ESPN holding nothing back for tonight’s BCS broadcast


An era ends tonight in college football with the last of the current format championships about to be played between Florida State and Auburn. Next season will usher in a playoff format that is a major change from the current poll-based system.

The current system was introduced in 1998 and now it is gone, but when you look at the freight train of equipment and army of personnel that ESPN is bringing to the event, it will likely live on for quite a long time in the form of multiple digital recordings.

The sports channel is broadcasting the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship game tonight with the biggest broadcast team in its history and has termed it the “BCS Megacast” with it being presented across six of its television platforms as well as its audio and digital outlets.

You can pretty much take your choice of platforms- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN International. There will be pregame talkshows, interviews, analysis, celebrities and much more available prior to the kickoff at 8:30 ET.

Social and digital media will be strongly represented in the mix with the personalities posting thoughts and comments prior to kickoff as well during the game.

For those that are not able to watch at home or in a comfortable sporting establishment the presentations that were broadcast on the ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNEWS will be available to a range of alternative platforms via WatchESPN including online at, on smartphones and tablets, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, on Apple TV and Roku to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

So how many people and trucks will this take? According to USA Today Sports and ESPN it will be 16 trucks, 63 cameras, 73 microphones a four-engine generator and as many as 200 employees, only a few who you will see online.

Hopefully this will make for a great broadcast, but much of that will depend on the teams. A stinker of a game will lead to fans tuning out as happened a few years ago when Alabama crushed LSU 21-0. The blowout was obvious early and fans tuned out in droves even though ESPN had added some interesting bells and whistles to its broadcast. At that time the future was 3D and ESPN had a 3D broadcast of the game as well as a more traditional broadcast.

However I am looking forward to the game and hopefully in all of the broadcasts comes something that will last to enhance future broadcasts.

Review: ESPN Enhances ESPN Radio App

I do not know why, but it had never occurred to me to load a sports radio program into my iPhone. Now I actually have several radio apps, all part of my iTunes package, but I do not listen to them as I have so much music also loaded on the phone. I guess sports radio to me is something I listen to my car or at my desk, since both environments that are better suited for different broadcast modes.

However I noticed that ESPN has released a new version of its iPhone radio app, namely ESPN Radio 3.0, technically it is v3.2.106, and so I decided to kick the tires, so to speak. Oddly enough getting to the app was not quite as easy as most, probably because of the roundabout method I followed. My iTunes app was set for search when I opened it so all I did was type in ESPN Radio. Unfortunately it gave me dozens of ESPN podcasts. So I typed in ESPN Radio 3.0 and I got an ESPN FIFA app. When I used my computer I found it instantly.

The $2.99 app has some specific target markets, and I noticed in the comments sections people complained about not getting a variety of live game broadcasts, however it should be noted that while it does provide some live sports action, it is very focused.

The program, good for both iPhones and iPod Touch devices provides a variety of streaming radio from over two dozen ESPN affiliated stations around the nation as well as ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio Network feeds. Also included is 35 different ESPN podcasts. (There are also versions of the app for Android phones and BlackBerry devices; didn’t try them but guessing they have similar capabilities.)

Several areas stand out to me from the app including the live radio programming carrying ESPN standards such as Mike & Mike in the Morning, The Heard with Colin Cowherd, The Scott Van Pelt Show and others. Another is that it will carry live all of the college football games that ESPN broadcasts, something that I could not test at this time.

Other features include up to the minute scores and the ability to text message and call-in directly to ESPN Radio and ESPN affiliate station. The app includes a nice degree of customization including adding favorite stations and programs and a feature called myESPN that provides what ESPN calls customized audio of your selected teams which will be pulled into the app and it has searchable audio for specific clips broken down by a variety of categories including team and player.

It has the ability to run in the background so that you can use your iPhone for other tasks, but a volume control would be appreciated. I found that the radio shows and podcasts were easy to find and run. I did not encounter any breakups or dropping of programs when I tested the app but I am sure that it happens since it also happens with calls and other apps I have used in the past that require live streaming.

The app seems best suited for a variety of fans including those who want to listen to a different city’s sports radio and ones that want to hear a specific football game that is on the air, but possibly not in their area or they cannot get to the television to watch.

On a side note for fans of ESPN’s various radio programs it looks like both Mike Greenberg of the Mike and Mike show could be getting his own sitcom based on his book “My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot,” which will give two ESPN personalities shows, as Colin Cowherd also has one in the works.