Although many expect ESPN's presentation of tonight College Football Playoff National Championship to register a new audience record for cable television, the worldwide leader is giving viewers plenty of options to check out the Oregon-Ohio State title tilt.
For the second straight season, the worldwide leader is putting its "Megacast" into play for the collegiate pigskin championship, bringing the season to visual and aural crescendos through more than a dozen alternate productions across its various multimedia platforms.
The CFP Megacast initiative of the title game from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 8:30 p.m. (PT) will include different telecasts across ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Goal Line; ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio broadcasts; five variations on ESPN3; and coverage around the world via ESPN International distribution.
With the inaugural CFP semifinals, ESPN kicked off 2015 by establishing the two biggest audiences in cable history., The Ducks' 59-20 drubbing of defending champion Florida State in the Rose Bowl scored 28.2 million watchers, erasing the 27.3 million watchers for the 2011 BCS title game won by Auburn over Oregon from the Nielsen record book. That standard was eclipsed in the nightcap, as the Buckeyes' upset of top-ranked Alabama rolled before 28.3 milion watchers.
Below find the worldwide leader's Megacast Game Plan for the Oregon-OSU matchup:
- Traditional Telecast: ESPN’s traditional telecast will be called by Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, with Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi reporting from the sidelines.
- Film Room: The popular option from last year – which included coaches and ESPN analysts predicting a fake punt the play before it occurred – will be available on ESPN2. The coverage will feature ESPN analysts Chris Spielman and Tom Luginbill with Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, new Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, who was defensive coordinator of this season’s Michigan State squad that played both Ohio State and Oregon, and new Nebraska coach Mike Riley, the former coach of Oregon rival Oregon State, providing in-depth X and O analysis of the game as it happens from a film room equipped with multiple camera angles, coaches clicker technology and telestration at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters.
- ESPN Voices: The ESPNU telecast will take fans into a specially-created viewing theatre with a cross-section of ESPN on-air personalities from outside college football responsibilities as they watch and discuss the game, including Jay Bilas, Aaron Boone, Julie Foudy, Barry Melrose, Mark Schlereth and Michael Wilbon.
- Off the Ball: Available on ESPNEWS, Off the Ball will give viewers an inside look at the way current ESPN analysts Kevin Carter, Matt Millen, Jason Sehorn and Matt Stinchcomb, as well as Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Amani Toomer, study and dissect the game by focusing on the plays away from the ball, including in the trenches of the offensive and defensive lines, the wide receiver vs. defensive back matchups, coaching strategy and more. Bob Wischusen will host.
- Sounds of the Game: ESPN Classic’s coverage will couple ESPN’s video with the natural sounds of the game that will be captured by the 100 microphones positioned throughout the stadium. The telecast will include the pregame and halftime performances of the Oregon and Ohio State marching bands.
- Radio Broadcast: ESPN Radio’s broadcast will use ESPN’s Monday Night Football announcer Mike Tirico with top ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge, reporters Holly Rowe and Joe Schad, and Rules Expert Bill Lemonnier.
- Home Team Radio: ESPN3, in cooperation with IMG College, will offer an “Oregon Radio Call” (via Oregon IMG Sports Network) and “Ohio State Radio Call” (via Ohio State IMG Sports Network) presentation. Each of the team’s specific coverage will feature the their home radio broadcast (Oregon’s Jerry Allen, analyst Mike Jorgensen, reporter Joey McMurray and host Chase Morgan, and Ohio State’s Paul Keels with analyst Jim Lachey and reporter Marty Bannister). The on-screen presentation will provide fans of both teams with the game feed plus isolated cameras on their home team’s head coach and marquee players.
- Command Center: Available on ESPN Goal Line, the commercial-free coverage will feature a full-time split screen application showing the live game action, along with immediate replays of every play and isolated camera feeds of both head coaches, enhanced statistics and the ESPN Radio broadcast call. The Command Center option will sample other Megacast content during on-field media timeouts.
- Spanish Language Call: ESPN Deportes will provide a traditional telecast of the game with Eduardo Varela and analyst Pablo Viruega providing a Spanish language call of the action. The game will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio.
- SpiderCam: Fans will be able to watch the entire game from the above stadium SpiderCam angle on ESPN3.
- Taco Bell Student Section: The ESPN3 commercial-free option will feature cameras in the Taco Bell student sections (special sections created by Taco Bell that treat 500 students from each school to a VIP experience) and with the cheerleaders, bands and mascots of each team to showcase how the most enthusiastic fans in the building are living and dying with every play.
- Data Center: The commercial-free coverage on ESPN3 will include significant on-screen graphic content ranging from analytics, curated social media reaction and more.
- Around the World: ESPN’s game coverage will be available to the men and women serving in the United States military branches in 175 countries through the American Forces Network. Fans in 146 countries around the world will be able to view the game on ESPN International and ESPN Deportes platforms.
- Social Media: ESPN will also use its various social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter within the coverage. Potential content includes behind-the-scenes insights, statistics and information, interaction with fans, and more.
All of the CFP Megacast options on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes and ESPNEWS will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
ESPN Radio’s broadcast will also be available via the ESPN Radio app, the SportsCenter App, ESPNRadio.com, SiriusXM, Apple iTunes Radio, Slacker Radio and TuneIn.