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SEC Network treks to Arizona to track Alabama for its championship duel with Clemson

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Alabama making a trip to the national championship game is nothing new. When the Crimson Tide faces Clemson in the College Football National Championship Presented by AT&T (tonight, 8:30 p.m. ET), it will be their third trip to college football’s finale in six years.

But, for the first time, they are bringing the SEC Network with them.

Last week, the year-old network vacated its Charlotte, N.C., studios and headed west, producing its signature shows — SEC Nation, SEC Now and The Paul Finebaum Show — all live from Arizona.

Being here in Arizona, talking to and hearing from Alabama players and coaches and then bringing that to our viewers makes a difference.
– Dari Nowkhah

“One of the best things we do is bring our viewers to places they may not be able to go,” said Dari Nowkhah, SEC Network’s lead anchor.

“Being here in Arizona, talking to and hearing from Alabama players and coaches and then bringing that to our viewers makes a difference. We know that not everybody can be here, so we bring them here with us, so to speak.”

After beginning live telecasts on Friday with SEC Now, continuing on Saturday with College Football National Championship Media Day and then resuming on Sunday the mutual head coach press conferences, in addition to various other live programing, the network’s operation is ready to culminate its remote production on Championship today with The Paul Finebaum Show (3 p.m.), SEC Nation (6 p.m.), the network’s element of the Megacast: Finebaum Film Room (8:30 p.m.) and concluding with postgame edition of SEC Now.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase our on-air talent and signature shows over a four day span in Phoenix,” said Brett Austin, coordinating producer. “As a network, you want the chance to be seen on the biggest stage, and there’s no bigger stage in college sports than the national championship game.”

“We are all glad to see an SEC team be a part of the national championship,” said SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy, who quarterbacked Alabama to a National Championship in 2009. “In Year Two of the network, we have gotten so much more comfortable with everything we are doing. Having this opportunity, the culmination, the biggest stage, it is great to be a part of it.”

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