01/08/20: ESPN laid out its plans for its annual CFP megacast and production



Wednesday January 8, 2020

ESPN shored up production plans for its coverage of the College Football Playoff National Championship pitting LSU/Clemson on Monday at 8p. ESPN’s main telecast will headline the MegaCast production, as ESPN serves up 15 total presentations of the CFP National Championship across its television networks and the ESPN App. State-of-the-art technology will include: AllCam, Pylon Cameras, Multiple SkyCams, on the field views via cameras will be attached atop the caps of the officials; Line-to-Gain with multiple vantage points, and virtual reality graphics. ESPN 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. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call their sixth CFP National Championship as a duo.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s MegaCast production includes eight additional presentations across its television networks and six more offerings available on the ESPN App 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.


FOX Sports saw the Xavier/St. John’s college basketball battle on Sunday deliver 2.3 million viewers to FOX. Xavier’s win become the network’s most-watched college basketball game ever.

Walmart’s digital video service Vudu and entertainment and sports media company Whistle are partnering, announcin that Vudu ordered the eight-episode docuseries, Legacy, from Whistle. The new Vudu Original will star Dwyane Wade, who will also serve as an executive producer on the series through his production company 59th & Prairie Entertainment and chronicle the lives of gifted young athletes “who all have one thing in common – they are the children of famous athletes, and they are working toward living up to the name on their back while also building their own athletic identity.” The docuseries will be available for free exclusively on Vudu in 2020.

The NHL is bringing in multi-platinum-selling hitmaker Sam Hunt to headline entertainment for the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series outdoor game between the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium on Feb. 15. His performance will take place during the first intermission and will be televised at 8p on NBC in the U.S. and on SN1 and TVAS2 in Canada.

The 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft presented by adidas kicks off tomorrow at 12:30p with first round coverage streaming live on the ESPN App, as well as via ESPN social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. MLS expansion clubs Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will have the top three picks in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, with Miami selecting first and third overall and Nashville picking second overall. Coverage of the first round will feature ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman alongside play-by-play announcer Adrian Healey, MLSsoccer.com analyst Matt Doyle and special guests.

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The Premier Lacrosse League will open the 2020 regular season at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for the second consecutive year with a primetime matchup on May 29, followed by two games on May 30th. The 2020 PLL season will take place over the course of fifteen weeks running from May to September of this year. For the second consecutive year, PLL games will be distributed via an exclusive media rights agreement with NBC Sports Group with action being shown through a combination of NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports cemented the 2020 Monster Jam season telecast schedule, lining up more than 20 hours of Monster Jam coverage this year, across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Programming begins Jan. 17, at midnight on NBCSN with coverage from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The 2020 schedule is highlighted by their marquee event airing on NBC: the Monster Jam World Final Highlight Show on June 20.



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Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans inked an exclusive, multi-year deal with the National Football League designating Rocket Mortgage as the Official Mortgage Sponsor of the NFL. Super Bowl LIV will mark the kickoff of the partnership between the two organizations, and will see Rocket Mortgage introduce Rocket Mortgage Super Bowl Squares Sweepstakes, awarding cash prizes to multiple winners throughout Super Bowl LIV, randomly selecting one person positioned within the appropriate square for each score change to receive $50,000 any time the score changes (a maximum of 30 times). Additionally, two lucky grand prize winners will be selected who will receive $500,000 apiece from Rocket Mortgage.

The World Poker Tour and ClubWPT unveiled a new promotion for all ClubWPT VIP Members. In 2020, any ClubWPT VIP Member who qualifies for a WPT Main Tour event on ClubWPT and goes on to win the subsequent live event, will not only win the first place prize for the event, but will also be awarded the ClubWPT $1,000,000 Bonus. A sponsor of the World Poker Tour since 2010, ClubWPT awards more than $100,000 in cash and prizes every month.


DAZN released data for its streaming numbers from 2019, serving up over 100 individual events that generated more than one million streams, according to the company. Overall, DAZN delivered more than 500 million hours of sports to fans to mark a 98% YoY increase from 2018, with the Dec. 7 Ruiz vs AJ rematch serving as its most streamed event of the year. Consumption was led by mobile devices, at 26%, while soccer led consumption by sports at 314.6 million hours, followed by baseball, motorsport, American football and boxing.

Monumental Sports Network announced a partnership with Ballislife to distribute nine marquee local high school basketball matchups live on its social platforms beginning Thursday as Paul VI hosts Gonzaga in boys’ hoops action. In addition to the “Ballislife Game of the Week” airing on the Ballislife YouTube channel, which has 2.35 million subscribers and over 785 million lifetime views, Monumental Sports Network will incorporate Ballislife elements into the broadcasts, including Fab50 National Team Rankings.


ESL and DreamHack are adding more Blizzard to the mix, courtesy of a three-year-long strategic agreement with Blizzard Entertainment that will see the creation of new ESL Pro Tour formats for both StarCraft II and Warcraft III: Reforged, with Blizzard offering up a respective prize pool of more than $1.8 million and over US $200,000 respectively for the first season. The new StarCraft series will take over from the StarCraft II World Championship Series and will now feature tournaments on a minimum of four different continents with the global finals moving from BlizzCon to Intel Extreme Masters Katowice. The first season of the StarCraft II tour comprises seven tournaments in total, including both Katowice 2020 and Katowice 2021 to allow new players to make their way to the top. Two IEM competitions and four DreamHack tournaments will lead up to the Masters Championship at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2021. Meanwhile, Warcraft III: Reforged esports will consist of one ESL competition and three DreamHack tournaments, culminating in a Championship tournament in 2020. In addition to both ESL Pro Tours, weekly ESL Open Cups will be held for the wider amateur and grassroots community.

The Los Angeles Valiant are getting a new look. Beginning with the 2020 Overwatch League season, the Valiant will shed its green hue in favor of blue and gold as its official colors, citing localizing as the driving force of the overhaul. Select LA Valiant players will debut the new color palette at Staples Center on Jan. 8 as part of Los Angeles Kings Video Game Night featuring IGC Esports. The LA Valiant kick off their season in Dallas on February 9-10.

Excel Esports named Wouter Sliejjfers as the company’s new CEO, while Kieran Holmes-Darby, the former CEO, will shift to the role of Chief Gaming Officer, with Joel Holmes-Darby now the Chief People Officer and Robin McCammon as Chief Commercial Officer. “Excel Esports is the most beloved brand in UK esports, and I’m delighted to take up this new challenge of building the organisation into a household name on a global scale,” said Sliejjfers. “My experience helping create one of the most established brands in the industry meant I recognised Excel’s extraordinary potential immediately, and I’m thrilled to be helping chart its course to become an international success.”

Danish org North unveiled a new logo and organizational overhaul. “We have made significant changes to the way marketing is done at North, both by increasing our budgets substantially but also by professionalizing the team doing brand-marketing,” said Alexander Pedersen, CMO for North. “We want to create a ‘why’ to follow North, not just by doing what everyone else is doing.”

ESTV and National Football League Alumni Association announced the inaugural ESTV NFLA Esports Experience at the SuperFest Miami LIVE festivities for Super Bowl LI in Miami. ESTV and NFLA will organize the esports entertainment experience at the 4-day event from Jan. 30-Feb. 2, blending pro NFL players and alumni, professional gamers, and gaming enthusiasts. The ESTV NFLA broadcast team includes former CNN senior correspondent and NFL Network on-air talent director, Marc Watts, former Green Bay Packers all-time leading running back and Hall of Famer, Ahman Green, former Chicago Bears safety, Brock Vereen, and former New England Patriots running back and Super Bowl winner, Shane Vereen, NFL Alumni, Aaron Beasley as hosts and commentators.


Independent Sports & Entertainment is expanding its ISE Properties division with the acquisition of the operating assets of Intersect Partners. ISE has also named Intersect Partners’ leadership team of Owen Shull and Scott Malaga as Co-Heads of ISE Properties. “In a few short years Intersect Partners has become a strong player in sponsorship sales and consulting, most prominently in the collegiate space,” said Jake Stone, Chief Revenue Officer, ISE. “The acquisition of Intersect Partners, and having Owen and Scott come on board to lead the division, reinforces our commitment to expanding ISE Properties. Owen and Scott share the same client-centric focus and commitment that we have across the ISE business, and we are excited to have them lead ISE Properties to continued growth.”

Futures Sport & Entertainment named Norris Scott as Senior Vice President. In the role, Scott will oversee North American business operations for Futures, and lead all sports media measurement, brand exposure analytics efforts, modeling, and thought leadership, with more than 30 league, team and brand clients. Scott joins Futures from NASCAR, where he spent 13 years in executive management roles, most recently as Vice President of Analytics & Insights.

GF Sports, a live events and sports media entertainment company, announced the hiring of Rich Lisk as Executive Vice President. In his new position, Lisk will provide sales, marketing and operations leadership across all GF Sports properties.

Excel Sports Management named Mike Orefice as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships (Baseball). Prior to joining Excel, Mike was SVP of Sales, Business Development & Events with GSE and TLA Worldwide.


Capitals/Flyers at 7:30p on NBCSN.

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ON THIS DAY in 1962
Jack Nicklaus makes his first appearance as a pro.

In the Know
“Eye of the Tiger” served as an anthem for which sports movie? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
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