By LUIS GONZALEZ
ESPN’s MegaCast for the College Football National Championship remains the new standard for coverage for live-event programming.
With the use of multiple looks the same event, the audience gets its choice of preferred way to watch the game.
The traditional broadcast was on ESPN with Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler, Samantha Ponder, and Tom Rindali constituting a formidable group.
Coach’s Room, arguably their best broadcast of the night, featured a host from ESPN and head coaches from around college football.
This year’s roster included Dino Barbers (Syracuse), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado), Kalani Sitake (Brigham Young), Steve Addazio (Boston College) and Dave Doeren (North Carolina State). The slight jabs from conference rivals were overshadowed by behind-the-scenes glimpses and eloquent analysis. Although difficult at times for the host to go to break because of the discussion, it still remained ESPN’s best broadcast of the night.
Coach’s Film Room brought a unique element for viewers that do not get to see a game closer than the nosebleeds. They also provide more in-depth analysis that a play-by-play or color commentator simply cannot provide.
But can it grow into a primary broadcast? No.
However, most of the games that get the Coach’s Film Room treatment are ones that you usually view socially. The feeling of watching a game with rival fans, with your favorite bar buddies or fantasy sports buddies will not fade. Ultimately the inefficiency of the Coach’s Room is one that is enjoyed by the sports nerd relaxing and watching the game, not while you’re trying to order your next drink.
Former Clemson Quarterback Tahj Boyd and former Alabama Offensive Lineman Barret Jones joined ESPN’s Joe Jessitore and Adam Amin for the Homers Broadcast on ESPN 2. Viewers get a unique look at the two football programs by listening to recent alumni of the two programs.
A cast featuring an eccentric Bill Walton, Michelle Beadle, Marcellus Wiley, Jay Bilas and Rachel Nichols were on ESPN U for the ESPN Voices Broadcast. Aiming towards seeing what it is like to sit down with the personalities and just watch a game with them, got out of hand several times.
ESPN Classics ran Sounds of the Game where the game was being shown, but with no play-by-play or commentary.
Giving a preview of what it’s like being a producer, ESPN’s Goal Line channel ran the Command Center broadcast, featuring split screen shots of different angles that ESPN in the stadium, along with advanced statistics and charts displaying information of the current drive.