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Predicting TV, Kick Times For Early Season Games On 2024 BYU Football Schedule

May 6, 2024, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:11 pm

PROVO, Utah – We’re getting closer to learning some kickoff times for the 2024 BYU football season.

We typically see television designations for the first three weeks and weeknight games near the end of May. So what better time to put on our television director cap and forecast what time and which channels BYU will open the 2024 campaign?

Last year, we were a perfect four-for-four on the kickoff times for the early season and weeknight games. There was only one miss on our TV channel predictions: the Arkansas game. Instead of SEC Network, the game ended up on ESPN2 to highlight BYU’s upset win in Fayetteville.

TV & Kickoff predictions for early season games on the 2024 BYU football schedule

BYU is entering its second year as a member of the Big 12 Conference. Under the Big 12 television rights, home games on the BYU football schedule will air on an ESPN or FOX platform.

When BYU goes on the road, it will be subject to the television rights of that team’s conference. For two of BYU’s early season games, they go on the road to SMU (ACC) and Wyoming (Mountain West).

ACC venues will air games on ESPN networks. The Mountain West is partnered with CBS and FOX, with CBS as the primary television partner.

BYU vs. Southern Illinois

Date: Saturday, August 31, 2024

TV & Kickoff Prediction: 5 p.m. (MT), Big 12 Now on ESPN+

BYU/Southern Illinois is an interesting game to forecast on the week one college football schedule.

I feel confident that the game will end up behind a paywall on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ as BYU kicks off the 2024 season against an FCS team. It’s the first time BYU is opening a season against an FCS team since 2017.

Historically, BYU’s games against FCS foes slot into a 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. kick time. The potential for warm temperatures at the end of August prevents me from putting this game in that typical 1 p.m. spot.

BYU is one of seven Big 12 teams playing an FCS foe on Saturday, August 31. Of those teams, BYU is the only one from the western wing of the league, so that also played into my later kickoff projection against an FCS foe.

BYU at SMU

Date: Friday, September 6, 2024

TV & Kickoff Prediction: 5:30 p.m. (MT), ESPN2

Friday nights will become a bigger stage than they have been in the past for college football. But the date of BYU/SMU could struggle to generate the coveted eyeballs these weeknight slots usually hope to deliver.

That’s because on the same Friday night, there will be week one NFL action in Brazil as the Philadelphia Eagles will face the Green Bay Packers in Sao Paolo. The game will be televised on Peacock. But when it comes to the NFL, it doesn’t matter what channel or streaming service a game is on; fans will flock to watch.

So, I don’t see ESPN trying to compete with the NFL by placing BYU/SMU on their mothership station. Instead, I see this 2022 New Mexico Bowl rematch taking on a primetime slot on the deuce.

BYU at Wyoming

Date: Saturday, September 14, 2024

TV & Kickoff Prediction: 8:30 p.m. (MT), FS1

Five Big 12 vs. Mountain West Conference games are on the week three college football slate. Three of those matchups are taking place at Mountain West venues, including BYU’s first trip to Laramie since 2010.

CBS has a handful of Mountain West games that air in primetime on its network station. If this were the Ty Detmer era in the early 90s, BYU/Wyoming would be a strong candidate for such a television designation. But the two programs probably wouldn’t fit that network television billing entering the season. CBS has the chance to pick up a game with Coach Prime’s Colorado Buffaloes as they travel to Ft. Collins to face in-state rival Colorado State.

Say what you will about Deion Sanders and his program; they are a massive television draw.

That leaves possibilities on CBS Sports Network and FS1. I could see CBS sliding BYU/Wyoming onto CBS Sports Network during the same television window as Colorado/CSU. But I’ll go with a late-night kickoff on the front range on FS1.

BYU vs. Oklahoma State

Date: Friday, October 18, 2024

TV & Kickoff Prediction: 6 p.m. (MT), FOX

FOX Sports announced in March that it will offer a package of Friday night games beginning in 2024. There have been no additional details beyond that announcement. FOX has contracts with the Big 12, Big Ten, and Mountain West.

Previously, FOX aired WWE’s SmackDown on Friday nights at 6 p.m. (MT). SmackDown is moving to the USA Network this fall.

As of this publication date, BYU/Oklahoma State is one of two Friday night games on the college football schedule for October 18. The other is Duke/Florida State, an ACC game that would be an ESPN property.

Oklahoma State boasts the nation’s best running back, Ollie Gordon, So there’s star power in the matchup that would warrant a network television stage. Plus, BYU has a strong history of solid audiences for weeknight games since the early 90s, and they staged an overtime thriller against Oklahoma State last year in Stillwater.

One thing I did consider was the MLB Playoffs. FOX has television rights to that event. However, last year, the League Championship Series games did not conflict with SmackDown as they landed on FS1 and TBS, respectively.

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

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Predicting TV, Kick Times For Early Season Games On 2024 BYU Football Schedule