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Predicting TV Channels, Kick Times For 2023 BYU Football Schedule

May 16, 2023, 1:59 PM

PROVO, Utah – The BYU football schedule has been out for several months. BYU’s opponents on the inaugural Big 12 slate are known. But questions remain, what time will the games kickoff, and what channel will they be televised on?

Networks are beginning to roll out some of the top games of the 2023 college football season with TV info and kick times. We should get the season’s first three weeks nailed down later this month. ESPN will reveal its first three weeks of kickoff times and TV info on May 31.

TV & Kickoff Predictions for 2023 BYU football schedule

With BYU officially moving into the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023, their exclusive ESPN home game contract as an Independent is gone. Instead, BYU rolls into the Big 12 television package, which includes television partners FOX and ESPN.

So that means home games could be on one of the various networks from either FOX or ESPN. The same goes for road games in Big 12 play.

Another wrinkle in the Big 12 television contract is that at least one home game annually rolls into “Big 12 Now” under ESPN’s streaming platform, ESPN+.

I’ve always been fascinated by television networks and how they assign college football games to specific channels and kickoff times. So this is my annual exercise in attempting to be a hot-shot TV executive. Last year, I correctly predicted seven of BYU’s 12 games on the exact channel. I’ll try for more hits this year.

Sam Houston at BYU

Date: Saturday, September 2nd

TV & Kickoff Prediction: FS1, 8:15 p.m.

The Big 12 schedule is light in week one. Most of the conference teams play FCS opponents, which likely end up on ESPN+. FOX has never televised a BYU game in Provo before. There could be some intrigue for FOX to get a jump start on what late-night Big 12 football looks like. I’m sure BYU fans wouldn’t mind avoiding the scorching hot temperatures that come on Labor Day weekend.

Plus, the opponent hails from the Central time zone out of Texas, the backyard of the Big 12.

I factored in a couple of things in this decision: Boise State, who has a home game contract with FOX, is on the road in week one against Washington. That could be a fourth-window ESPN game that covers the Pac-12, filling a late-night spot.

Southern Utah at BYU

Date: Saturday, September 9th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN+, 1:30 p.m.

The FCS BYU home game used to be a fixture on BYUtv. Now it probably becomes an ESPN+ staple under Big 12 Now.

BYU at Arkansas

Date: Saturday, September 16th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: SEC Network, 5:30 p.m.

There are some good SEC games on the week three slate. Tennesee/Florida seems like a favorite for 1:30 p.m. on CBS. Then there’s South Carolina at Georgia, Georgia Tech at Ole Miss, and Kansas State at Missouri.

SEC Network seems to be the likely landing spot here for BYU’s revenge game opportunity at Arkansas. It’s just a question of whether it goes to 2 p.m. (MT) or in primetime at 5:30 p.m. I’ll go with a primetime slot.

BYU at Kansas

Date: Saturday, September 23rd

TV & Kickoff Prediction: FS1, 10 a.m.

In week four, games begin receiving the 12-day window treatment for kickoff times and TV info. Sometimes the Big 12 will optimize the six-day window. BYU’s first Big 12 game should be inventory worthy of going on a linear network.

10 a.m. kickoffs haven’t been common for BYU over the years. But in a league with a heavy presence in the Central and Eastern time zones, 10 a.m. games are more of a possibility.

Cincinnati at BYU

Date: Friday, September 29th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN, 8:15 p.m.

Looking at the Friday, September 29 slate, there are a handful of intriguing matchups. One is Louisville/NC State in the ACC, which has its television deal with ESPN. So I could see a scenario where BYU’s first Big 12 home game is the second game of an ESPN doubleheader. If that happens, prepare to begin watching this game on ESPNEWS.

BYU at TCU

Date: Saturday, October 14th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: FOX, 1:30 p.m.

This TV prediction is based on my early season forecast for both teams. I called for BYU in my early game-by-game predictions to start 5-0. If that happens, an afternoon tilt against a former MWC rival and one of the best programs in the Big 12 that’s worthy of a network television game.

Texas Tech at BYU

Date: Saturday, October 21st

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN2, 8 p.m.

Looking at the October 21st weekend, the Big 12 could have games in all four of the major time slots.

Here’s how I would lay it out: Cincinnati hosting Baylor at 10 a.m., TCU/Kansas State in the afternoon, and Texas’ rare trip to Houston in primetime, then put BYU/Texas Tech in the late-night spot.

BYU at Texas

Date: Saturday, October 28th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: FS1, 6 p.m.

I have to imagine FOX will want as many Texas games as they can. They won’t have the Longhorns anymore as they get set to leave for the SEC in 2024.

I considered a network FOX for this game, but with the World Series potentially creating a scheduling conflict, FS1 is the direction I went with this pick. BYU fans probably wouldn’t mind if the outcome this year on the Forty Acres were similar to the last time BYU played Texas on FS1 in 2014.

BYU at West Virginia

Date: Saturday, November 4th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN+, 11 a.m.

Doesn’t this game scream an early morning game on a streaming platform? Of course, that would change if both teams exceed preseason prognostications heading into the season’s final month.

Iowa State at BYU

Date: Saturday, November 11th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPNU, 1:30 p.m.

Not every game can be a marquee event.

Oklahoma at BYU

Date: Saturday, November 18th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: FS1, 7:45 p.m.

This game feels destined for a late-night kick time. If the Oklahoma faithful were once upset about 11 a.m. kickoffs, I’d be curious to see the reaction to a fourth window kick time.

BYU at Oklahoma State

Date: Saturday, November 25th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN2, 1:30 p.m.

Games are spread out during the Thanksgiving weekend from Thursday to Saturday. So an afternoon regular-season finale in Stillwater on the deuce sounds right to me.

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Predicting TV Channels, Kick Times For 2023 BYU Football Schedule