ESPN Radio’s 26-bowl game broadcast schedule will culminate on Monday, Jan. 6with the VIZIO BCS National Championship (No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn, 8:30 p.m. ET) with Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Joe Schad providing commentary. In addition to the game call, ESPN Radio is rolling out all the stops to provide extensive coverage, live from Pasadena, Calif. with nine consecutive hours of live talk, interviews and analysis leading up to the championship game.
The Herd with Colin Cowherd will kick off the on-site programs (10 a.m.) followed by SVP & Russillo (1 p.m.) and a special three-hour ESPN Radio College GameDay: BCS Special at 4 p.m. with Ryen Russillo, Trevor Matich and Brad Edwards. In advance of Monday’s Championship game, Cowherd will host ESPN2’s Colin’s New Football Show live from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center Sunday, Jan. 5 (9 a.m.)
Front Row caught up with John Martin, executive producer of radio remotes, on the history of the BCS National Championship game on ESPN Radio and the months of planning and preparation that goes into the 26 bowl game broadcast.
How many years has ESPN Radio been broadcasting bowl games?
Our first bowl game broadcast was the 1998 Rose Bowl where current ESPN Analyst Brian Griese quarterbacked Michigan to victory over Washington State. Michigan was subsequently voted No. 1 in the final AP poll while Nebraska was No. 1 in the Coaches poll. We broadcast the first BCS Championship No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl where Tennessee beat Florida State and have broadcast every BCS Championship Game since.
How far in advance does your team begin planning and preparing for our bowl coverage – particularly the BCS series?
It’s a year-round process. In the spring, we begin working with the college football programming team (to determine scheduling), we work with our sales team on features and enhancements that can generate added revenue, and much more. At the same time we also begin preliminary discussions with the BCS Championship venue in terms of our booth and on-field location for our studio show at the game. Lastly we begin formulating our talent and production teams for all bowls in early November and finalize those shortly after the matchups are set.