Following the success of last year’s “megacast” for the BCS National Championship Game last January, ESPN is running it back.
The sports network has planned an even bigger version of the multi-network production for this year’s National Championship Game on Jan. 12, which will be the conclusion of the first-ever College Football Playoff.
While specific network assignments are still being finalized, ESPN will air a different version of the game on each of its TV networks: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line and possibly the SEC Network (if Alabama reaches the title game). ESPN3 will also feature “multiple options” according to the network.
ESPN, of course, will air the traditional coverage of the game, along with ESPN Radio, ESPN International networks and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
Some of the options – some of which were featured last year – include: The “Film Room,” which features ESPN experts as well as guest coaches and players providing in-depth X and O analysis; “ESPN Voices,” which allows fans to eavesdrop on multiple ESPN on-air personalities representing a wide cross-section of sports and shows discussing the game; “Sounds of the Game,” an announcer-free telecast with only the natural sounds of the game and coverage of the halftime performances by each band; and “Command Center,” which will provide enhanced statistics utilizing a split screen application with live game action and immediate replays of every play.
ESPN will also use its various social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter within the coverage.
Multi-network telecasts are becoming more prevalent. Along with last year’s BCS Megacast, Turner aired the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four across three networks last spring and Fox used its cable sports net Fox Sports 1 to air a complementary broadcast of Game 1 of last fall’s NLCS.
The title game will pit the winners of the semifinals, which ESPN will air on New Year’s Day: No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State and No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State.