When ESPN attempted to be an innovator several years ago by offering an alternate broadcast for the college football championship game between Florida State and Auburn, the media outlet was met with a large amount of praise. The alternate broadcast (which came to be known as the “Megacast”) featured a mix of ESPN analysts and current college football head coaches discussing the match-up at a more in-depth level than you’d hear on a typical broadcast. While it didn’t necessarily appeal to the casual fan, it was never supposed to; the Megacast created an area for hardcore fans to enhance their knowledge of the game by listening to those who know it best.
Since then, Megacasts have only evolved. ESPN offered a version this past Tuesday (dubbed the Statcast) for the NL Wild Card Game between the Rockies and Cubs and, as author Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing points out, it was once again popular with the viewers. Per an informal poll on their Twitter account during the game, 65 percent of the over 3,000 respondents felt the Statcast on ESPN2 was better than the regular broadcast on ESPN. I was part of the 65 percent and am truly enamored with the idea of Megacasts in sports broadcasting.
As a self-described sports fanatic, I’m always looking for avenues to increase my knowledge of the game and I feel Megacasts are a phenomenal way to accomplish that goal. At the present time they’re typically only available for championship games or during the postseason of different leagues, but I’d argue offering them throughout the regular season would be a terrific decision. I’m not of the mindset that the market would become over-saturated and the product dull if Megacasts occurred more frequently; rather, I think Megacasts overall would become better than they already are if they were conducted more often. While the casual fans might not find them all that interesting, the die-hards like myself would definitely welcome the opportunity for more alternate sports broadcasts.
1. Yoder, M. (2014, January 07). Reactions to ESPN’s BCS Megacast. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://awfulannouncing.com/2014/reactions-to-espn-s-bcs-megacast.html