Posts tagged with "ESPN public relations"

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Ray LaMontagne

TrueSouth Season Four Episode Five

On Sunday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. ET, TrueSouth Presented by YellaWood concludes its fourth season with a special fifth episode that takes viewers on a Mississippi River road trip. This SEC Network series revolves around two food stories told from one place, which TrueSouth sets in conversation to make larger points about Southern beliefs and identities.

Episode Summary

This episode is a behind-the-scenes romp up and out of Henderson, La., through New Orleans, following the Mississippi River to Greenville, Miss., and, finally, Memphis, Tenn.

The story begins at Turtles Bar on the Atchafalaya levee. In New Orleans at Dooky Chase‘s, the 80-year-old Creole restaurant, gumbo is eaten and old fashioneds are sipped. Next comes beer at Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge, the diviest dive bar in the city. Before the crew leaves for the drive north, they buy wine and snacks at Keife and Company. Following the river, they cross into Mississippi. At Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, they indulge in porterhouses and a well-earned night off. The epic road trip ends on Summer Avenue in Memphis, Tenn., with a quick stop at La Guadalupana for chilaquiles. And, just down the street, biscuits at Bryant’s Breakfast with hip hop legends 8Ball and MJG.

Music is forever important. For episode 17, the crew sampled, among others, the City Champs out of Memphis, a soulful jazz trio that reimagines Stax-era sounds. The TrueSouth playlist on Spotify shares the full soundtrack and score of every season of TrueSouth.

Season Summary

Season four of TrueSouth began in Scott, La., the buckle on the Boudin Belt that stretches across Cajun Country. Episode two of the show floated to Lake Village, Ark., just across the Mississippi River, where Santa “Cowboy” Lee cooks fat T-bones at a pizza restaurant, and Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales bakes half-pecan and half-sweet potato pies that are worth a three-hour drive. For episode three, the crew floated into Mobile Bay, Ala., for breakfast cocktails at a beach bar and fish and grits and second chances at a steamtable restaurant. We drove north to St. Louis, Mo. for episode four, where the crew developed a unified sandwich theory of the city, dependent on wave after wave of immigrants.

About TrueSouth

TrueSouth is a limited series on Southern food and culture, airing monthly on SEC Network. Four-time James Beard Award winner John T. Edge writes and hosts the show, which is executive produced by two-time New York Times best-selling author, ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson, and produced by Bluefoot Entertainment. The series, now in its fourth season, revolves around two food stories told from one place, which TrueSouth sets in conversation to make larger points about Southern beliefs and identities. 

About SEC Network

The Southeastern Conference and ESPN launched SEC Network on August 14, 2014. The network televises hundreds of games across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming includes in-depth analysis and storytelling in studio shows such as SEC Nation, Thinking Out Loud, Out Of Pocket and Rally Cap, daily news and information with The Paul Finebaum Show and SEC Now, original content such as TrueSouth, SEC Storied, and SEC Inside, and more. Hundreds of additional live events are available for streaming exclusively on SEC Network’s digital companion, SEC Network+, via the ESPN App and their website. The network is also available in more than 135 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia via ESPN Player, ESPN’s sports streaming service in the region.

CFP Championship’s High Viewership

The 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship was one for the record books, as Georgia secured its first national title since 1980. The viewership of ESPN’s MegaCast presentation reflected the excitement surrounding the Alabama-Georgia showdown, with 22.6 million viewers tuning in across ESPN networks.

The Dawgs‘ thrilling 33-18 victory over the SEC Champion Crimson Tide was up 19 percent from last year’s national championship contest between Alabama and Ohio State. The matchup peaked with 25.4 million viewers.

The Circle City Showdown is the top event on cable since the 2020 LSU/Clemson national championship game and the most-viewed non-NFL sporting event during that span on any network. In fact, the top five non-NFL sports events during that time have been CFP Semifinal and Championship games.

The main ESPN telecast of Monday night’s showcase is the second-most-viewed non-NFL telecast (sports or non-sports) on a single network since February 2020. ESPN’s presentation of the action from Indianapolis is the most-watched TWDC telecast since the 2021 NFL Wild Card Game.

The share of TV viewers tuned in to this year’s CFP National Championship on ESPN networks was the best on record in the CFP era. 29 percent of people and 38 percent of adults 18-49 watching television Monday night were tuned in to the CFP National Championship.

Streaming Creates MegaCast Magic

Across all ESPN3/ESPN App exclusive feeds, streaming minutes were up 33 percent over 2020. Outside of the linear telecasts, Alabama’s Hometown Radio MegaCast was the most-streamed feed for both uniques and minutes. The Alabama and Georgia Hometown Radio MegaCast viewing options saw substantial year-over-year gains across AMA (up 75 percent), uniques (up 30 percent), minutes (up 85 percent), starts (up 20 percent), and minutes/viewer (up 35 percent).

Putting A Bow on Bowl Season

Bowl Season delivered in the 2021-22 season, with 29 of 31 non-NY6 bowls this season surpassing one million viewers. Eighteen bowls drew more than two million viewers and nine topped three million. The 31 non-NY6 bowl games registered 2.6 million viewers across ESPN networks, up 12 percent year-over-year. On ESPN, bowl games recorded 2.5 million viewers per game, up 24 percent from 2020 and slightly up from 2019. Of the 27 bowls with a viewership comparison to 2019, 10 had their best audience since at least 2017 and seven had their best since at least 2015.

Across the regular season and postseason, ESPN networks delivered the four most-viewed games of the 2021-22 season (CFP National Championship, both CFP Semifinals, and The Rose Bowl Game) and 59 of the top 100 games overall. ESPN networks were responsible for 62 percent of live game college football minutes viewed this season across all nationally measured linear networks.

Ranked Teams Battle on ESPN Networks illustration by Vaughn Lowery use by 360 Magazine

ESPN College Football Semifinals

ESPN‘s expansive studio programming surrounding the College Football Playoff semifinals is in full swing, with live coverage from ESPN and SEC Network sets at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl. ESPN platforms are set for more than 30 hours of on-site analysis and insight leading into the final college football showdowns of 2021.

ESPN will have live pre-game, halftime and post-game wraps throughout the week from sets in Miami Gardens. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame is live from outside Hard Rock Stadium beginning Wednesday, Dec. 29, with Kevin Negandhi anchoring the day’s wraps, joined throughout the afternoon by analysts David Pollack, Joey Galloway, and Booger McFarland. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame returns on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 6:30 p.m., leading into the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, with Negandhi, Galloway, and McFarland prepping fans for CFP and New Year’s Six action.

College GameDay Covers the Capital One Orange Bowl

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot launches a full day of on-site studio shows Friday, Dec. 31, with nearly a dozen hours of live studio programming across ESPN and SEC Network, originating from sets in the Lone Star and Sunshine states. Rece Davis hosts the 12-time Emmy Award-winning show with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, research producer and sports betting analyst Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica, and reporters Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski. The three-hour show starts up at 8 a.m. from outside Hard Rock Stadium. Galloway, McFarland, and Negandhi will join the show as well.

The College GameDay cast has several CFP semifinal ties, with Alabama alum Davis, Heisman Trophy-winning Michigan WR Howard, and recent Hall of Fame inductee and Georgia great Pollack behind the CGD desk. That trio will provide pre-game, halftime, and post-game wraps on Friday afternoon from ESPN’s set outside Hard Rock Stadium.

The College GameDay crew will also be live on New Year’s Day from the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One Venture X, previewing the many Jan. 1 games at 10 a.m. from Pasadena, site of the Utah/Ohio State showdown (5 p.m., ESPN).

College GameDay Features

  • Friday, Dec. 31
    • Ojabo’s Journey: Born in Nigeria and raised in Scotland, Michigan linebacker David Ojabo moved to New Jersey in high school, where he started out playing soccer and basketball. It wasn’t until he saw a classmate getting scholarship offers to play football that he decided to give it a try. Now, even though he is still learning the game, Ojabo is a prospect with first-round potential and a key member of the Michigan defense. (Reporter: Gene Wojciechowski)  
    • Bigger Than Ball: For the last year, football has been more than a game for 13-year-old Taeden Johnson. It’s been an outlet and an escape. The Georgia football team-beyond the extraordinary season they’ve put together-has emerged as an extension of the family he recently lost. (Reporter: Jen Lada)
    • Jim Harbaugh Convo: Marty Smith sits down with the Michigan Head Coach to talk about his coaching journey at Michigan, why he decided to have this team be a more player-led group, beating Ohio State, and losing his wallet after the Big Ten championship. 
    • Luke Fickell Convo: Kirk Herbstreit sits down with his old college teammate, Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell, to talk about the challenges of the season, how he will prep for Alabama, his distinguished wrestling career, and just how many pull-ups he thinks he can do.
    • Nick Saban Live: Alabama head coach Nick Saban joins the College GameDay cast live from Miami
    • 2001 Miami Roundtable: Andrea Adelson sits down with some key members of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, including Ed Reed, Jonathan Vilma, and Bryant McKinnie, to reflect on one of the greatest teams in college football history, 20 years later.
    • Bryce Young Convo: Gene Wojciechowski sits down with the Heisman Trophy winner to discuss how he always remains so calm and how that wasn’t always the case, the defining moment of the season so far, and how this team learned to respect winning again. 
  • Saturday, Jan. 1
    • Forever Bonded: Aaron and Ty: Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan were best friends, as high school teammates in suburban Dallas, and as teammates at the University of Utah, where Jordan was the Pac-12 Offensive freshman of the year and Aaron was a special team regular and Nickelback. But two tragic events, nine months to the day of each other, ended their lives, but not their bond. (Reporter: Gene Wojciechowski) 
    • Dream Weaver: Kentucky Linebacker J.J. Weaver was born with a sixth finger on his right hand. Often hiding his extra digit as a kid, J.J. is now embracing what makes him unique and inspiring children just like him. (Reporter: Jen Lada) 
    • CJ Stroud Convo: Tiffany Blackmon sits down with the Ohio State quarterback to talk about as a Cali kid, what the Rose bowl means to him, how his Heisman experience has motivated him even more, and what it means to him to get to play a game back home. 
    • Big Man, Big Heart: Offensive Lineman Dillan Gibbons befriended Timothy Donovan, who lives with VACTERL after Timothy attended his first game at Notre Dame. The friendship has endured, having a life-changing effect on Donovan. When Gibbons transferred to Florida State, he used his NIL rights to help bring Timothy to Florida State for the Notre Dame game. (Reporter: Marty Smith)

A quartet of ESPN reporters has been assigned to the respective CFP semifinal teams, with Holly Rowe (Georgia) and Marty Smith (Michigan) reporting from Miami all week, and Molly McGrath (Cincinnati) and Laura Rutledge (Alabama) on-site in Arlington.

ESPN.com has the College Football Playoff covered, as Paolo Uggetti and Dave Wilson will be on site from the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, and Andrea Adelson and Mark Schlabach will report from the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens.

SportsCenter will also have a full slate of live updates from Miami, starting Wednesday and continuing through kickoff.

SEC Network

SEC Network presents a full week of wall-to-wall studio analysis and in-game reaction surrounding the CFP semifinals. On Friday, Dec. 31 alone, SEC Network will spotlight more than 15 consecutive hours of live programming, the most in a single day in network history, as Alabama and Georgia fight for their places in the grand finale of college football, the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T.

ESPN Digital and Social

Countdown to the College Football Playoff Semifinal Presented by AT&T 5G is one of several digital shows surrounding ESPN’s postseason coverage, with Christine Williamson, Gary Striewski, Jason Fitz, Skubie Mageza, Harry Douglas, and Mike Golic Jr. recapping the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and gearing up for the Capital One Orange Bowl.