ESPN is all in for tonight’s telecast of the College Football Playoff National Championship pitting Alabama and Georgia. The company’s fifth national championship MegaCast production will serve up 20 productions tonight at 8p. Fans can watch the traditional telecast on ESPN or pick from alternate productions across 10 additional ESPN platforms: ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, SEC Network, ESPN Deportes, and multiple options on ESPN3. ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi and Maria Taylor call the game, which will see ESPN offer more than 110 cameras inside the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Among the alternate selections, however, will be Voices on ESPNU, which will offer five different individual ESPN-themed centric shows/productions operating on their own, with all five shows, plus the game, in a six quadrant viewing experience.
The Homers Telecast on ESPN2 returns for its third appearance with Joe Tessitore teaming with Landon Collins to offer fans a viewpoint from the Alabama fans perspective, while Adam Amin teams with Aaron Murray to provide people the Georgia perspective. The Coaches Film Room hits ESPNEWS. Other options include (but are not limited to) Sounds of the Game (ESPN Classic and ESPN3), Command Center (Goal Line), All-22 (ESPN3), Data Center (ESPN3), Home Town Radio (ESPN3), SkyCam (ESPN3), and High Sky Cam (ESPN3).
Meanwhile, Fowler and Herbstreit, recently chatted about the game, the all-SEC matchup and
Fowler on the Rose Bowl telecast: At the top. I mean, we had a beautiful Rose Bowl last year with the USC Penn State game back and forth. Highest scoring Rose Bowl until this one, but in a different feel because it wasn’t a playoff game. It was just a beautiful Rose Bowl part of history for both those two programs. But that was the ultimate game for both teams. There was no greater prize to play for. And I think Monday night felt different. I think you do it differently when there is the weight of the potential championship hanging in the balance. I think that that all contributed to it.
On the risk of an all-SEC game: Potentially. I think that we try to stay away from worrying about the business side of the match up and the implications and just call the game. That’s where the enjoyment lies for Kirk, myself, and our entire production team. Certainly there are people at the network that are very concerned about the ratings and things like that. But honestly, there is not much you can do about that. And if people have a problem with the fact that two teams from the same conference are there, I’d remind them it’s hard to argue. They’ve earned their way there. And again they happen to be from the same league, but they don’t play every year. They really don’t play that often, considering they are in the same conference.
Herbstreit on expanding the playoffs: I think we’ve seen the last two years teams that have not won their conference championship or been invited to the conference championship make it into the playoff. So if you did go to eight, I wouldn’t have any problem with eliminating the conference championship, personally, and get it to eight. I think that way if you keep it at five power conferences and you can make sure that you get the higher seed of the group of five, like a UCF this year, assures them of getting in and still have a couple spots for a couple at-larges. It all makes sense on paper, but there is the wear and tear factor. There is the whole issue of where do you play the games and things like that. But if it ever went to eight, I don’t think you would see Chris or I or anybody from ESPN saying that that’s crazy. That’s the worst idea in the world.