The range of alternate broadcasts out there continues to grow. The latest has a NFL team, the New England Patriots, getting into the act for their preseason games. And they’re tabbing a couple of prominent former players turned media figures to do so, twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty. Chad Finn of The Boston Globe wrote on the team’s plans for The McCourty TwinCast this weekend:
Patriots exhibition games will get twin coverage, in the form of an alternative broadcast by Devin and Jason McCourty. https://t.co/1hTSeKDf1Y
— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) August 6, 2023
These TwinCast broadcasts will be of the Patriots’ exhibition games against the Houston Texans (Aug. 10), the Green Bay Packers (Aug. 19), and the Tennessee Titans (Aug. 25). They will be produced by the team and will stream on Patriots.com and WBZ.com (the website of the CBS owned-and-operated Boston affiliate WBZ-4, which will be carrying the traditional broadcasts ). For the Aug. 19 game, the TwinCast will also air on linear TV on WSBK-38, an independent station also owned by CBS.
The broadcasts are going be from Jason McCourty’s house in New Jersey, and they’ll feature him, Devin, and guests. Both McCourtys already have significant media experience: Jason has co-hosted NFL Network’s Good Morning Football since last year and will call some games for CBS this year, while Devin was recently announced as a new hire for NBC’s Football Night In America studio show. They hosted the Double Coverage podcast together from 2018-20 while they were both on the Patriots, and they both have had some other broadcasting stints as well. And they’re known for a good level of banter and shots at each other, which Devin McCourty told Finn will continue on this alternate broadcast:
In fact, Devin said he already has a dagger of a line queued up for their streaming debut.
“I’m going to tell him that he was probably in a lot of these preseason games at the end of the game,’’ said Devin, referencing the time in a preseason game when longshots to make the roster get their chance. “I’m sure he’s got something for me too.
“The main thing for us is just having fun with it and laughing and joking, something that we’ve done for a long time with the podcast, so this is another way to do the same thing. We’ll have a lot of fun back and forth, and we’ll be sitting next to each other so I think it will be a really good time.
…“We want it to be natural. When people watch it, we want them to feel like they’re just watching it with their friends, with two of your friends that used to play. That’s the atmosphere and vibe we want to create with it, rather than seeming rehearsed or saying, “OK, we’re going to say this on first down, and this on second down and then …”
There have been a lot of alternate broadcasts over the years, including some team-produced ones (still rarer to find than network-produced ones, though). But the brother relationship and banter between the McCourtys is interesting, and recalls some of what’s made ESPN’s ManningCast work. And offering an alternate feed for preseason games seems like an interesting idea; watching the McCourtys and their back-and-forths might lure in some fans who might not normally care too much about a preseason contest. We’ll see what the reception is like.