Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

CBS Return Adds a Bit More on College Front

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

CBS Return Adds a Bit More on College Front

Article excerpt

After losing the National Football League to Fox two years ago, CBS is returning with college football this fall, featuring the Big East and Southeastern Conference.

That is good news for hungry fans who can never get too many games, even if they watch selectively. The bad news is that the network's 11 games that kick off shortly after 3:30 on Saturdays will go head-to-head eight times with ABC games chosen from five conferences. That means a lot of tough choices.

There also will be a full season of early Saturday games on ABC affiliates, as it carries Big East selections when not picking up the network offering.

Mixed in the middle of all this via NBC will be four Notre Dame home games at 2:30 p.m., another at 1:30 and one at 12:30. NBC will be shortchanged a little because the Irish have a softer schedule than last year's. The only major home matchup looming is Ohio State on Sept. 28.

Then there are the two regional sports pay-cable channels. New England Sports Network will carry 37 games, including a weekly ECAC telecast. NESN's coverage of Boston College at Cincinnati on Oct. 12 ensures that the entire Eagle schedule will be on TV. Around Boston, only Notre Dame will get equal coverage.

SportsChannel will carry seven games live, most of them in the first month, including Boston University vs. St. Mary's from California on Sept. 7.

The variations in the schedule are too complicated for dissection. Suffice to say, the overall volume of games will increase this season over last by the 19 CBS "exposures," keeping in mind that several regional games on a given Saturday equal one "exposure."

"I can't tell you of the excitement around here," said Rich Gentile, senior vice president in charge of production at CBS Sports.

The loss two years ago of the NFL was a psychic blow to the network's sports division. But now there will be something to plan for and look ahead to each Saturday. The schedule is mostly big-time games because CBS has first option on all nonconference Big East and SEC home games, as well as the top weekly conference contest.

Newcomers Sean McDonough and Mike Mayock will be the network's 1-A team, next to Jim Nantz and Terry Donahue, at least starting out. …

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