The Future of the Megacast

You watched that megacast of the College Football championship game the last two years right? Pretty cool huh? TWELVE WAYS to watch a single game on all the different ESPN channels!

Or was it over the top? It could definitely have been too much. We just need the regular traditional broadcast, with two announcers and a sideline reporter, right? Well whatever you think, we will dive into the answers right here.

ESPN MegacastSo, this is what the CFB championship game looked like the last two years. This was really the first broadcast of its kind. It was very cool to see ESPN pioneering something like this that no network had ever tried before. And it was successful. The championship game delivered the largest viewing audience in cable history. At just under 35 million viewers, it topped the previous record by just under 5 million viewers! To go deeper into the numbers, you can check out this link, here.

Now, with the major success of this megacast, it begs the question, will other major sporting events move to a megacast? It’s a very interesting question.

When you think about major sporting events like the Super Bowl, for example, a lot of money that is made from the game is the advertising. For the 2015 Super Bowl, a thirty-second ad went for $4.5 million.

Megacast ChartThis graph only goes up to 2013, but as you can see from the 2015 numbers above, the price just keeps skyrocketing.

So would it be a good idea for a network to go to something like this and spread out the advertising over multiple channels? It certainly looks that way. If the game got moved over to multiple different channels for a variety of different viewing experiences the network could possibly make even more money from advertising. The network would still be able to charge companies a great amount for their main broadcast and tell the companies that it still still their “A” package and it will have the most viewership.

They could also get companies that maybe aren’t quite willing to pay an amount like $4.5 million and say, and for a slightly lower price, they could have a thirty second ad on a different channel with the game. Obviously the traditional broadcast is going to have the highest viewership because that would be the one that all the viewers are comfortable with. But I’m sure there would be quite a few people curious about the other broadcasts available for the game, and be checking those out.

And moving away from the Super Bowl, I would also be curious to see if the MLB with the World Series, or the NBA with the NBA Finals, would contemplate moving to a megacast. The problems that arise with these games are a little bit different than the problems with advertising and the Super Bowl.

The biggest problem would be that these are both seven game series. Because they are seven game series, it would cost the network a lot more money and man-hours to have several different broadcasts of the games. The numbers on the left side of this article tell the story. Those numbers right there basically prove how insane of a thought it would be to produce multiple games as megacasts.

All in all I think it would be something very cool to see. More broadcasts of the biggest games of the year? Yes please. So let me know what you think. Could they do it? Would it be smart to do it? I know I hope so.

Elliott Eggleston

2 thoughts on “The Future of the Megacast

  1. I think you make many good points here. As an avid fan of sports, I like what ESPN has done heading in this direction. Especially in big events, it’s cool to chose your own way of viewing the game. I follow sports regularly, so it can be annoying when the presentation is dumbed down during the Super Bowl to fit all audiences so it would be great if there was a different channel I could watch to see it in whatever way i want.

  2. I think megacast would be really interesting to see. I think the numbers show how you can bring in a large viewership but that’s a given since you’re clogging up channels with a certain event. If networks and cable companies wanted to broadcast the sport and use their station as the flagship to gain a lot of revenue, they would be in a contract with whatever sports organization it is. I feel like you’d see more megacast when networks have an extensive contract and really create a monopoly with that event over a long time. Megacast would be super cool but is it worth it to pay for that man power when you can be a smart network and claim 1 or 2 large sporting events to broadcast on your network?

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