ESPN Surrounds College Football Playoff Semifinals with Extensive Productions from Miami and Arlington; Shifts to Pasadena and New Orleans for Culmination of New Year’s Six


ESPN Surrounds College Football Playoff Semifinals with Extensive Productions from Miami and Arlington; Shifts to Pasadena and New Orleans for Culmination of New Year’s Six

  • On-Site Coverage Begins December 27, Continues through CFP National Championship Game
  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot from South Beach, Fla., SportsCenter from Arlington, Texas, Championship Drive Presented by Goodyear from Pasadena, Calif., Headlines Programming
  • Around-the-Clock Reporting on Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma
  • SEC Network With Multi-Day Programming from South Florida; Longhorn Network from New Orleans
  • More than 20 Commentators on Location

ESPN will surround the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame at 4 p.m. ET) and Capital One Orange Bowl (No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma at 8 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 29, with productions originating from Miami and Arlington, Texas, beginning Thursday, Dec. 27, and continuing through Semifinal Saturday. The operation then shifts to Pasadena, Calif., and New Orleans on Monday, Dec. 31, and Tuesday, Jan. 1, for the remaining New Year’s Six games.

South Beach and inside AT&T Stadium will be the locations for segments across a number of shows and all pregame, postgame and halftime wraps for ESPN’s complete bowl schedule December 27-29. Highlights:

  • SportsCenter’s early evening edition (6 p.m.) will originate from Arlington on December 27 and 28.
  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will air from South Beach on Semifinal Saturday with hits from AT&T Stadium.
  • Pregame shows from inside AT&T Stadium for the Cotton Bowl and Hard Rock Stadium for the Orange Bowl.

SEC Network will add to the College Football Playoff bonanza, with the network providing extensive coverage on location in South Florida leading up to and surrounding the Orange Bowl. On New Year’s Day, Longhorn Network will be in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.  Complete details on SEC Network’s coverage is available here and LHN’s will be announced in the coming days.

The College Football Playoff Semifinals highlight ESPN’s complete coverage of the New Year’s Six, which includes four additional premier bowl games – the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl featuring No. 11 LSU vs. No. 8 UCF (1 p.m.), The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual between No. 9 Washington and No. 6 Ohio State (5 p.m.) and the Allstate Sugar Bowl pairing No. 15 Texas against No. 5 Georgia (8:45 p.m.) on New Year’s Day, as well as Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl featuring No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Michigan (noon) on December 29, preceding the CFP Semifinals.

College Football Personalities Blanket South Florida and Texas
Nearly 20 college football personalities will be in South Florida and Texas, bringing the very best insight and the latest news surrounding the Crimson Tide, Fighting Irish, Sooners, and Tigers. Rece Davis will anchor the Miami-based coverage, which originates from in front of Hotel Victor on South Beach for the majority of the three days, with Kevin Negandhi and Adnan Virk hosting in Arlington. Davis will be joined by his Saturday morning regulars — Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, and David Pollack — and ABC studio analyst Jonathan Vilma, while Emmanuel Acho, Joey Galloway and Jesse Palmer will be with Negandhi and Virk.

Around-the-Clock Reporting on the Crimson Tide, Fighting Irish, Sooners, and Tigers
ESPN’s comprehensive onsite coverage will include around-the-clock reporting on the four College Football Playoff teams, including Laura Rutledge with Oklahoma, Maria Taylor with Alabama and Gene Wojciechwski in South Florida. Leading up to the Cotton Bowl, Marty Smith will report on Notre Dame and Tom Rinaldi on Clemson before Rinaldi shifts to Notre Dame for game coverage and Holly Rowe covers the Tigers.

SportsCenter will have coverage of multiple College Football Playoff media events, including head coaches’ press conferences, player availability and media day.

College GameDay Begins Semifinal Saturday; Fans Encouraged to Attend South Beach Show
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot begins Semifinal Saturday (9 a.m. – noon) from South Beach, setting the table with the latest news and reports around the CFP Semifinals. Fans are encouraged to attend, with the stage set up in front of Hotel Victor (1144 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139).

More details on College GameDay programming will be released leading up to the show.

Pregame Shows from Both the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl; Twitter-Only Show from Bristol
College Football Pregame
will air at approximately 3:30 p.m. from AT&T Stadium following the Peach Bowl and leading into the Cotton Bowl Classic. The Capital One Orange Bowl Pregame Show will air at approximately 7:30 p.m. between the CFP Semifinals.

Back in Bristol, Conn., @ESPN will run a Twitter-only preview show from 3-4 p.m. with Jason Fitz and Treavor Scales. Mike Golic Jr. will be a special correspondent from AT&T Stadium. Earlier in the day, Dari and Mel on ESPN Radio will have extensive previews from 9 a.m. to noon.

SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt Provides Post-Game Recap and Reaction
At the conclusion of the Orange Bowl, SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, based in Bristol, will provide comprehensive recaps of both games. The show will feature onsite coverage in Miami anchored by Davis with reaction from Herbstreit, Chris Fowler and a host of others.

ESPN Rings in New Year from Pasadena and New Orleans
ESPN’s studio coverage shifts to Pasadena, Calif., and New Orleans following the CFP Semifinals for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with regular hits from the Rose Bowl and Mercedes Benz Superdome across ESPN shows and all bowl game pregame, postgame and halftime wraps.

Davis will host the coverage from the West Coast with Herbstreit, Corso, Howard and Pollack, while Virk is with Galloway and Palmer at the Sugar Bowl. Taylor and Rinaldi will be in Pasadena, with Taylor reporting on the Huskies and Rinaldi the Buckeyes.

New Year’s Day Begins with Championship Drive
Championship Drive presented by Goodyear will air on New Year’s Day (10 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.) in advance of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, and College Football Pregame leads into the Rose Bowl Game, both originating from the Rose Bowl. Pregame coverage of the Allstate Sugar Bowl will air from New Orleans.

All Roads Lead to the College Football Playoff National Championship
ESPN’s College Football Playoff Semifinal and New Year’s Six studio coverage leads into the network’s CFP National Championship coverage, which will be primarily from San Jose and Santa Clara, Calif. Complete details will be announced following the New Year’s Six.

Special Road to the College Football Playoff Shows Set the Table
Leading into the CFP Semifinals, ESPN will air special Road to the College Playoff shows, with 30-minute episodes on each of the four participating teams. All four will air consecutively on Sunday, Dec. 23, between from 1-3 p.m. and then again on Friday, Dec. 28 from 3-5 p.m., both occurrences on ESPN2. Each show is also available on-demand on the ESPN App.


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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