There have been a whole lot of alternate feeds for sports broadcasts over the years, but not too many games called from blimps. ESPN broke that frontier on January’s CFP National Championship Game Megacast, though, having Matt Barrie and Elle Duncan call the game from the Goodyear Blimp for ESPN3. And now, they’re repeating that for a game with much lower stakes. As part of ESPN’s Week 1 college football coverage and to celebrate the Goodyear Blimp’s honorary induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, ESPN’s Marty Smith and Ryan McGee (hosts of the SEC Network/ESPN Radio show Marty and McGee) will be providing commentary on an entire game (Notre Dame-Louisville) from the blimp for the Sept. 2 (Labor Day) night game. Here’s more from a release:
To celebrate the return of college football and the Goodyear Blimp’s honorary induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, ESPN will conduct a live “BlimpCast” broadcast from inside the blimp for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Louisville Cardinals matchup on Sept. 2.
Marty Smith and Ryan McGee will be stationed inside the iconic airship for the entire game, providing live commentary from more than 1,000 feet above Cardinal Stadium. The “BlimpCast” will air on ESPN3 and the ESPN App. The Goodyear Blimp’s honorary CFHOF induction is a result of the blimp’s legacy in sports and for revolutionizing the ways fans experience the game. That spirit of innovation continues this Labor Day with the ESPN BlimpCast.
Here’s what this looked like on the Megacast’s BlimpCast:
We’ve seen quite a few blimp shots in sports over the years, which is why the Goodyear Blimp wound up as an honorary College Football Hall of Fame inductee. But calling an entire game from a blimp is different, and it’s an interesting idea. This one also might get a little more attention than the national title game’s BlimpCast, as that was one of 15 different feeds (including eight on ESPN3) for that game; this one will be the main alternative to the traditional broadcast (which will air on ESPN, with the team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor on the call). And with Smith and McGee on the call, it may be a little more banter-focused. We’ll see how this is received.