The “Voices” broadcast has been one of the most entertaining parts of ESPN’s Megacast over the last few years, featuring popular ESPN personalities hanging out in a house party-esque atmosphere during the CFP National Championship. The 2017 edition was particularly entertaining, with Bill Walton dressed as Uncle Sam and saying very Bill Walton things.

For tonight’s Alabama-Georgia game, ESPN changed up the “Voices” format, which is airing on ESPNU. Rather than just the one group of ESPN personalities, there are five, and they’re all shown on their own box on the ESPNU screen (along with the ESPN broadcast of the game, making for six boxes on the screen).

There’s the “Cool Room”, “ESPN at LA Live”, SportsCenter, Dan Le Batard Show,ย  and NFL Live (which doesn’t seem necessary with the Coaches’ Film Room on ESPNEWS).

The idea is neat with this much variety, but it isn’t going all that smoothly (and doesn’t feature Bill Walton this time).

One issue is that the viewer can’t even control which of the five feeds they’re able to listen to on ESPNU; the feed is just randomly changed in the middle of conversations.

It’s hard to tell who’s talking on each feed if you’re watching on TV, since the feeds are in these tiny boxes. And it’s even more difficult to tell who’s talking when the feed constantly changes (especially if you’re not paying attention to the TV screen the whole time).


And here we have all five feeds talking at the same time:

The separate feeds are available on the WatchESPN app, but many users tweeted about buffering issues and the delay of those feeds (along with all 20 feeds of the Megacast).

So, the recommendation here would be to go back to the previous “Voices” format on next year’s Megacast (and ideally with Bill Walton back).

And if ESPN really wants to stick with the current format, there should at least be an interactive option for fans to be able to pick their feed on the channel, like DirecTV users can for game mix channels on sports packages and events (such as NFL Sunday Ticket and The Masters).

Regardless, at least there’s always the Film Room channel option, which remains fantastic.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.

  • Toad

    For cable cutters, it was great; ESPN had it streaming unlocked, and you could take your choice. I enjoyed the NFL Live stream; they didn’t try too hard, they know their stuff, and it was enjoyable. Didn’t even buffer and glitch very much. Loved it.

    • Deon Hamner

      I agree that NFL Live stream was very enjoyable

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  • 66pugs99

    The Lebatard Stream was hilarious all night. And somehow their half time show with Kenny G on the phone and Chris Cote juggling in orange paint, was far more entertaining than Kendrick Lamar lip-sinking.

  • tx_shaun

    I didn’t have any buffering issues. I was switching between the LeBatard feed and the sounds of the game feed just fine. I had the Finebaum film room on the TV.

    • Dale Moog

      You were like me I had my Tv on sounds of the games the SC feed on another TV my tablet with Finebaum filmroom and was on Twitter on my phone I could have used 6 screens

  • MetaphysicalMan

    Yeah, I thought it was great that they had all those feeds. But the way they presented them on ESPNU was not very fun to watch. Maybe just show one at a time for longer, with that screen at a decent size. Being able to pull them up on-demand with streaming was very good though.

  • robbyburns

    The only “voices” feed i wanted to watch was LeBatard’s which was fantastic, so streamed it on ESPN3 it didn’t need all that jumble conversation and the lack of Walton was unfortunate and the buffering was annoying but otherwise I just watched the game on ESPN.

  • Destro

    You could pick which feed to watch on DirecTV assuming you had wifi connected. You just had to hit the red button on the remote. I only watched LeBatard and it worked fine until the end of the game when my feed crashed and it would not let me back on. The other 4 still worked and they all seemed incredibly lame, especially the “cool” room, which didn’t seem cool at all.

  • Was there a stream with gorillas?

  • Raymond Chuang

    I stayed only with the main ESPN channel and Paul Finebaum-hosted show on the SEC Network.

    • MrBull

      The only way to watch…when Fowler starts screaming doing play by play, cut over to Paul and his informative group to break it down…

  • RealNameNoGimmicks

    The Apple TV app had them all as separate channels (or you could put 4 up on split screen and shift at will). Was great watching Bomani Jones check out early in the 4th quarter looking like he was ready to go to bed.

  • redbeard901309

    the Megacast on ESPN Classic was the best. spider cam, sideline cam, both coaches on cam, and one up for stats/another screen for 5 total screens but also very clear. never went to commercial and just dropped into one of the voices segments (i could have done without LA feed) but NFL Live was great, Tony/Bomani/Katie Nolan good, and the Sportscenter feed was good, and Miami was Miami. also made me extremely hungry.

  • Adam Domo

    the homers was the best i thought.