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ESPN Megacast: The Future of Sports on TV?

Kevin C. Cox

ESPN does a lot of silly things. The network also does some great things. Their 30 for 30 series comes to mind. Last night the network tried something innovative with its coverage of the BCS National Championship Game. They called it the Megacast, which provided coverage of the game with a different twist across numerous television channels and internet streams.

On ESPN Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit called the game under the traditional play by play/analyst format. On other channels, the format varied. ESPN 2 had something called Title Talk, which was a series of analysts and guests rotating during the game to talk about what was happening. ESPN Classic provided a broadcast of the game without announcers so viewers could experience the atmosphere and sounds of the game. Over the internet, ESPN provided streams of the game with the two teams' radio feeds announcing it. They also had cameras focused on key coaches.

The real highlight, though, was ESPN News' BCS Film Room. ESPN gathered together coaches and showed the all 22 coaches' film to break down the nitty gritty X's and O's of what was happening in real time.

I know Turner Sports is planning something similar in the next few years when it shows college basketball's Final Four. Networks wouldn't have the man power or the budget to do this all year long, but I think this would be a great concept for the big NFL games such as Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. It's a new way to view the game.