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FCS Championship Game to move to a Sunday, return to national television

The 2023 championship game will move to Sunday, January 8th.

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Grounds crew members work the field at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in preparation for the FCS Championship game in Frisco, Texas.
David Samson/David Samson / The Forum
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North Dakota State's football program can brag that it has 15 players that play on Sundays.

It's a new term to refer to players that are in the National Football League.

The Bison are hoping this current version will play on a Sunday as well.

Earlier this week the NCAA announced that the 2023 Football Championship Subdivision title game will move to Sunday. The game is slated for Sunday, January 8th, 2023. WDAY-TV Sports Director Dom Izzo was the first to report the story.

The game will remain at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

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The title game will also move to a later start time of 1pm central and will be televised on ABC, locally on WDAY-TV.

"We look at everything every year. This isn't a long-term decision but hopefully it is." said ESPN's director of programming Dan Margulis on Izzo's Hot Mic show.

"We've gotten pushback for Saturday at noon, we've looked at Friday night and the challenge for Friday night if you're ESPN versus ABC, and you're not going to get ABC. So ESPN and it's NBA doubleheader and it's hard to bump that from the schedule.

We looked at ESPN2 and the with the NFL shift and remember they're playing on Saturday this year with on ESPN and ABC, we decided to move to Sunday and move a little later and put it on ABC. Think about what's going on you have the CFP going on and the FCS Championship just falls into that coverage, so we see it's everything we're doing with college football."

The NCAA's thinking is to try out a new day to see if there is a larger audience on a Sunday and at a new time.

The game has been televised on ABC in 2020 and 2021. The 2020 game featured North Dakota State defeating James Madison 28-20 and returned a high rating. 2.68 million viewers watched the Bison win their eighth national championship.

Since the title game moved to Saturday after the 2010 championship it has been played at the following times: noon (x2), 1pm and 12pm.

The title game has started at 11 am since the 2016 championship when the Bison defeated Jacksonville State.

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North Dakota State's Destin Talbert and Braylon Henderson hold the trophy after the FCS title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
David Samson/ The Forum

The pushback could be felt from the NFL, which will be playing its final week of the regular season on that same day.

Traditionally that day is filled with teams either playing for division championships or playoff spots. Margulis was asked about that:

"If it was still on Saturday it would still run up against the NFL in some form. People know college football games run long. We start our pregame coverage for the NFL on ESPN and ABC at 2:30 pm central.

We can't get ABC until 1pm if we we're going to use that. You can't live in a world and be afraid of a high-profile product.

If it doesn't work we can go back and re-evaluate, but I think it's going to be a great experience and you're ending up on ABC, which is a high profile spot for the game."

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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