant moment in its history by partnering with the Mid-American Conference, ESPN, and the city of Montgomery for what will be a tremendously successful bowl game,” said Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner.  “Montgomery has all the ingredients for a great bowl game and experience for our student-athletes and fans – a great venue in the renovated Cramton Bowl, a vibrant downtown with many new hotels and restaurants, and a location in the middle of the SBC footprint that will make travel very convenient for fans throughout our league.  With every football season the SBC continues to show its strength and deserving place amongst college football’s best and soon a talented SBC team will represent our league well in this exciting new bowl game.”

“The Mid-American Conference is proud to partner in the creation of the Camellia Bowl beginning with the 2014 season,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner.  “The historic Cramton Bowl will be a great venue for our student-athletes and fans.  Additionally, Montgomery’s entertainment district will provide a fun and lively bowl experience for all involved.  I want to thank all parties involved for their diligence in creating this event, especially Montgomery mayor Todd Strange.”

Sports Media Digest- August 15, 2013

WatchESPN App for IOS Gets Major Update

ESPN announced today that its WatchESPN IOS application for iPhones and iPads has undergone a major upgrade.

In addition to watching live feeds from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater, the app has new enhancements- including what’s called Live Toolbar, which presents stats, scores and ESPN.com on-demand clips – all while still viewing the streaming video.

“The catalyst for this latest update to the WatchESPN App was content discovery and interactivity. Video is at the very core of what ESPN does best, and the addition of scores, stat and robust highlights and clips complement the fan viewing experience,” said Damon Phillips, Vice President, WatchESPN & ESPN3. “Through constant innovation, we’re able to serve fans not only with what they want right now, but with what we anticipate they’ll want in the future.”

The new app is available today from the IOS App Store.

ESPN FC Sees Significant Growth In its First Year

ESPN FC is celebrating its first anniversary by touting its traffic numbers online.

ESPNFC.com is averaging 5.1 million unique visitors per month, making it the no. 1 soccer-specific site in the U.S.

The anniversary coincides with the debut of ESPN FC on ESPN2 in the U.S., which airs its one-hour editions on Sundays at 12 a.m. ET and 30-minute editions on weekdays at 5:30 p.m.

“Our commitment and dedication to ESPN FC to cover the world’s most popular sport globally and across all screens remains as strong as ever,” said Bimal Kapadia, senior director, ESPN FC.  “We look forward to serving fans a unique show and new digital products and services in the coming months leading up to the biggest event in football, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.”

“The numbers over the past year show how fans have come to know ESPN FC as a trusted source of information for the latest news and coverage from around the world of football,” said James Martin, deputy editor, ESPN FC.  “We have made and continue to make a concerted effort to hire a high-caliber group of global contributors to join our already stellar editorial newsroom.”

Rotoworld to Become a Fantasy Football Information Brand on NBC Sports Radio

NBC Sports and Rotoworld,  the internet’s highest-trafficked fantasy sports information site, have struck a deal where the website will bring exclusive fantasy football information to listeners of NBC Sports Radio.

“Rotoworld has always been my go-to fantasy source for news and information and I couldn’t be more excited, as a true fantasy fan and player, to welcome this partnership,” said Chris Corcoran, Dial Global’s EVP/GM Sports Programming. “The fantasy space is massive and continues to grow at an enormous pace. Our exclusive programming will help feed this extremely loyal fantasy fan base.”

“This is a natural extension for Rotoworld, as sports radio has long been a popular platform for fantasy sports players,” said Brett Vandermark, Director, Fantasy Content, NBC Sports Digital/Rotoworld. “Combined with the recent launch ofFantasy Football Live – Thursday Night! on NBC Sports Network, this agreement allows fantasy players to access Rotoworld on virtually every platform — audio, television, print, mobile and of course, the web.”

An on-demand specialty shows will be hosted by NBC Sports Radio anchor and Rotoworld contributor Kay Adams, a fantasy sports expert. The twice weekly (Tuesday and Friday) exclusive, 60-minute NFL-related fantasy show begins airing on NBC Sports Radio the week on August 26th.  They can be found on the NBC Sports Radio on-demand network, including NBCSportsRadio.com and the mobile app NBCSportsRadio.

Sports Media Weekly No. 160- Ken Schott, Schenectady Daily Gazette, David Wanger, Fox Sports & David Berson, CBS Sports

We have another jam-packed version of Sports Media Weekly this week.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ken Schott, TV-Radio Columnist for the Schenectady Daily Gazette.

We begin the show looking at the upcoming launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.  We all give our opinion as to what we can expect from the new sports network as well as looking at the prospect of Fox Sports 1 reaching its goal of launching in 90 million homes with the news that Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have signed carriage agreements today with Fox.

We follow last week’s news of Fox securing the rights to USGA events by discussing the report that Fox is looking to tap Greg Norman as the network’s lead analyst when it begins coverage of USGA events in 2015.

We move on to the world of NBC Sports as we look forward to the network’s coverage of the English Premier League.  The new season begins Saturday with NBC televising all league games across a myriad of networks.

We then look at the breaking news from The Big Lead that Jason Whitlock will soon be returning to ESPN in a multi-platform role.  Another case of a former disgruntled ESPN employee coming back home.

We conclude our news segment looking at how a local New York capital region sports talk show host got swindled by an impostor posing as former Yankee and current minor league coach Shane Spencer.

Ken had the opportunity this week to speak with two sports network executives.  Ken first talks with Bill Wanger, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research at Fox Sports.  The two discuss the launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.

Ken then speaks with David Berson, President of CBS Sports.  Among the topics Ken and David touch upon is how the CBS Sports Network plans to compete with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1.

Sports Media Digest- August 5, 2013

Bleacher Report Hires Mike Freemen–  The Bleacher Report today announced the hiring of noted sports journalist Mike Freeman.  Freeman, who recently worked for CBSSports.com along with stints at the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe, will serve as the Bleacher Report’s lead NFL columnist.

Woods WGC Rout Results in Increased Ratings for CBS–  CBS Sports reports that this weekend’s World Golf Championship event at Firestone Country Club, where Tiger Woods ran away from the field, resulted in increased ratings compared to a year ago.  The network today announced that ratings for Saturday and Sunday’s rounds were up 173% and 138% respectively over 2012.

Kwan Hired by Fox Sports for Winter Olympics Coverage–  Fox Sports announced today that it has hired former Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan as an analyst for the network’s coverage of next year’s Winter Olympics.  Kwan will provide analysis during figure skating events and contributes daily commentary prior to and throughout The Games across all FOX Sports platforms including FOX Sports 1. “I’m thrilled to be a part of the FOX Sports team,” said Kwan. “FOX Sports is known for being fresh, innovative and fun, and that’s the approach I plan to bring in my role. I want to give fans an insider’s look at figure skating and the entire Olympics experience.”

Julie Stewart-Binks to host Fox Sports’ Daily Soccer Show–  Fox Sports announced today that Julie Stewart-Binks will serve as the host of Fox Sports 1’s daily soccer studio program Fox Soccer Daily. Binks will be joined by soccer analysts Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride.Fox Soccer Daily, which begins on August 19th at 4:00p.m. ET.

 

Sports Media Weekly No. 158- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Peter King, Sports Illustrated

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

We are joined for our news segment this week by Chad Finn, sports media columnist for The Boston Globe.

We begin the program by looking at the announcement this week that NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports will be collaborating on two new TV and online sports video projects, one of which debuts tomorrow.  The inclusion of rich media content is becoming more and more prevalent online and we agree that we’ll likely see more being produced by broadcast and web partners.

On a related note we look at the move by media outlets to create exclusive online content featuring their sports writing superstars.  Bill Simmons and ESPN began the trend with Grantland and now Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Peter Gammons are creating fresh content marketed around their personal brands.

We move to Boston sports media next, looking at how the Boston media handled the Aaron Hernandez arrest and the response by the Patriots.  We then delve into news of the launch next Monday of an online radio venture produced by the Boston Herald.

We finish the segment reflecting on the trail blazing career of Steve Bornstein, who pioneered television coverage of the NFL and will be retiring as head of the NFL Network next year.

We head back to the NFL and Ken’s interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.  Ken talks to King about what it took to pull together his new NFL website on SI, MMQB.

ESPN Announces Weekday College Football Schedule

As part of its massive schedule of college football telecasts, ESPN will be televising 69 of them during the work week.  The games will air on ESPN’s varied networks and platforms.

From ESPN PR:

The schedule includes at least one team from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences (American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Pac-12, Southeastern and Sun Belt) plus independents BYU and Navy. Coverage of teams from Football Championship Division leagues Big Sky, Big South, Colonial Athletic, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Southern and Southwestern Athletic will also be featured.

Here is the weekday slate of college football games on the networks of ESPN:

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug 29 6 p.m. North Carolina at No. 8 South Carolina ESPN
  6 p.m. Liberty at Kent State ESPN3
  6:30 p.m. Presbyterian at Wake Forest ESPN3
  7 p.m. Tulsa at Bowling Green ESPNU
  7 p.m. Illinois State at Ball State ESPN3
  7 p.m. Akron at UCF ESPN3
  7:30pm Towson at Connecticut ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. Southern Utah at South Alabama ESPN3
  9:15 p.m. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt ESPN
  10:30 p.m. Rutgers at Fresno State ESPNU
Fri, Aug 30 7 p.m. Samford at Georgia State ESPN3
  8 p.m. Texas Tech at SMU ESPN
  8 p.m. Florida Atlantic at Miami (Fla.) ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Southern at Houston ESPN3
Mon, Sep 2 8 p.m. No. 14 Florida State at Pittsburgh ESPN
Fri, Sep 6 8 p.m. Wake Forest at Boston College ESPN2
Thu, Sept 12 7:30 p.m. No. 18 TCU at Texas Tech ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Troy at Arkansas State ESPNU
Fri, Sep 13 8 p.m. Air Force at No. 21 Boise State ESPN
Thu, Sep 19 7:30 p.m. No. 12 Clemson at NC State ESPN
Fri, Sep 20 9 p.m. No. 21 Boise State at Fresno State ESPN
Thu, Sep 26 7:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech ESPN
Fri, Sep 27 9 p.m. Utah State at San Jose State ESPN
  9 p.m. Middle Tennessee at BYU ESPNU
Thu, Oct 3 7:30 p.m. No. 13 Texas at Iowa State ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Western Kentucky at Louisiana-Monroe ESPNU
Fri, Oct 4 9 p.m. Nevada at San Diego State ESPN
Thu, Oct 10 7:30 p.m. Rutgers at No. 4 Louisville ESPN
Fri, Oct 11 8:30 p.m. Temple at Cincinnati ESPN or ESPN2
Tue, Oct 15 8 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Western Kentucky ESPN2
Thu, Oct 17 7:30 p.m. Miami (Fla.) at North Carolina ESPN
Fri, Oct 18 8 p.m. UCF at No. 4 Louisville ESPN
Tue, Oct 22 8 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas State ESPN2
Thu, Oct 24 7:30 p.m. Kentucky at Mississippi State ESPN
Fri, Oct 25 8 p.m. No. 21 Boise State at BYU ESPN
Wed, Oct 30 8 p.m. Cincinnati at Memphis ESPN2
Thu, Oct 31 7 p.m. South Florida at Houston ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Troy ESPNU
  10:30 p.m. Arizona State at Washington State ESPN
Fri, Nov 1 9 p.m. No. 23 USC at Oregon State ESPN2
Tue, Nov 5 8 p.m. Bowling Green at Miami (Ohio) ESPN2 or ESPNU
  8 p.m. Ohio at Buffalo ESPN2 or ESPNU
Wed, Nov 6 8 p.m. Central Michigan at Ball State ESPN2
Thu, Nov 7 7:30 p.m. Troy at Louisiana-Lafayette ESPNU
  9 p.m. No. 3 Oregon at No. 5 Stanford ESPN
Fri, Nov 8 8:30 p.m. No. 4 Louisville at Connecticut ESPN2
  9 p.m. Air Force at New Mexico ESPNU
Tue, Nov 12 7:30 p.m. Ohio at Bowling Green ESPNU or ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Toledo ESPNU or ESPN3
Wed, Nov 13 8 p.m. Ball State at Northern Illinois ESPN2 or ESPNU
  8 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at Kent State ESPN2 or ESPNU
Thu, Nov 14 7:30 p.m. Georgia Tech at No. 12 Clemson ESPN
Fri, Nov 15 9 p.m. Washington at No. 19 UCLA ESPN2
Tue, Nov 19 8 p.m. Kent State at Ohio ESPN2 or ESPNU
  8 p.m. Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) ESPN2 or ESPNU
Wed, Nov 20 8 p.m. Northern Illinois at Toledo ESPN2
Thu, Nov 21 7:30 p.m. Rutgers at UCF ESPN
  9:30 p.m. UNLV at Air Force ESPNU
Fri, Nov 22 9:30 p.m. Navy at San Jose State ESPN2
Tue, Nov 26 7 p.m. Western Michigan at Northern Illinois ESPN2
Thu, Nov 28 7:30 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPN
Fri, Nov 29 Noon Iowa at No. 22 Nebraska ABC
  TBD Miami (Fla.) at Pittsburgh ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
  TBD South Florida at UCF ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
  TBD SMU at Houston ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
  TBD Mid-American Conference TBD ESPNU
  TBD Mid-American Conference TBD ESPN3
Thu, Dec 5 7:30 p.m. No. 4 Louisville at Cincinnati ESPN
Fri, Dec 6 8 p.m. Marathon MAC Championship (from Detroit) ESPN2