Press "Enter" to skip to content

2019 CUSA Bonus Play Official Schedule

The league posted its Bonus Play schedule this weekend. Here you go.

If you do not want to click, here are the relevant details:

Pod 1: ODU, WKU, USM, UTSA, UAB
Pod 2: NT, Marshall, FAU, FIU, LA Tech
Pod 3: Rice, Middle, UTEP, Charlotte

Schedule:

Saturday, Feb 23
WKU at ODU Stadium
UAB at USM Stadium on FB
FIU at FAU CUSATV
NT at Tech CUSATV
Charlotte at MTSU CUSATV
Rice at UTEP CUSATV

Thursday Feb 28
ODU at UTSA beIN Sports
WKU at UAB CBSSN
FAU at NT CUSATV
Marshall at Tech CUSATV

Sunday March 3
USM at WKU Stadium on FB
UAB at UTSA CUSATV
Marshall at NT CUSATV
Tech at FIU Stadium
UTEP at Charlotte CUSATV
MTSU at Rice CUSATV

Wednesday March 6
USM at ODU CBSSN on FB
UTSA at WKU beIN Sports
Tech at FAU CUSATV
FIU at Marshall CUSATV
Rice at Charlotte CUSATV
MTSU at UTEP CUSATV

Saturday March 9
ODU at UAB CBSSN on FB
UTSA at USM CUSATV
FAU at Marshall Stadium
NT at FIU CUSATV 
Charlotte at Rice CUSATV
UTEP at MTSU CUSATV

Much has been made about the broadcast deal. It is interesting how ESPN+ was not included on this initial list of broadcasts. This could be a contract thing, or a logistics thing, or something subject to change. As it is, the Pod 1 games are mostly slated for CBS/beIN/Stadium broadcasts. Whatever you think of each of those, they are the linear television partners and it makes sense for them to have the premier picks.

There is an odd misconception among the online fandom that the league dropped the ball here. Count CUSA Report among those who think the league is playing its hand as best it can. The spread of teams is mostly a marriage of convenience, and it is an inconvenient one at that. The conference was thrust together right before the great Cord Cutting movement began in earnest and has suffered.

This league is built for broadcast television in a non-television world. The streaming rights on ESPN+ have been welcome but absent a basic-cable option, the league is struggling to find a way to organize its 14-teams. El Paso is a tough trip and any schedule involving the Miners will be inconvenient, not just the one they earned with their place.

The entire Bonus Play plot was conceived to help begin fighting the stacked odds against the league that put a very good and very deserving MTSU out of the NCAA tournament after the league tournament loss last season.

We will not know if this hail mary is going to change much — the odds are really stacked against this league — but it is certainly commendable. The league’s powers that be are criticized for many missteps but they cannot be accused of standing pat. This is doing something.

As for the criticism of the broadcast options, I cannot imagine the league had much bargaining power when it came to “selling” the inventory of games. While Pod 1 games are compelling, they are no more compelling than the matchup between the good teams from earlier this season. The broadcast partners have all the data from those performances and the comparisons to other programming.

It cannot be reasonably argued that these pod games will be any more compelling than the conference tournament games, which are higher stakes. These games are literally glorified regular season games. It will be mighty interesting to see what beIN pays — if anything — to keep the league on its air and if the league wants to continue this relationship or try to sell the remaining games to their existing partners — CBS, Stadium, FB, ESPN+ — or shop them around to some other network.

A good portion of the existing deal was contingent upon the football scheduling remaining at reasonable times for the programs. The Fox Sports 11am broadcasts did not go down well with all parties, nor do the mid-week games — think MACtion on a Tuesday or something — and this extends to basketball.

Football is still the primary driver of these deals, and right now the league is not in the greatest bargaining position in a buyer’s market.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *