ESPN Grows MegaCast for NFL Wild Card Weekend to Include Film Room on ESPN2, Between the Lines on ESPN+
ESPN’s first NFL Wild Card MegaCast has expanded, as ESPN+ will join ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, Freeform, and ESPN Deportes in a MegaCast presentation of Baltimore at Tennessee on January 10 (1 p.m. ET), resulting in six Disney networks combining forces to super-serve fans while offering the most extensive multi-channel NFL Playoff game offering to date during the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend.
With the traditional telecast of Ravens-Titans on ESPN and ABC featuring enhanced production elements serving as the foundation of the MegaCast, fans will be treated to an array of offerings across the other networks. Grammy-winning artist DJ Khaled will perform exclusively on Freeform, highlighting a star-studded Watch Party on the network throughout the game. A blend of non-traditional commentary, analytics, real time analysis and a slice of betting will be featured on ESPN+’s Between the Lines, as multiple approaches will be combined into one offering. MegaCast staple Film Room will air on ESPN2, offering a concentrated breakdown of game strategy in real-time and ESPN Deportes will air the Spanish-language telecast, as the network ramps up to call a total of four postseason games, including Super Bowl LV.
In addition to the traditional telecast airing on ESPN with an ABC simulcast, the presentation will be streamed across devices on ESPN, ABC and NFL digital properties, and on mobile via participating club properties and Verizon Media mobile properties. ESPN Deportes will feature a Spanish-language presentation and will be streamed across ESPN digital properties and Verizon Media mobile properties. Additional telecasts will be streamed across devices on ESPN, ESPN+, Freeform, and on mobile via the NFL mobile app and site.
ESPN Airs Traditional Presentation, Simulcast on ABC; Enhanced Technology Decorates Telecast
ESPN’s Monday Night Football commentator team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, and Lisa Salters with officiating expert John Parry will call the game on ESPN, which will be simulcast on ABC, from Nissan Stadium. The network’s full arsenal of production elements will be on hand in addition to technological enhancements:
- Multiple cameras added, including 4K robotic cameras near the goal lines and more super slow motion ability, resulting in a total of nine different cameras with that functionality.
- Enhanced line-to-gain camera, which features both a virtual first down marker and virtual first down line; the virtual first down line is similar to the line fans are accustomed to seeing from the traditional camera angle
In addition to the game coverage, presentation will include multiple elements that viewers experience on Monday nights throughout the season, including a dynamic open, creative storytelling graphics and more.
Freeform Brings Freestyle Approach, Pop Culture and DJ Khaled to MegaCast’s Watch Party
Freeform’s Watch Party will add an energetic, younger lens to the MegaCast as high profile guests delve into an array of topics with ESPN’s Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor throughout the game. The appearance of the guests will be free-flowing and not set to a pre-determined length of time as Palmer and Taylor will touch on multiple topics, including matters surrounding the game and within pop culture.
Guests appearing with Palmer and Taylor will be from different backgrounds and genres, including television, music, sports, ties to Baltimore and Nashville and more. Popular Freeform personalities such as Good Trouble’s Cierra Ramirez and Motherland: Fort Salem’s Demetria McKinney and Ashley Nicole Williams will appear, along with more standout network stars. Viewers will be able to consistently follow the Wild Card Game during the telecast, as a multi-box presentation will have the game consistently shown on the screen in addition to the hosts and guests.
The in-game presentation will surround multi-platform star DJ Khaled’s full halftime performance on the network, which will take place in Miami in advance of the game, and be presented to the audience with special post-production elements.
ESPN+ Between the Lines: Real-Time Analysis, In-Game Analytics and Odds Discussion in Innovative Format
Multiple disciplines of expertise will be presented together on ESPN+ Between the Lines, as the NFL Live and Daily Wager cast’s innovative approach will be brought to the platform. Analysis, analytics, odds discussion and film breakdown throughout the game will be presented in a casual, conversational format than a traditional telecast. The crew will also provide broad strokes betting conversations throughout the game.
Laura Rutledge, Mina Kimes, Dan Orlovsky, and Marcus Spears along with Doug Kezirian, Joe Fortenbaugh, and Tyler Fulghum will all appear and interact with each other during the telecast. The game telecast on the screen will be supplemented by an array of data and statistics, as the team provides their insights in a free-flowing format. The two groups will originate from their home studios, with NFL Live in Bristol and Daily Wager in Las Vegas.
ESPN2’s Film Room: Analysts from Countdown to Provide Live Breakdown of Game Plan and Strategy
The Film Room has been one of the most popular presentations throughout ESPN’s MegaCast history, with its NFL debut set to include Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck, and Rex Ryan from Sunday NFL Countdown, Booger McFarland from Monday Night Countdown, and Keyshawn Johnson from both ESPN Radio and NFL Live. The analysts will be hyper-focused on the detailed breakdown of the game plan approach of both teams, including telestrator analysis and predictive strategy adjustments in real time.
ESPN Deportes Airs Spanish-Language Presentation of Wild Card and Super Bowl LV
ESPN Deportes will have the Spanish-language telecast, with Pablo Viruega and Eduardo Varela on the call and John Sutcliffe reporting. The network will also air an NFL Divisional game on January 16 or 17, the AFC Championship on January 24 and Super Bowl LV on February 7.
ESPN Madden NFL Wild Card Duos Premieres This Week
EA SPORTS, the NFL and ESPN have also teamed up to host the first-ever ESPN Madden NFL Wild Card Duos presented by USAA Insurance, in advance of ESPN’s Wild Card Megacast. Carolina Panthers’ Robby Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Mixon, Detroit Lions’ D’Andre Swift and Las Vegas Raiders’ Johnathan Abram will pair up with some of the best Madden NFL players in the world to compete in Madden NFL 21’s newest mode, “The Yard.” The one-hour event, produced by Emmy award-winning SoHi Media, will premiere Thursday, January 7, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and be available on the ESPN, NFL and Madden digital channels.