ESPN to offer fans multiple feeds for College Football game

ESPN to offer multiple feeds across TV, radio and digital.

More than 100 cameras and microphones will be used

AllCam will capture all 22 players at any time

ESPN will offer viewers 13 different video and audio feeds during the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship game as part of a ‘Megacast’ that will also serve as a showcase for the US pay-TV sports broadcaster’s latest technical innovations.

This is the eighth championship game that has been turned into a ‘Megacast’ by the Disney-owned sports media giant, which aims to offer as many different viewing experiences as possible across its various television, radio and digital platforms.

More than 100 cameras and 100 microphones will capture the clash between Alabama and Georgia at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, including dedicated cameras on both head coaches and a blimp camera. Meanwhile, ‘AllCam’ will capture the entire field, while pylon cameras in each endzone can now pan, tilt, and zoom to provide the best perspectives on a scoring play.

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ESPN will also deploy multiple skycams, attach cameras to the officials, and use virtual reality (VR) graphics to enhance its coverage.

The main ESPN channel will transmit the flagship broadcast, while there will be five additional presentations across its other linear channels. ESPN2 will show the game with insight from Texas A&M’s coaching staff, ESPNU’s ‘Command Center’ will offer at least four different camera angles alongside real-time statistics, while ESPNews will deliver ‘SkyCast’, which uses the various skycams being deployed to serve up an overhead view of the action.

ESPN Deportes is the home of the Spanish-language broadcast, while SEC Network will sync pictures with local radio commentary feeds for both Georgia and Alabama. These last two feeds will also be available via the ESPN app, which will provide alternative skycam feeds, coverage of the half-time bands, and ‘All 22’ – a camera angle which shows every single player on the field so viewers can see the game as a coach would. Finally, ESPN’s 4K channel will offer a 4K skycam angle.

The resources that ESPN is devoting to the event are indicative of how the game has established itself as one of the biggest sporting occasions in the US and a major television event in the mould of the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl. This year will also see the debut of Alesso and Katy Perry’s new music video, following in the footsteps of previous half-time performances.

The Megacast also shows how broadcasters are using alternative feeds to maximise the value of premium sports rights. This season has seen ESPN introduce the ‘Manningcast’, an alternative broadcast of the network’s Monday night NFL live game featuring brothers and former quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning – a move which has proved hugely popular with fans.

ESPN has also agreed a separate deal with Twitter to create a digital and physical newspaper featuring fan tweets for the game.

 

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