Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN is giving its broadcast of Ravens-Titans this Sunday the full Megacast treatment, with telecasts on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, Freeform, and ESPN+. Additionally, the network is upping its technology for the playoffs, adding several cameras at field level.

Here are the details regarding the cameras, via ESPN.

  • Multiple cameras added, including 4K robotic cameras near the goal lines and more super slow motion ability, resulting in a total of nine different cameras with that functionality.
  • Enhanced line-to-gain camera, which features both a virtual first down marker and virtual first down line; the virtual first down line is similar to the line fans are accustomed to seeing from the traditional camera angle.

Regarding the other parts of the Megacast, ABC and ESPN will simply be simulcasting the same broadcast, so don’t expect anything different on either of those networks from what you’re used to. The standard Monday Night Football team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick will be on the call, joined by Lisa Salters as field (ish) level reporter and John Parry as the officiating expert.

On ESPN2, the Film Room makes its return. Five ESPN analysts will be breaking down the X’s and O’s of the game – Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck, Keyshawn Johnson, Booger McFarland, and Rex Ryan. You’re probably familiar with this from the litany of times ESPN has rolled out the Film Room during the College Football Playoff, but in case you’re not, it’s one of the most well-liked Megacast formats. It remains to be seen if this broadcast, with established ESPN analysts rather than head coaches, will receive similar acclaim.

Over on Freeform (yes, Freeform), Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor will host a watch party, joined by numerous guests (including some from Freeform programming) throughout. This reminds me of what was called the “ESPN Voices” Megacast option from recent years, which featured a bunch of random people watching the game and talking about it. This probably isn’t the best option for you if you don’t like off-topic conversations.

ESPN Deportes will air a standard Spanish language broadcast. Pablo Viruega and Eduardo Valera will be in the booth, and John Sutcliffe serves as reporter. This will be the first of four playoff games aired on Deportes this year, along with one Divisional round game, the AFC Championship, and the Super Bowl.

ESPN+ has the most out of the box broadcast for Ravens-Titans. The broadcast is entitled Between the Lines, and will feature a mix of gambling, statistical, and film breakdown content. It will be a mashup of NFL Live and Daily Wager, featuring Laura Rutledge, Mina Kimes, Dan Orlovsky, and Marcus Spears from the former show and Doug Kezirian, Joe Fortenbaugh, and Tyler Fulgham from the latter.

Personally, I’ll be sticking with the vanilla broadcast on ABC and ESPN, largely because I’ll be too busy screaming at Ravens linebackers to tackle Derrick Henry to focus on the other bells and whistles. But I think ESPN is wise to Megacast the Wild Card game, if only because it gives more on-air talent something to do during a premiere event. This will be one of four Megacasts the network will produce in a one month period (along with the College Football Playoff semifinals and, presumably, the national championship game), but after next weekend, I can’t see a potential Megacast possibility popping up for several months.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.