ESPN Implementing Megacast For Opening College Football Telecast Between OSU-Indiana
ESPN execs have "decided to implement a skinny Megacast" for the Thursday-night Ohio State-Indiana game on Aug. 31, the "opening broadcast of the college football season," according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Along with the main broadcast airing on ESPN, there will be "six alternative presentations: a Coaches Film Room on ESPNews featuring former coaches Mack Brown, Mark Helfrich, and Gene Chizik, hosts Greg McElroy and Tom Luginbill and the ESPN debut" of former LSU coach Les Miles. There will also be a "homers' broadcast" on ESPNU featuring Dan Dakich as the analyst for IU with play-by-play broadcaster Joe Tessitore. The Megacast will also include the "debut of an All-22 broadcast on ESPN" and a Skycam perspective and DataCenter presentation on ESPN3. ESPN will also "employ Command Center on ESPN Goal Line, which is a split-screen with simultaneous multiple camera views." The net will begin its pregame coverage from Bloomington starting at 4:00pm on ESPN. An episode of "College GameDay" starts at 6:00pm, the "first time the traveling road show" has been at IU. ESPN said that IU is the "69th different school" to host "GameDay" and Bloomington is the "80th different city" to host the show. Meanwhile, ESPN will "not opt for Megacast coverage for Alabama-Florida State on Saturday Sept. 2." ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer for College Football Ed Placey said that a Saturday regular-season game "poses specific challenges." Placey: "It would be difficult to pull off the MegaCast production on a regular season Saturday that has a full slate of games across our networks throughout the day" (SI.com, 8/15).
BUSY START: In Columbus, Bill Rabinowitz noted ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit will broadcast three college football games in five days, an "unprecedented test for him." Herbstreit will call OSU-IU then will "fly to Atlanta" for Alabama-FSU at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He will "stay in town for the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game two days later." Herbstreit: "I’ve never done three games in five days. You always want to be ultra-prepared. That’s always been my style. With that in mind, I’ve got a lot of work to do" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 8/14). Herbstreit said that he is "looking forward to being part of the popular show’s first-ever visit to Bloomington." Herbstreit: "It’s very rare to have a game of this magnitude on opening night, a huge conference game with Ohio State against Indiana in the same division" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/14).