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Broadcast Details for Tonight’s ESPN MegaCast

Jason Barrett

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Tonight’s ESPN MegaCast presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship game between Georgia and Alabama will provide 20 different productions. Last year’s national championship game had 14 feeds, the first year ESPN used the MegaCast for college football was 2014 where they offered eight simulcasts.

ESPN and ABC will present the traditional broadcast with play-by-play announcer Chris Fowler and analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Tom Rinaldi will be reporting on Alabama, Maria Taylor is covering Georgia and rules expert Dave Cutaia will be available in the booth as needed.  The ESPN feed will be available in 179 countries.

ESPN Voices, a simulcast of non-college football analysts watching the game together launched in 2015. This year it returns with five separate feeds, each one will be simultaneously shown on ESPNU in an NFL RedZone fashion.

According to ESPN Media Zone the five ESPN Voices shows are:

  • The Dan Le Batard Show: Dan Le Batard and Stugotz will be joined by their normal cast of their radio program, broadcasting live from their radio studio, inside the Clevelander hotel
  • SportsCenter: ESPN personalities and guests from SportsCenter including Scott Van Pelt, who will be pulling double-duty as he will be simultaneously preparing for his own SportsCenter, which will air following the game
  • NFL Live: Wendi Nix will host and be joined by former LSU safety Ryan Clark, Boston College quarterback Tim Hasselbeck and Pitt safety Louis Riddick from their traditional studio in Bristol, Conn.
  • ESPN at LA Live: Rachel Nichols, along with Amin Elhassan, LZ Granderson, and Anita Marks will be at ESPN’s Los Angeles based studios
  • The Cool Room-NYC: A number of ESPN personalities, to be announced at a later date, will watch the game from the ABC Times Square studios in New York

Viewers interested in one specific Voices feed will be able to select it on ESPN3 or via the ESPN app.

ESPN2 will show The Homers Telecast, with former Alabama safety Landon Collins and past Georgia Quarterback Aaron Murray providing analysis of the championship game. The Coaches Film Room show will include Kevin Sumlin, Pat Fitzgerald and Mike Bobo among others on ESPN News.

Sounds of the Game on ESPN Classic, removes the commentators and gives viewers the feel of sitting inside the stadium. The Command Center is a split-screen simulcast on ESPN Classic, providing the audience with the main ESPN camera angle, the SkyCam view and camera feeds dedicated to both head coaches.

Paul Finebaum will be live on ESPN’s SEC Network with analysts Gene Chizik and Greg McElroy. The group with provide analysis and take phone calls from the audience while watching the game live.

In all, when including ESPN Deportes, ESPN radio and each different feed, the network is offering 20 unique options for consumers of this years College Football Playoff National Championship game.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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