Scott D. Pierce: Don't count on GameDay crew

Published: Saturday, Nov. 8 2008 12:00 a.m. MST

Some fans are wondering if the BYU-at-Utah game on Nov. 22 could be the site of ESPN's "College GameDay" that week.
It's a possibility but apparently not a strong one.
For one thing, the Utes, Cougars and MWC have no ties whatsoever to ESPN. It's not a requirement that "GameDay" go to a game that's going to be on an ESPN/ABC network — for example, it will be at the SEC showdown between Alabama and LSU this week, and that game's on CBS.
But ESPN does have a contract with the SEC.
According to an ESPN spokesman, "We go to the best game of the day or a game with a compelling storyline." Utah-BYU "is one of a few that is under consideration, but a decision will not be made until Nov. 16."
There are a few other games that day, however, including No. 2 Texas Tech at No. 6 Oklahoma.
Stay tuned ...
THE FACT THAT this week's huge showdown between Utah and TCU was on CBS C came as a surprise to some local fans.
Hopefully, this doesn't sound unsympathetic — but there's no excuse for not knowing what channel the Utes-Horned Frogs game was going to be on. The Mountain West Conference announced its football TV schedule last spring. Yours truly wrote about it in a column that was published on April 4.
That would be seven months ago, for those of you who are counting.
And there seems to have been some confusion about what, exactly, CBS C is. It is, of course, the channel formerly known as CSTV. CBS C is short for the CBS College Sports Network — a change that was made on March 1.
That would be eight months ago, for those of you who are counting.
If any of this caught you by surprise, you really have no one to blame but yourself.
Before you start posting those nasty comments, let me make it clear that I'm not for one moment suggesting the MWC has an ideal TV situation. All of its TV outlets — The mtn., Versus and CBS C — have distribution problems.
Yes, getting The mtn. on DirecTV helped. But it's still far from an ideal situation.
Yes, it was more convenient when Utah and BYU games were on local broadcast stations. It was more convenient when the MWC had a deal with widely distributed ESPN.
But those days are gone. They're not coming back.
I know cable and satellite TV are expensive. I know it's more expensive still to buy the packages that have access to all the channels. I don't like it, either.
But none of this should have been a surprise to anyone.
THIS IS NOT A JOKE: The Deseret News sports staff fielded a number of phone calls and e-mails this week from people who wanted to know why the Utah-TCU game was being "blacked out."
They were under the impression that the game would not be televised.
These poor souls were apparently confused by Utah's "Blackout" promotion — the team wore black uniforms and the fans were encouraged to wear black as well.
I am not making this up.

E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company