ESPN Presents the College Football Playoff National Championship through Cutting Edge Technology

College Football

ESPN Presents the College Football Playoff National Championship through Cutting Edge Technology

  • Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Call Sixth CFP National Championship Together; Tom Rinaldi to Report on No. 1 LSU, Maria Taylor on No. 3 Clemson
  • Approximately 100 Cameras, 100 Microphones and Network’s Best Innovation Inside Mercedes-Benz Superdome
    • AllCam, Multiple Skycams and Views at the Line-to-Gain, RefCam, Virtual Graphics and More on ESPN Telecast
  • Network Activates MegaCast for No.1 LSU vs. No. 3 Clemson
    • 15 Presentations Includes the Return of Coaches Film Room and the Debut of RefCast
    • Field Pass and Skycam Available in 4K Courtesy of Samsung QLED

For the sixth consecutive year, the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T will be showcased through state-of-the-art technology on ESPN, with the network’s best innovation deployed for the presentation of No. 1 LSU vs. No. 3 Clemson on Monday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN’s main telecast will headline the MegaCast production, as ESPN offers 15 total presentations of the CFP National Championship across its television networks and the ESPN App. College football’s dramatic finale from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans will be available in more than 160 countries via ESPN’s networks and streaming platforms.

ESPN’s Main Telecast is a Showcase of Innovation
The Superdome will be the hub of ESPN’s innovation on Championship Monday, including approximately 100 cameras providing every angle of college football’s biggest night. State-of-the-art technology includes:

  • AllCam captures the entire field, allowing isolated shots on any player and activity on the field at all times.
  • Pylon Cameras at each corner of the end zone with the back line pylons now having ability to pan, tilt and zoom – covering more of the end zone than ever before.
  • Multiple Skycams include traditional and hi-sky, showcasing the action from various heights above the field.
  • On the field views will be seen, as cameras will be attached atop the caps of the officials.
  • Line-to-Gain will have multiple vantage points, as first down marker cam (high vantage) and pylon cam at the first down line (low angle) return to this year’s telecast.
  • Virtual reality graphics that span across the entire field and can be seen by multiple cameras at the same time.

ESPN’s camera arsenal will include dedicated cameras on LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney at all times, as well as unique camera placements providing views of the teams as enter the playing field.  The Goodyear Blimp will provide aerial shots of New Orleans and the Superdome.

More than 100 microphones will be placed throughout the Superdome, capturing the sounds of the game and atmosphere of the crowd, enhancing the game telecast.

“The College Football Playoff National Championship is the pinnacle of our college football season,” said senior vice president of production Lee Fitting. “This one telecast is a blend of our best technology and innovation, providing viewers an experience that is befitting to the magnitude of the game. I couldn’t be more proud of our entire team’s work, from commentators to reporters, producers, technical staff, operations and more, in preparing to showcase the game to the world.”

Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Call Sixth National Championship as Duo; Tom Rinaldi Reports on LSU, Maria Taylor on Clemson
Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call their sixth CFP National Championship as a duo, as their 24th college football season together rises to a crescendo. Intrepid reporters Tom Rinaldi (LSU) and Maria Taylor (Clemson) will provide news and insight from the sidelines, as Rinaldi works his sixth CFP National Championship and Taylor adds a third national championship to her growing portfolio of work. Current ESPN rules analyst Bill Lemonnier will be in the booth with Herbstreit and Fowler. The former Big Ten referee is a veteran of several marquee assignments, including a number of prestigious bowl games.

For Herbstreit, who has been honored with a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Event Analyst, this CFP marks his 11th overall college football national championship.

ESPN’s Sixth National Championship MegaCast
ESPN’s MegaCast production includes eight additional presentations across its television networks, four more offerings available on the ESPN App and two 4K feeds to complete the MegaCast.  Field Pass (ESPN2), Command Center (ESPNEWS), DataCenter (Goal Line), Sounds of the Game (ESPN Classic), the Spanish-language telecast (ESPN Deportes) and Hometown Radio (ACC Network and SEC Network) remain staples of the MegaCast, while Coaches Film Room (ESPNU) returns. The debut of Refcast – an option that allows viewers to watch the game through former referees’ perspective — highlights the ESPN App selections, with the All-22 viewing angle, Skycast and Techcast also available digitally.

New this year, two MegaCast feeds – Field Pass and Skycam viewing angle – will be available in 4K courtesy of Samsung QLED.

  • Field Pass on ESPN2
    Free-flowing commentary of the game, anchored by Adam Amin and Steve Levy, who will roam the sidelines of the Superdome. Multiple guests will join Amin and Levy throughout the telecast, including college football analysts Pat McAfee and Dan Orlovsky. Field Pass will once again be offered as an alternate pregame show, also on ESPN2.  Thanks to Samsung QLED, Field Pass will be available in 4K on DIRECTV, Comcast and Altice.
  • Coaches Film Room on ESPNU
    Follow every play of LSU-Clemson through the minds of those who live and breathe the game every day. Participating coaches will be announced later this week
  • Command Center on ESPNEWS
    Multi-angle presentation, which includes up to four different vantage points at any one time, with statistics and real-time drive charts supplementing the game action.
  • DataCenter on Goal Line
    A catch-all viewing option, as ESPN’s main telecast will be surrounded by real-time stats, analytics, social media commentary and player information.
  • Hometown Radio on ACC Network and SEC Network
    ACC Network has the Clemson Radio call and SEC Network has the LSU Radio call, as both networks pair the hometown audio with the ESPN main telecast. This MegaCast feed is presented in conjunction with Clemson Tigers Network powered by JMI Sports and LSU Sports Radio Network.
    • Clemson (ACC Network): Don Munson, Tim Bourret, Brad Scott, and Reggie Merriweather
    • LSU (SEC Network): Chris Blair, Doug Moreau and Gordy Rush

Full details regarding ACC Network and SEC Network’s on-site coverage in New Orleans will be announced in the coming days. 

  • Sounds of the Game on ESPN Classic
    Allows viewers to imagine themselves inside the Superdome, as the game presentation will feature all the natural audio from the stadium, including the band performances.
  • Refcast on ESPN App
    A Bristol-based production where John Parry (former NFL referee), Matt Austin (former SEC referee), Judson Howard (Pac-12 replay official) and Dave Cutaia (former Pac-12 referee and conference supervisor) provide reaction and commentary from a referee’s perspective. An additional referee may be added to the presentation.
  • Skycast on ESPN App
    The popular view from above the action and behind the offense on most plays. New this year, replays will be shown regularly throughout the presentation.
    • Similar to Field Pass, the Skycam viewing option will also be available in 4K on DIRECTV and Comcast thanks to Samsung QLED
  • All-22 on ESPN App
    Watch the game the same way players and coaches study film, with a vantage point high above the field of play. The angle allows for the 22 players on the field to be seen at all times, providing the ability to distinguish how plays develop.
  • Techcast on ESPN App
    An array of ESPN camera angles all on one screen, as viewers can enjoy as many as 12 angles of game play simultaneously.

ESPN Radio: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons
Sean McDonough calls his fourth CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, joining analyst Todd Blackledge and reporters Holly Rowe (LSU) and Ian Fitzsimmons (Clemson). Blackledge and Rowe have called the CFP National Championship all six years on the platform, while Fitzsimmons works his fourth consecutive CFP National Championship.

The radio broadcast is available throughout the country on more than 400 ESPN Radio stations, the ESPN App, ESPNRadio.com, SiriusXM, Apple Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

Studio host Marc Kestecher and analyst Trevor Matich will provide on-site pregame, halftime and postgame coverage, with ESPN Radio’s coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

ESPN Deportes Provides Spanish-Language Call
The Spanish-language call of the game will be available on ESPN Deportes, with Eduardo Varela, Pablo Viruega, and Raul Allegre.

ESPN’s Invention Extends to Social Media
ESPN will have a number of social media initiatives around the game, including viewers being able to receive a real-time photo from one of ESPN’s many cameras live during game action. Fans can tweet #CFPTwitterCam and they will instantly receive a photo in response from one of ESPN’s social media channels.

ESPN Blankets the Big Easy
ESPN will begin live productions from New Orleans on Friday, Jan. 10, with shows originating from multiple sets inside Jax Brewery before shifting to the Superdome prior to the game on Monday, Jan. 13.

Complete details around studio coverage will be announced soon.

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

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Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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