We're just a bit over a month away from first pitch and today the SEC and LSU have released the TV plans for the 2016 season. Once again, LSU will be the only team in the nation to have every one of the 56 games in it's regular season appear on TV and the WatchESPN/SECN+ service.
The bulk of the opening month will be on SECN+, with away games at Lamar on Feb 24, and at Nicholls on March 2nd being picked up again by Cox Sports TV. LSU's first appearance on SEC Network proper will be part of a unique evening of whip-around coverage on March 18th as all 7 games of the opening SEC Friday Night will air partially on SEC Net. The game (home vs Bama) will be available uninterrupted on SECN+.
As mid-March hits and the temperatures finally get decent, LSU faces ULL in the Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic in Metairie, once again airing on Cox Sports. One can only hope that Cox will avoid last year's scheduling snafu and air the game live in it's entirety. LSU's first full games on SEC Net start that weekend, with 2 on the road at A&M, then Thursday and Friday at home vs. Vandy.
April sees LSU appear on basic cable for the fist time with the Sat and Sun games of the home series vs Mississippi St airing on ESPNU and ESPN2, respectively. LSU's away game at Tulane that month will air on the Phantom Zone of networks known as CBS Sports Net, because the AAC has a terrible TV contract. LSU's long road trip of the season starts with the Thursday and Saturday games of the series at Ole Miss on SEC Net. LSU then travels to Notre Dame for the ultra-rare mid week road series at Paul Mainieri's old job. Both games of that series will be on WatchESPN. The 2nd games of the @ Tennessee and home vs Florida series round out LSU's planned TV coverage.
Any game not mentioned above will, like last season, air on SECN+. Produced in house, these games were very well done last year and were a nice step up for the GeauxZone days of old. It remains to be seen if LSU's SECN+ games will have a separate announcing crew from the radio, or if the new Voice of the Tigers, Chris Blair will call them.
The SEC overall will get 90 games on various ESPN TV stations this year. The schedule appears balanced enough that each team will get about 10 games on regular TV. The SEC Network will also have an additional 5 wildcard dates where games can be picked up for air at a later date to get the best matchups on TV. SEC Net is also stepping up this year by picking up many of the big time midweek neutral site games of the year, including Bama vs Auburn (Montgomery), UNC vs USC (Charlotte), Ole Miss vs State (Pearl), and Illinois vs Mizzou (Sauget). If you're hoping that one day the SEC Network starts picking up the Pontiff Classic instead of Cox, this might be a sign that that is a possibility.
The entirety of the SEC Tournament in Hoover will also air on SEC Network, and last season they blew it out of the park by basically moving the entire network down to The Met to cover it live from sun up to well after midnight some nights.
The only thing not to like about SEC baseball TV coverage this year is that once again almost all of the opening month of the season will only be on SECN+. I understand that there aren't a lot of great matchups and it's the height of hoops season, but just one game on opening night would suffice.
Gonna be a great year, I can't wait.