Press Releases

College Football

ESPN College Football – Bowl Schedule and Commentators, College GameDay, College Football Awards, Division I Football Championship and More

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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Inaugural College Football Playoff Highlights ESPN’s 38-Game Post-Season Bowl Schedule
Note: Release includes College Football Playoff Rankings
contact: [email protected]

ESPN’s extensive coverage of the 2014-15 college football season will culminate with 38 post-season games, highlighted by every matchup of the inaugural College Football Playoff format. With the new post-season format – four teams meeting in semifinals followed by a championship contest between the winning programs – ESPN and ESPN Radio will provide New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day tripleheaders as part of a New Year’s Six schedule featuring both semifinals and four additional premier bowls. Both networks will provide exclusive coverage of the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship on January 12.

College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Wed, Dec 31 12:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 9 Ole Miss vs. No. 6 TCU
TV: Joe Tessitore, Brock Huard & Shannon Spake
Radio: Dave Neal, Andre Ware & Laura Rutledge
ESPN & ESPN Radio
  4 p.m. VIZIO Fiesta Bowl: No. 20 Boise State vs. No. 10 Arizona
TV: Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman & Todd McShay
Radio: Dave Flemming, Danny Kanell & Allison Williams
ESPN & ESPN Radio
  8 p.m. Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech
TV: Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer & Maria Taylor
Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie & Joe Schad
ESPN & ESPN Radio
Thu, Jan 1 12:30 p.m. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Baylor
TV: Dave Pasch, Brian Griese & Tom Luginbill
Radio: Brad Sham, Kelly Stouffer & Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN & ESPN Radio
  5 p.m. Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual College Football Playoff Semifinal: No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State
TV: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox & Tom Rinaldi
Radio: Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman & Todd McShay
ESPN & ESPN Radio
  8:30 p.m. Allstate Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State
TV: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Holly Rowe
Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie & Joe Schad
ESPN & ESPN Radio
Mon, Jan 12 8:30 p.m. College Football Playoff National Championship Presented  by AT&T: TBD vs. TBD
TV: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox & Tom Rinaldi
Radio: Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe & Joe Schad
ESPN & ESPN Radio

The schedule will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 20, with five games, four on ESPN and ESPN Radio and one on ABC.  An ESPN outlet will present at least one game a day for 12 out of the 14 days from December 22 to January 4. Highlights:

  • Every bowl game on ESPN, ABC and ESPN2 will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, on Apple TV and Roku to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
  • ESPN Radio will broadcast 30 bowl games, including all of the New Year’s Six matchups and the College Football Playoff National Championship.
  • ESPN platforms will cover all 11 ESPN Events owned-and-operated bowl games:
    • Four on Saturday, Dec. 20: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (2:20 p.m. on ESPN & ESPN Radio); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (3:30 p.m. on ABC); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (5:45 p.m. on ESPN & ESPN Radio) and Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (9:15 p.m. on ESPN & ESPN Radio).
    • Additional pre-Christmas Day games on ESPN and ESPN Radio include the Boca Raton Bowl (Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 6 p.m.) and Hawaii Bowl (Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 8 p.m.).
    • Two matchups on Friday, Dec. 26, include the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (1 p.m. on ESPN) and the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (8 p.m. on ESPN & ESPN Radio)
    • Additional games include: AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Monday, Dec. 29, at 9 p.m. on ESPN & ESPN Radio), Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Friday, Jan. 2 at noon on ESPN); and Birmingham Bowl (Saturday, Jan. 3, at noon on ESPN & ESPN Radio).

Full Schedule: http://es.pn/1whoswx

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ESPN’s Record-Setting College Football Coverage Garners Millions of Viewers
contact: [email protected]

  • ESPN’s FBS Telecasts Reach Nearly 200 Million Viewers; WatchESPN Generates More than 1.2 Billion Live Minutes Viewed
  • ABC Saturday Night Football Most-Viewed Weekly Prime Series
  • Significant Viewership Increases for ESPN on Saturday Nights
  • ESPN and ABC Win on Saturday Nights
  • Iron Bowl – Record Regular-Season Telecast for ESPN and WatchESPN; Season’s Most-Viewed Game on TV
  • Birmingham Leads All Markets for 14th Straight Year with 9.2 Metered Market Rating

ESPN’s 2014 regular-season college football schedule set an industry record for total game coverage, reaching hundreds of millions of fans across multiple television and digital platforms.

Overall, ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, SEC Network and Longhorn Network covered 453 exclusive regular-season Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) games involving teams from all 10 conferences, plus independents Notre Dame, BYU, Navy and Army. Combined with an extensive schedule of Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) contests, ESPN platforms carried 494 regular-season Division I football games in 2014. Total coverage highlights:

  • ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS combined to televise 272 FBS contests, reaching more than 185,687,000 viewers. If those viewers who watched college football games on an ESPN platform formed a country, it would be the seventh most populous in the world, larger than countries such as Russia, Japan, Mexico, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Canada.
  • The 272 telecasts averaged 1,767,000 viewers (note: the final audience for ABC’s December 6, noon broadcast was not available). ESPN offered games every day of the week, including the opening Sunday of the season, Labor Day, select Tuesday and Wednesday matchups, and a regular schedule of Thursday, Friday and Saturday telecasts.
  • The 517 FBS games on WatchESPN – every exclusive contest on an ESPN platform and the GamePlan matchups — generated 1,200,000,000 live minutes viewed, an 80 percent increase over 2013. Overall, 2014 produced WatchESPN’s 10 largest average minute audiences for regular-season college football games ever.

Full Release: http://es.pn/12uCj89

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ESPN’s College GameDay Regular-Season Finale at Army-Navy for the First Time

contact: [email protected]

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest running and most celebrated pregame show – will make its first stop in Baltimore and first visit at the storied annual showdown between Army and Navy on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Emmy Award-winning show will close out its regular season from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in a special two-hour edition (9-11 a.m. ET).

Hosted by Chris Fowler, the GameDay team consists of analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack with reporting by Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, Scott Van Pelt, George Whitfield and Gene Wojciechowski.

 College GameDay nuggets:

  • Baltimore is the 72nd different city the show has visited. Navy is the 79th different team to be represented at a GameDay site game.
  • GameDay has originated from West Point once – September 27, 2003 for South Florida at Army– but for the only time in show history, the show had to be cancelled mid-air due to lightning. The game was played later that day and South Florida won 28-0.
  • GameDay has never originated from the site of a Navy game, but Corso has represented the Navy headgear once – at the end of the show on November 11, 2012 – when the it originated from the USS San Diego. Former Navy wide receiver – and ship navigator – Curtis Sharp was the guest picker.

Full Release:   http://es.pn/1wTWkCC

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Presenters for The Home Depot College Football Awards Announced; NCFAA Contributions to College Football Award to be Presented to Grant Teaff  
contact: [email protected]

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will put forth its final regular-season rankings on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN during the half-hour College Football Playoff Top 25 show. Hosted by Rece Davis with analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Danny Kanell and David Pollack, viewers will get a look at the latest rankings heading into conference championship weekend.

ESPN’s College Football Playoff Selection Show on Sunday, Dec. 7, airing 12:30 – 3 p.m. (originally scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m.) will feature the announcement of the teams participating in the two Playoff Semifinals – the 2015 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl – within the first 30 minutes as well as extensive analysis and discussion. Additionally, teams selected for the other four New Year’s Six bowls (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl, VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl) will be announced by 3 p.m.

ESPN reached an exclusive 12-year agreement through 2026 with the College Football Playoff to televise the national championship game and semifinals, as well as the four bowl games that will be part of the rotation to host the semifinals. All games will be featured across ESPN platforms including ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox LIVE. Additionally, ESPN can distribute the matchups on ESPN Deportes and around the world via ESPN International.

Full Release:   http://es.pn/1w73mAV

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NCAA Division I Football Championship Quarterfinal Matchups
contact: [email protected]

ESPN will continue its exclusive coverage of the entire NCAA Division I Football Championship with the four quarterfinal matchups this weekend. ESPN2 will televise the overall top seed New Hampshire against No. 8 Chattanooga on Friday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. while ESPN will cover No. 2, and defending National Champions, North Dakota State against No. 7 Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 13, at noon. The other two matchups – Houston State vs. Villanova, Illinois State vs. Eastern Washington – are on ESPN3.

ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise the semifinals (Dec. 19-20) and Championship from Frisco, Texas (January 10).

Full Schedule: http://es.pn/1wTWkCC

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30 for 30 Fall Slate Concludes with “The U Part 2” on December 13
contact: [email protected]

The next installment in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series will also be the first sequel. “The U Part 2,” directed by Billy Corben, will premiere on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 9 p.m. ET after the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN. “The U,” which took a look at all that was good and bad about the rise of the University of Miami’s football program in the ‘80s, debuted five years ago as part of 30 for 30’s first season and quickly became one of the most talked-about documentaries in the series.

Full Release: http://es.pn/1GaVAsp

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ESPNU Road Trip Spent the Weekend in Waco for No. 9 Kansas State at No. 6 Baylor
contact: [email protected]

ESPNU Road Trip (Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. E.T.) traveled to Waco, Texas, this past weekend for a Big 12 battle between No. 9 Kansas State and No. 6 Baylor

Highlights include:

  • State of the Art Stadium: ESPNU Road Trip is provided a VIP tour of Baylor’s new McLane Stadium courtesy of offensive lineman Troy Baker.
  • Conversation with Briles: Baylor head coach Art Briles talks with Jordan Eichenblatt and Rayven Tirado about all things Baylor football.
  • Sail-gating: Baylor is one of the few places where tailgating happens on the water. Go inside a houseboat that sits on the Brazos River.
  • The Run: ESPNU Road Trip joins the 5,000 students who form a tunnel for the players as they enter the stadium, a new, unique tradition.
  • Big 12 Battle: Watch from the sidelines as the Baylor Bears win their final home game of the season.

Full Release: http://es.pn/1BwTmFV
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