ESPN is broadcasting next month's inaugural College Football Playoff championship. Not just the network, but nearly the entire company.
As reported by Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch on Monday night, the title game will be shown on ESPN - where you'll get the traditional game broadcast - ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN International, ESPN Radio as well as multiple options on ESPN3.
The national championship will kick at 8:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 12. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi and Heather Cox have the call on television, with Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Joe Schad on ESPN Radio.
While many of the details are still being worked out, here's what the Worldwide Leader has in store:
- Film Room: Probably the best idea they trotted out a year ago, a room with current FBS coaches and select ESPN talent watching the game in real time from a coaches' perspective. Recall last year's panel - Steve Addazio, Kevin Sumlin, Paul Chryst, Chris Spielman and Matt Millen - predicting a Florida State fake punt before it happened.
- ESPN Voices: Similar concept as Film Room, except it's a rotating group of ESPN personalities.
- Off the Ball: A new idea for 2015, a separate group of coaches and former players will watch the game with an eye on match-ups taking place away from the ball.
- Sounds of the Game: If you want a straight broadcast but can't stand Fowler and Herbstreit, this is for you.
- Command Center: A running feed of statistics, analytics and social media commentary with the ESPN Radio call accompanying the video.
- SpiderCam: A bird's eye view of the game from the top of AT&T Stadium.
- Taco Bell Student Section: Exactly what it sounds like - a feed of nothing but student sections, sponsored by Taco Bell.
ESPN is still working out a few more details and will release those closer to game time (8:30 p.m. ET, Jan. 12). For instance, I'd expect ESPN to show an ESPN3 feed with each participating team's home radio call as the audio, just as they did for Florida State and Auburn last year and as CBS/Turner have done for the NCAA men's basketball championship. SEC Network will also do a live edition of the Finebaum show during the Sugar Bowl, as it did for the Iron Bowl, and will consider doing the same if the Tide reaches the championship.