If it’s October, it must be Conference USA.

CUSA just cut a new TV deal with ESPN and CBS.  Here’s the part that raises a few eyebrows.

C-USA’s entire slate of October football games will be played during the week, with most on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with some on Thursday and Friday.

All for the low, low price of $750,000 per school.  Why make that decision?  Product, people!

This idea was floated to me by several people in the league over the last few months. It’s both a way to get more visibility on TV and get a little more money out of the broadcasters. The Mid-American Conference has its MACtion midweek games in November. The Sun Belt has some midweek games as well late in the year. But October live sports content is pretty dry during the week before the NBA and NHL start back up. Instead of being buried on ESPN+ on busy Saturdays, C-USA could be the only game on TV during a weekday in October.

One small catch.

But midweek games are very difficult for fans who want to attend them, especially students and fans who travel long distances. While the MAC gets a lot more TV exposure in November, its crowds are typically barren, in part because of the timing during the week but also the cold weather. This is the tradeoff conferences make when playing midweek games.

Actually, that’s a trade off college football makes every day of the week lately.



Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

23 responses to “If it’s October, it must be Conference USA.

  1. chopdawg

    Fans? We don’t need no stinkin’ fans!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. munsoning

    I love MACtion but it’s sad to see the stands empty. Ball St. vs. Toledo was apparently a big game, and the paid attendance was two guys whose dates stood them up.

    Liked by 5 people

    • fisheriesdawg

      It’s nice to be a big dog in a big dog conference and not have to worry about being forced into this by television money. We’re able to get the most money and the best TV slots. That resonates all the way down the line in the University. Imagine being a development officer with one of the colleges and realizing half of your biggest alumni connection events just got moved to a weeknight from Saturday.

      Liked by 3 people

      • JoeDashDawg

        “It’s nice to be a big dog in a big dog conference and not have to worry about being forced into this by television money. We’re able to get the most money and the best TV slots”

        *Until the 12 team playoff when CFP games are hiding from the NFL

        Liked by 3 people

      • godawgs1701

        Yeah, it’s really great to be in the Power 5. I was mad about being scheduled for one Monday night for the UVA game that got COVID cancelled… I’d hate to be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but being in the SEC means Saturdays unless it’s a bowl or playoff game and that’s great with me.


  3. fisheriesdawg

    How do you write a paragraph about weeknight sports content in October and completely leave out anything about postseason baseball? I realize that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a bigger deal than early-season NBA or NHL games, especially in the Sun Belt’s geographic footprint.

    Liked by 3 people

    • miltondawg

      I used to eat up MAC games when my kids were small and generally asleep early enough that I could watch the games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Now that my kids are older and either on their way to college or finishing high school, I’ll actually enjoy some midweek Sun Belt in October and MAC in November. MLB playoffs are hit or miss with me and probably many people. I don’t care or watch it at all unless the Braves are playing and, for example, for the one series in 2022 for the Braves most of their weekday games were while I was working and couldn’t watch for the most part anyway. I get your point about the article failing to mention postseason baseball, but for myself once the Braves went out in early October there wasn’t anything that I was watching during the week and something like Sun Belt mid week games will be a welcome addition. I can’t read the article, but if the writer didn’t mention NFL Thursday Night Football on Amazon they can be excused since that has absolutely awful pretty much the entire 2022 season (and probably won’t be much better tonight).


    • These are night games tho… according to the Braves postseason, it shouldn’t interfere…


      Liked by 3 people

  4. Anon

    Fans Optional CFB on the horizon. Fans and fan noise can always be computer generated for TV

    Liked by 1 person

    • godawgs1701

      I’ve watched and enjoyed plenty of Tuesday night games in front of half empty stadiums and bowl games in front of mostly empty stadiums. Rocking crowds do make it more fun to watch, no doubt, but they’re not the tune-in factor. With the exception of Lane Kiffin’s first return to Alabama or his first return to Knoxville, I don’t really tune in to see what the crowd’s going to do.


    • Russ

      Just think of the money everyone will save when they play all the games in Bristol with a green screen backing them up.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Russ

    Well, I like mid-week MACtion, so I’ll give it a view.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. godawgs1701

    I feel really bad for the parents and families of the players who have to somehow make it work to get to their kids’ games or be stuck watching at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. otto1980

    I am glad that this is C-USA and not the Sun Belt. Even if it might really work out for Georgia State being in Atlanta close to their Alumni and being the teamed based out of the 404 with the highest chance of playing in the post season.


  8. DC Weez

    Hey, at least the MAC schools have an excuse for not putting fans in the stands for midweek games. What excuse does UCLA, Stanford, and Cal have? Their games are embarrassing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. TV: Guys, we need a dress rehearsal for the playoff games midweek. Can you do it?

    CUSA: How much?

    TV: $2m per game.

    CUSA: No way. We want $750,000 per team.

    TV: Ok…done.


  10. Gospel Dawg

    How terrible for the fans, students, ticket buyers of the schools impacted. But then again, the word impacted would only be used by someone who doesn’t see this as a win. For smaller schools, seems like there is a message to be heard for fans, students, ticket buyers. Sure, you’re still important, but . . .


  11. Seems like a good thing for those programs. I’ve rarely watched their games but they don’t seem to have a lot of attendance. Maybe that money will help their brand and help attendance.


  12. stoopnagle

    I don’t think a lot of folks are going to CUSA games on Saturdays either, but still.


  13. Do the fans get a free jar Vaseline? In fact, why doesn’t KY sponsor the whole damn season? Fans getting screwed but not kissed.


  14. StatGal

    I teach at a school of similar size/makeup as some of those… and all I can think is that sucks for the student part of the athlete too. These fellas have a hard enough time keeping up with the books as it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Just a random thought that comes to my mind because of this post – does anyone know if GPB pays anything for the Georgia High School games?