American Athletic Conference Rolls in With Digital-Exclusive Pre/Postgame Show at Football Title Game

Partnering with Linacre Media, the American brings live coverage to YouTube, Facebook

In a high-powered weekend of big-time college-football conference championship games with playoff spots on the line, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. The American Athletic Conference is bringing a comprehensive touch to its coverage of its championship game when No. 16 Memphis meets undefeated No. 12 UCF at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando on Saturday.

Although the game itself will air nationally on ABC (noon ET), the conference will produce its own live pre/postgame shows that it will stream live to both YouTube and Facebook.

“We’re never going to be College GameDay, and we’re not necessarily trying to be, but this gives us an opportunity to bring a hyper-focused look at our championship game to our fans,” says Bill Potter, senior director, digital media and communications, American Athletic Conference. “We’re happy to be the place they come to for that.”

From a four-person desk at field level inside the stadium, the American’s Hali Oughton will partner with CBS Sports Network’s Corey Chavous to set the scene, profiling the game’s biggest players, NFL prospects, and even interview conference Commissioner Mike Aresco.

The show, a two-camera shoot, will be run from a 24-ft. trailer parked in the TV compound outside the stadium. The American is working with Linacre Media and a crew of about 10 staffers to pull off the shows.

This marks the second straight year that the American has brought this kind of exclusive programming to its championship game. Last year, the conference introduced the idea at Navy, where Temple eventually won the title. So what did Potter and his conference team learn in that first year?

“It goes back to over-preparing,” he says. “This year, we have looked ahead more. If you have to prepare for three or four potential teams and you have to scrap the materials for them, then so be it. Better to be over-prepared than under.”

The postgame show will be a half hour in length (pregame is an hour) and will offer on-the-field interviews with coaches and players and feature the trophy presentation.

“I’m really excited for it,” says Potter. “Obviously, we’re not at the level of an SEC Network, but I think that we are finding ways to distinguish ourselves in the space. A high-quality production that I think we’re going to produce on Saturday is one way to do that. We think this is going to be a great showcase for our conference.”

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