When it's all said and done, ESPN may have more of a presence at the Rose Bowl on the night of January 6 than Florida State or Auburn. The Worldwide Leader in Sports will broadcast the BCS National Championship in six different formats on six different channels, USA Today reported on Thursday.
“The majority of the people will still watch the game on ESPN,” Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president, programming, told USA TODAY Sports. “But our hope is people will sample other things. Whether they’re flipping from ESPN, flipping over to these other offerings. Whether it’s additive, whether it’s people watching on a second screen while they’re watching the game and tweeting in, in hopes that some of their tweets will show up on ESPN. That’s the overall concept.”
First, there's the traditional broadcast on ESPN. This channel will have Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi and Heather Cox, and it will be like every other big football telecast you've ever watched. Nothing new here. ESPN2 will air "BCS Title Talk", featuring real-time analysis by ESPN's army of analysts, coaches, guest hosts and celebrities.
Turn to ESPNNews and you'll find "BCS Film Room", featuring real-time, in-depth Xs and Os analysts from ESPN's other army of analysts and guests. This channel will offer different camera angles than you'll see on the traditional broadcast on ESPN.
ESPN Classic will offer "Sounds of the BCS", featuring the traditional camera angles of the regular broadcast, but no broadcasters. Instead you'll hear the ambient sounds of the game, the bands and the Rose Bowl's public address announcer. ESPN Goal Line will show "BCS Command Center", featuring a split screen of real-time action and replays, with live stats and the ESPN Radio call for sound.
On ESPN3, coverage will be broken into a number of different segments. First, the web-based service will show the game synced with each team's radio call and feature team-specific isolated cameras on key players and coaches. "BCS Campus Connection" will show live look-ins at watch parties in Tallahassee and Auburn, and "BCS Spider Cam" will show the game from a camera angle above the Rose Bowl.
Oddly enough, there is one and only one ESPN channel missing out on ESPN's smorgasbord of coverage for the biggest night in college sports: ESPNU.