ESPN To Give This Weekend’s Virginia Tech-FSU Game the MegaCast Treatment
ESPN’s networks will feature the top-ranked teams in the country throughout college football’s Kickoff Week, highlighted by No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Wisconsin, and No. 5 Ohio State’s opening games, No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn in the sport’s only top 10 matchup, No. 8 Miami vs. No. 25 LSU in prime-time Sunday night, and the season’s first conference matchup featuring ranked teams: No. 20 Virginia Tech is at No. 19 Florida State on Labor Day night receiving ESPN’s MegaCast production.
ESPN’s Labor Day night, ACC Top 25 telecast featuring the Hokies-Seminoles is now bolstered by the network’s signature MegaCast production, which provides fans the traditional telecast on ESPN and six additional viewing options across ESPNU, ESPNEWS, and ESPN3 via the ESPN App. The network’s lead commentating team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Maria Taylor will call the game on ESPN, the trio’s second game together in three nights and Herbstreit and Taylor’s third in five nights.
The first-ever Labor Day MegaCast is elevated by the premiere of Goodyear BlimpCast, as Marty Smith and Ryan McGee will be stationed inside the Goodyear Blimp for the entire game, providing live commentary from more than 1,000 feet above Doak Campbell Stadium. Fans watching on ESPN3 via the ESPN App will experience a three-box presentation with the majority of the screen showing the typical TV vantage point, and a smaller portion of the screen fixated on Smith and McGee. The third box will show the aerial view from the blimp that fans have grown accustomed to over the years. This is the first time a game telecast will be available exclusively from the blimp angle.
A MegaCast staple, Coaches Film Room, returns on ESPNEWS, with a new twist: Coaches only. National championship winning coaches Mack Brown and Gene Chizik, and former head coaches Hugh Freeze, Todd Graham, and Jim Mora will team together, without the aide of another analyst to man the clicker and telestrator. The five football minds will be located in ESPN’s Bristol, Ct., studio watching the ACC matchup in real time, with an emphasis on breaking down the Xs and Os.
Additional MegaCast Viewing Options:
- Command Center (ESPNU): A split-screen with simultaneous multiple camera views, which could include the main ESPN camera angle, the SkyCam view and isolated camera feeds of both head coaches. Enhanced statistics and real time drive charts supplement the game action.
- DataCenter (ESPN3 via ESPN App): On-screen graphic content ranging from analytics, real time drive charts, win probability updates, curated social media reaction and more.
- SkyCam (ESPN3 via ESPN App): A continuous feed of the camera that maneuvers above the field of play and often provides a behind-the-offense look at game action.
- All-22 (ESPN3 via ESPN App): Watch the game the same way players and coaches study the game. This vantage point comes from high atop the stadium, providing a consistent view of all 22 players on the field at the same time.
Labor Day will mark the second consecutive year ESPN has activated the MegaCast for Kickoff Weekend, having made its early season debut on the season’s first Thursday last season for Ohio State at Indiana.
ESPN’s studio team of Adnan Virk, Joey Galloway, and Jesse Palmer will be live from Tallahassee, Fla., for College Football Countdown Presented by Hulu (7 p.m.) leading into the game.
Saturday Slate: No. 1 Alabama, No. 5 Ohio State and Top 10 Showdown between No. 6 Washington and No. 9 Auburn
ABC’s Saturday Night Football Presented by Wells Fargo, the most-watched college football franchise on any network the last two seasons, will begin the 2018 season with the College Football Playoff National Champions and No. 1 Alabama playing Louisville in the 2018 Camping World Kickoff (Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET) from Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The season debut of Saturday Night Football will cap a Kickoff Saturday tripleheader on ABC, with all three games featuring a top 10 team: No. 5 Ohio State hosting Oregon State (noon) will lead into the 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff between No. 6 Washington and No. 9 Auburn (3:30 p.m.) from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Huskies and Tigers are the only Top 10 matchup of week 1.
ABC’s will feature a special Sunday Night matchup for the third consecutive Kickoff Weekend, with this year’s game featuring No. 8 Miami vs. No. 25 LSU from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Sean McDonough will be on the call, making his return to ESPN’s college football coverage, teaming with Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe.
Before the aforementioned Saturday and Monday prime-time affairs, Herbstreit and Taylor will begin the season in West Lafayette, Ind., when Northwestern travels to Purdue (8 p.m.) for ESPN’s first Thursday night football game of the season (Aug. 30). The duo will join Dave Flemming, ESPN’s regular Thursday night commentator on the call. Both Herbstreit and Taylor will be South Bend, Ind., for the season premiere of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot on Saturday, Sept. 1 (9 a.m. – noon), before joining Fowler in Orlando and then Tallahassee.
ESPN+, multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN, will stream more than 20 football games during the season’s first week, beginning a season where the subscription service carries more than 200 exclusive games.