Report: Alabama-LSU night kickoff unlikely
The Notre Dame-Georgia game is playing a significant role in the game time of the Nov. 9 LSU-Alabama game in Tuscaloosa.
Because CBS elected to play the Notre Dame-Georgia game at 8 p.m., its only primetime game of the season according to its contract with the SEC, that leaves the LSU-Alabama likely to be at 3:30 p.m. ET. In 2011, CBS negotiated with ESPN to move the game to primetime, but AL.com has reported that similar discussions are not happening. This would be the first afternoon kickoff for the matchup since 2010.
Should there be interest from CBS to negotiate a deal with ESPN, the network would have to contact the SEC office to initiate that discussion. To date, no such contact has been made.
CBS still holds the first selection of league games, and though official TV/kickoff pairings are announced 12 days in advance, it’s a virtual lock that Alabama-LSU will be an afternoon game Nov. 9, AL.com reported. The only other league game that day between currently-ranked teams is No. 22 Missouri at No. 10 Georgia.
Last year’s Alabama-LSU game had 11.54 million viewers — up 72 percent from the 2017 game’s 6.73 million viewers. The Georgia-Notre Dame game had a viewership of 9.29 million.
The 2011 Alabama-LSU game averaged 20 million viewers for the 9-6 LSU victory.