Behind The ScenesNCAAF

Before the New Year’s confetti falls, ESPN blankets the College Football Playoff Semifinals

At ESPN, the College Football Playoff semifinals are a New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

Since Monday, ESPN has blanketed South Florida and Arlington, Texas, with wall-to-wall coverage of Thursday’s College Football Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl featuring No. 4 Clemson versus No. 1 Oklahoma (4 p.m. ET) and the College Football Playoff at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic pitting No. 3 Michigan State versus No. 2 Alabama (8 p.m.) which will be played on New Year’s Eve – the biggest and newest tradition in sports.

ESPN’s comprehensive game coverage begins with the basics, the traditional telecast on ESPN. From there, ESPN calls upon its vast resources to provide various options for fans.

“Having numerous options for the semifinals is a natural evolution of the Megacast that debuted during the BCS era and continued with last year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game,” said Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, Burke Magnus. “In the College Football Playoff format, the semifinals are extremely important games and it makes sense to utilize our outlets.”

New this year, ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language telecast — which is available for the entire New Year’s Six — will be simulcast on ESPN2 for both semifinals, making the second-language telecast widely available throughout the United States.

“Last year, a record-breaking audience watched the Spanish telecast of the CFP and we are excited to make our Spanish-language coverage of the semifinals widely available to this growing Hispanic fan base,” said Vice President, ESPN Deportes Programming & Business Initiatives, Freddy Rolon. “ESPN Deportes’ coverage of college football is also great example of our commitment to serving Hispanic sports fans with the most diverse offering of sports events and programming.”

ESPN3 will stream the semifinals as well, offering fans the continuous SpiderCam feed and the ESPN telecast synched with the radio broadcast of each of the four participating teams.

“We experienced a lot of success with the ‘hometown radio’ option during the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship,” Magnus said. “With second-screen capability and college football fans being familiar with ESPN3, it made sense to extend the option to the semifinals. Additionally, having alternate feeds and the game available on phones, tablets or wherever fans can get them is very important.”

While all linear and digital content will be available on WatchESPN, ESPN Radio and the ESPN Radio app will be a key resource for fans as well.

“Even before the games, ESPN Radio will be another outlet for day-of-game conversation starting with Mike and Mike at 6 a.m.,” says Vice President, ESPN Audio Network Content, Dave Roberts. “All-day coverage and broadcasting the games underscores the importance of audio in any major event produced on ESPN.”

If taking you where the cameras can’t go is your thing, ESPN’s social media platforms will also be onsite – through the Twitter handles @ESPNCFB, @CollegeGameDay, @SportsCenter and beyond.

“In addition to our aggressive approach on Twitter, we’re also going to serve fans on social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat,” said Glenn Jacobs, senior coordinating producer, New and Next. “During the semis you’ll see more unique content from onsite in Miami and Dallas.”

Welcome to the new, New Year’s Eve. However you celebrate, wherever you are, ESPN is there to bring you the College Football Playoff Semifinals.

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