Fox Sports Ushers in Pac-12, Big Ten Championships
It may feel like the first time for fans of the Pac-12 and Big Ten, with both conferences hosting their inaugural championship games this weekend, but, for the production team at Fox Sports, it’s another day at the ballpark.
Fox will have the coverage of both the Pac-12 (tonight) and Big Ten (Saturday) title games. Each is slated to kick off just after 8 p.m. ET and will be preceded by on-site pregame shows beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Fox will have a production crew at each site as well on live shoulder programming from down on the field to provide in-depth coverage of these historic matchups.
“We’re basically taking what’s worked for us all season and enhanced it a little bit to match the stature of the game,” says Michael Davies, VP, field operations, Fox Sports. “Luckily, we’ve got a great talent pool to pick from, and a lot of the stuff that we have been doing this year [will help us this weekend].”
Despite the 2,255 miles separating Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR, and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the on-air team of Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, and sideline analyst Tim Brewster will call the action for each game. Behind the scenes, Fox has crews in place at each site. The Pac-12 crew worked numerous conference games with regional FSN affiliates this season, and the FX college-football crew will handle the Big Ten broadcast.
“We’ve got our two strongest crews out there doing, basically, what they’ve been doing all season,” says Davies. “ We’re pretty lucky in that respect.”
Brad Zagar will produce the Pac-12 game; Doug Freeman will direct. Fox College Football Coordinating Producer Chuck McDonald will handle the Big Ten game, with Rich Dewey directing.
In the truck compounds, Zagar, Freeman, and the Pac-12 team will work out of NEP Supershooters 21, and McDonald, Dewey, and the Big Ten crew will be housed in Game Creek’s Patriot.
According to Davies, the games will have very similar camera complements, with a strong RF presence to help capture the atmosphere of these unique games. Beyond the typical 14 standard cameras deployed for a college-football broadcast, the network will add two wireless handhelds and one wireless Steadicam.
For replays, Inertia Unlimited’s X-Mo camera will be used at both sites, along with a pair of Sony 3300 SuperMo cameras. Each broadcast will also feature the Tulsa, OK-based ActionCam for overhead shots.
Fox is taking its pregame show on the road, with full desktop set and stage on the field at each venue. “We think that will really add to the big game feel that we’re trying to present,” says Davies.
Loy Maxon produces the Pac-12 pregame and postgame shows, and Don Bui will produce the Big Ten shows. Roy Hamilton serves as coordinating pregame and postgame producer alongside Bui.
Fox also has production trucks dedicated to producing shoulder programming. NEP Supershooters 18 will handle pregame and postgame shows in Eugene, and Game Creek’s Clipper will be on-site in Indianapolis.
Fox College Football host Kevin Frazier, analyst Marcus Allen, and Brewster will anchor the pregame coverage each night, joined by a special guest: NFL on Fox analyst John Lynch, a former Stanford University All-American and All-Pac-10 safety, for the Pac-12; former University of Michigan and three-time All-Big Ten linebacker Dhani Jones for the Big Ten.
NFL on Fox fans will also see a familiar face: rules analyst Mike Pereira will be live at the Fox studios in Los Angeles to offer his take on rules interpretation and controversial plays during each game.
David Hill, Eric Shanks, and Doug Sellars are the executive producers of Fox Sports.