ESPN’s Megacast Returns for College Football Playoff National Championship

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ESPN’s Megacast Returns for College Football Playoff National Championship

  • Traditional Telecast on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi
  • 14 Alternate Productions Across ESPN’s Multi-Platform Networks; ESPN Radio Airs the Game
  • New Elements: Homer Telecast, Mock Replay Booth, Finebaum Film Room with Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema, Pylon Cam; Film Room with Florida Head Coach Jim McElwain, ESPN Voices, Sounds of the Game, Spider Cam and Other Elements Return
  • Multiple Social Media Channels Live from Glendale

ESPN’s Megacast returns for the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T featuring Alabama vs. Clemson on Monday, Jan. 11, at 8:30 p.m. ET from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The traditional game telecast will air on ESPN with 14 alternate productions across ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, and ESPN3, in addition to ESPN Radio’s broadcast. All Megacast feeds will be available on WatchESPN, while ESPN Radio’s call of the game is available via the ESPN app and through local affiliates. This is the third consecutive year of the ESPN Megacast for college football’s championship game.

ESPN and ESPN Radio
ESPN’s traditional telecast will feature Chris Fowler calling play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreit as the analyst, Heather Cox reporting on Clemson and Tom Rinaldi reporting on Alabama. Rules expert Dave Cutaia will be available, as will Dr. Jerry Punch for any medical advisement. ESPN Radio will have Mike Tirico calling play-by-play, Todd Blackledge as the game analyst, Holly Rowe on the Alabama sideline and Joe Schad on the Clemson sideline. Rules expert Bill LeMonnier will also be available.

Additional ESPN Megacast Elements
ESPN’s alternate productions will once again include the Film Room (ESPN2), with Florida head coach Jim McElwain, and ESPN Voices (ESPNEWS) but new this season is the Homer Telecast (ESPNU) – ESPN’s traditional telecast with Clemson’s all-time leading passer Tajh Boyd and former Alabama center and three-time national champion Barrett Jones working as quasi-‘game analysts’ with a decidedly partisan view towards their alma maters along with ESPN’s Joe Tessitore calling play-by-play. Finebaum Film Room (SEC Network) will feature Paul Finebaum, SEC Network analysts and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema providing live reaction to the game and ESPN3 will offer eight additional alternate views, including new this year a mock replay booth which will demonstrate the process the official replay officials go through on every play. Complete details on all Megacast productions:

  • Film Room (ESPN2): ESPN analysts Brian Griese and Chris Spielman, along with Florida head coach Jim McElwain and other additional guests, will provide in-depth analysis of the game as it happens from a film room equipped with multiple camera angles, clicker technology and telestration at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters.
  • ESPN Voices (ESPNEWS): Live from Los Angeles, ESPN personalities watch the Crimson Tide-Tigers matchup unfold in a living room-type atmosphere. Participants include Teddy Atlas, Michelle Beadle, Jay Bilas, Taylor Twellman and Marcellus Wiley. Additional guests could be added.
  • Homer Telecast (ESPNU): An alternate version of the traditional game telecast — Joe Tessitore will host the interplay between Clemson’s all-time leading passer Tajh Boyd and former Alabama center and three-time national champion Barrett Jones as they serve as quasi-‘game analysts’ with a decidedly partisan view towards their alma maters. Other partisan guests and ESPN personalities will join the commentary which will be conducted primarily from field level.
  • Finebaum Film Room (SEC Network): Paul Finebaum and his in-studio guests – SEC Network analysts Greg McElroy, and Booger McFarland and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema – will watch the game and provide their instant analysis and reaction. The show, which will be produced at a location near University of Phoenix Stadium, will also take live calls throughout the game and fans can interact by tagging their tweets with #FinebaumFilmRoom. SEC Network will have on-site coverage all weekend leading up to the game, with full details released tomorrow.
  • Sounds of the Game (ESPN Classic and ESPN3): ESPN’s game telecast — sans commentators — will be amplified with dozens of microphones positioned throughout the stadium in addition to the public address announcer and referee calls to recreate the in-stadium fan experience of being seated at the game.  This will include full coverage of the pregame on-field entertainment and halftime band performances.
  • Command Center (ESPN Goal Line): Features a full-time split screen application showing the live game action, along with immediate replays of every play, isolated camera feeds of both head coaches, enhanced statistics, real time drive charts and the ESPN Radio broadcast call of Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Joe Schad.
  • Spanish-Language Call (ESPN Deportes): Lalo Varela, Pablo Viruega, Bernardo Osuna, and Carlos Nava call the game in Spanish, available throughout the United States.
  • Mock Replay Booth (ESPN3): An authentic recreation of the replay booth experience will give an inside look at the review process in which replay officials review every play of the game, determine which plays are subject to further review and then what happens during an official replay stoppage. Current ACC Replay Official Ralph Pickett and current SEC Replay Communicator Ben Oldham will take viewers through the full process of reviewing every play from their recreated replay booth set up in Bristol.  They will be joined by former ACC Coordinator of Officials and current ESPN Rules Expert Doug Rhoads.
  • Pylon Cam (ESPN3): A continuous stream of the cameras being fed from the eight pylons surrounding the field, both at the goal lines and for the first time from the backlines of the end zones.  The position of the ball on the field will determine which 12 of the 24 available camera feeds will be displayed live along with a featured replay box offering the best pylon camera angle available of any key plays.
  • Home Town Radio (ESPN3): In cooperation with Learfield Sports, the ESPN telecast will be available with the Alabama and Clemson home radio broadcasts serving as the commentary (separate feeds) along with a customized viewing experience that includes full time isolated shots of head coaches and star players.   Alabama’s radio team is Eli Gold, Phil Savage, and Chris Stewart; the Clemson radio team is Don Munson, Rodney Williams and Patrick Sapp.
  • Data Center (ESPN3): Will include significant on-screen graphic content ranging from analytics, real time drive charts, win probability updates, curated social media reaction and more.
  • Spider Cam (ESPN3): A continuous feed of the camera that maneuvers above the field of play and often provides a behind-the-offense look at the game action.
  • Taco Bell Student Section (ESPN3): Cameras in the Taco Bell student sections — focusing on students, bands, mascots and cheerleaders of each team — to showcase how the most enthusiastic fans in the building are reacting with every play.

ESPN’s pregame coverage and postgame coverage details will be announced soon

ESPN Social Media
ESPN’s social media channels will provide a unique view in and around the national championship game with an emphasis on, but not limited to, @SportsCenter, @CollegeGameDay and @ESPNCFB.

The official hashtag for the game is #CFP.


  • SportsCenter on Twitter’ (@SportsCenter) will utilize the #DrPepperCam to capture the best around-the-game content before, during and after the game.
  • College GameDay on Twitter’ (@CollegeGameDay) will capture game action from an on-field perspective (#SidelineVine and #SidelineGram).
  • ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) will be the source of instant replays and live commentary throughout the game.
  • ‘SportsCenter Snapchat’ will have unprecedented access at every moment of the game, curated within the AT&T Live Story experience.

Corporate Citizenship
ESPN Corporate Citizenship worked closely with the College Football Playoff Foundation to celebrate, inspire and empower teachers across America through the Extra Yard for Teachers (EYFT) program. Prior to the Championship game, ESPN will host an interactive booth inside Playoff Fan Central highlighting EYFT and giving fans a chance to thank their own teachers. ESPN also serves as the sustainability sponsor for the game, hosting “green ambassadors” who will direct fans on how to recycle and compost their trash.


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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