Annually one of the more overwhelming examples of ESPN’s sheer bandwidth, the network’s Megacast presentation of the College Football Playoff is returning for the semifinal round Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl contests.
The games (pitting LSU against Oklahoma and Clemson against Ohio State, respectively) air in a doubleheader on December 28th, and will include programming spanning pretty much ESPN’s entire family of networks.
From ESPN’s release:
ESPN’s Innovative Technology is the Backbone of MegaCast Production
The CFP Semifinals MegaCast begins with ESPN airing the traditional telecast, which features the network’s innovative technology combined with unique vantage points, providing fans with a state-of-the-art presentation. More than 50 cameras will be deployed inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Featured in at least one semifinal will be:
AllCam: Captures the entire field at all times
Eight End Zone Pylon Cams: Cameras inside all eight pylons
RefCam: Cameras affixed to the bill of the ref’s hat
First and Ten: Cameras at multiple angles of the first down line
In addition to the beefed up in-game production, there will be other network offerings as well, although the Coaches Film Room is now sadly just the Film Room.
Alternate Presentations: MegaCast Offers Perfect Blend of Unique Camera Angles Combined with Real Time Information
Dovetailing off the main telecast will be the alternate presentations, combining those distinctive vantage points with alternate commentary, up-to-the-minute stats, analytics and more:
- Command Center(ESPN2): A multi-angle presentation, which includes up to four different vantage points at any one time, with statistics and real-time drive charts supplementing the game action.
- Film Room (ESPNU): Fans who want to watch the game the way coaches and players do will want to tune into the popular Film Room presentation. Tom Luginbill and Louis Riddick (Peach Bowl) and Emmanuel Acho and Bobby Carpenter (Fiesta Bowl) will operate the telestrator and break down game film in real time.
- Skycast (ESPNEWS): The popular view from above the action and behind the offense on most plays. This unique angle has long been one of ESPN’s alternate viewing options and is readily available on multiple games every week. New this year, replays will be shown regularly throughout the presentation.
DataCenter (ESPN Goal Line): A perfect catch-all viewing option, as ESPN’s main telecast will be surrounded by real-time stats, analytics, social media commentary and player information.
All-22 (ESPN App): Watch the game the same way players and coaches study film, with a vantage point high above the field of play. The angle allows for the 22 players on the field to be seen at all times, providing the ability to distinguish how plays develop.
No offense to Louis Riddick, Tom Luginbill, Emmanuel Acho, and Bobby Carpenter, who will surely do outstanding work, but part of the joy of past Megacasts included watching a random assortment of current head coaches tossed in a room for hours at a time, eating pizza and reacting to the action.
Something that is returning: the ability to watch the games with the local radio broadcast synced up. This year that expands to both the ACC Network and the SEC Network for Clemson and LSU broadcasts, respectively, while Ohio State and Oklahoma fans will still be able to find their local calls on the ESPN app.
The whole thing is perhaps slight overkill, but it serves to heighten the importance of the entire event, something ESPN is very good at doing.