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Stadium and Main: ESPN Gameplan and the OL take some hits

Thursday, August 17, 2006

ESPN Gameplan and the OL take some hits

This Free Press article gives us some info on 2 injuries on the Offensive Line (and a fairly unflattering picture of Justin Boren). Boren would not be too big of a loss, since he’s just a True Freshman. And it doesn’t sound too serious. But Mike Kolodziej has an injury that “might compromise his career,” according to his mom. Most (but not all) people thought Kolodziej would start at Right Tackle, so this would be a big loss, leaving Michigan with even less depth and potentially playing various Freshmen and Sophomores. I totally put the jinx on him last week. Sorry.

This dude named Matt has a short but thought-provoking post (to freaks like me, anyway) about the potential downfall of ESPN Gameplan. Matt runs this super-duper awesome College Football TV Schedule site, which is way thorough. Anyway, back to Gameplan. As Matt mentions, with the addition of ESPNU, the “loss” of Conference USA and the Mountain West, and the continued lack of Big 12 and Pac-10 games, Gameplan isn’t looking so hot anymore. Couple this with the fact that starting soon (next season? This?), “[a]ll regional afternoon football games aired on ABC will be aired by ESPN/ESPN2 in outer-markets, making these games nationally available,” and the ever-increasing price (from $89 to $109 for the “early bird special” over the past few years) of Gameplan might not be worth it to many fans.

Other factors to consider:

Will Gameplan carry games that are on the Big Ten Channel (which starts a year from now) and/or ESPNU? It did carry a few ESPNU games last year (including EMU at Michigan), but I’m expecting more hardball this year. Keeping ESPNU games off of Gameplan pressures cable companies like Comcast to add the channel. Fans will get mad that they can’t see their team(s), and something will have to give sooner or later. But as far as the Big Ten Channel is concerned, I would think/hope that coverage on Gameplan was something that ESPN was smart enough to demand in the newly-signed Big Ten deal with ABC/ESPN. I would also expect that Fox (the “owner” of the Big Ten Channel) was smart enough to deny them said coverage. So there’s a pot/kettle parallel here – Since ESPN owns ESPNU, it wants to keep those games off of Gameplan to force cable companies to add ESPNU. Since ESPN doesn’t own the Big Ten Channel, ESPN will want to show those games on Gameplan to make its Pay-Per-View package more attractive, and to keep viewers away from a “rival” station. Regardless of the outcome, rich dudes win and we lose – as usual.

More goods:

Will the Bootleg be back? Brian Griese!! Jerame (why do some people call me “Jerome?”) Tuman!!

Michigan’s Fan Day is scheduled for Saturday the 26th. Middle-aged dudes asking for autographs for their kids, when they don’t have kids… that ain’t right. That just ain’t right.


Blogger Kenny said...

Definitely makes me concerned about ESPN Gameplan as well. I've had it every year since I graduated and I love it but if the game coverage keeps decreasing then hopefully the Big Ten Network will take care of everything I wouldn't need to get Gameplan, although that would mean I'd have to switch back to DirecTV.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Kenny - The Big Ten Channel is not exclusive to DirecTV. They have just agreed to carry it already (on their basic package, I believe). As fans, I guess we've gotta demand the Channel from our cable companies, although I'm not optimistic about first-year coverage because people usually don't start complaining until they realize what they're missing.

2:49 PM  

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