ESPN College Football on ABC

ESPN College Football on ABC
College Football on ABC
Genre Sports
Starring Sean McDonough
Matt Millen
Heather Cox
Mike Patrick
Craig James
Quint Kessenich
Ron Franklin
Ed Cunningham
Jeannine Edwards
Carter Blackburn
Brock Huard
Mike Belotti
Shelly Smith
Beth Mowins
Ray Bentley
Jenn Brown
Mark Neely
JC Pearson
John Saunders
Jesse Palmer
Robert Flores
Chris Fowler
Kirk Herbstreit
Desmond Howard
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 46
Running time 210 minutes+
Original channel ABC
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
Original run 1950
1966 – present

ESPN College Football on ABC presented by Buffalo Wild Wings is a presentation of the American Broadcasting Company's (ABC) regular season American college football television package (separate from Saturday Night Football). The television network (which broadcast regular season college football in 1950 and has every year since 1966) broadcasts games of all the major conferences of Division I-A National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football except the Southeastern Conference.


Past history

1950, 1966–1997

ABC has historically aired the premiere games since it has had all major conference contracts at one time or another. Keith Jackson with his down-home, folsky style symbolized college football has served as its unofficial voice.

By 1950, a small number of prominent football schools, including the University of Pennsylvania (ABC) and the University of Notre Dame (DuMont Television Network) had entered into individual contracts with networks to broadcast their games regionally. In fact, all of Penn's home games were broadcast on ABC during the 1950 season under a contract that paid Penn $150,000. However, prior to the 1951 season, the NCAA – alarmed by reports that indicated television decreased attendance at games – asserted control and prohibited live broadcasts of games. Although the NCAA successfully forced Penn and Notre Dame to break their contracts, the NCAA suffered withering attacks for its 1951 policy, faced threats of antitrust hearings and eventually caved in and lifted blackouts of certain sold-out games. Bowl games were always outside the control of the NCAA, and the 1952 Rose Bowl at the end of that season was the first truly national telecast of a college football game, on NBC.[1]

For the 1952 season, the NCAA relented somewhat, but limited telecasts to one nationally-broadcast game each week. The NCAA sold the exclusive rights to broadcast the weekly game to NBC for $1,144,000. The first game shown under this contract was Texas Christian University against the University of Kansas, on September 20, 1952.

The NCAA believed that broadcasting one game a week would prevent further controversy while limiting any decrease in attendance. However, the Big Ten Conference was unhappy with the arrangement, and it pressured the NCAA to allow regional telecasts as well. Finally, in 1955 the NCAA revised its plan, keeping eight national games while permitting regional telecasts during five specified weeks of the season. ABC won the contract under this arrangement for the 1966 season onwards. This was essentially the television plan that stayed in place until the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia filed suit against the NCAA in 1981, alleging antitrust violations.

In 1997, ABC began using the fixed scoreboard on its broadcasts.[2]


ABC was awarded the first exclusive BCS contract beginning in 1999, however they lost rights to games other than the Rose Bowl after the 2005–06 season. However, the Rose Bowl contract ran until 2010.

Keith Jackson, who was supposed to retire after the 1999 season, stayed in until 2005, in which he announced games televised primarily from the west coast, where he is based. His last broadcast was the 2006 Rose Bowl.

In 2000, with Jackson cutting back his schedule, ABC began the year with the Jackson and Bob Griese team intact, albeit not as the lead one to handling almost exclusively Pac-10 action; Brent Musburger and Dan Fouts returning as was the long-time tandem of Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson. These assignments were not permanent and many different combinations were used[3] ABC locked their broadcasters teams in mid-season. Jackson was teamed with Fouts, Musburger was paired with Danielson, and Nessler with Bob Griese. [4]

Prior to the addition of the 12th game on a permanent basis in 2002, ABC aired pre-season classics including the Kickoff Classic and Pigskin Classic.[5]

In the 2005 season, ABC aired 77 games in 36 windows including the National Championship.[6]


In recent years, there have been 2 set game windows in a typical week. Most Saturdays, there are regional games at 3:30 p.m. ET. Beginning with the 2006 season, ABC started regularly showing games at night under the Saturday Night Football umbrella, and noon-time games are telecast on an occasional basis. This marked a departure from 7 p.m. west-coast-only games and occasional 8 p.m. games. Also, the recently-developed BCS spotlight game was essentially replaced by Saturday Night Football.

The 2006 season was marked by a lot of reshuffling in addition to Jackson, as Lynn Swann left for a failed political run, Aaron Taylor left to pursue a career change, and Gary Danielson went to CBS to cover SEC action. As a result Dan Fouts began calling play-by-play.[7]

ESPN, which is mostly owned by Disney, has also increased their presence on ABC over the years. The College GameDay personalities typically appear during halftime of the 3:30 game (often to preview the Saturday Night Football game they may have done the show from) and when they are on-site during the Saturday night game. However, since Lee Corso's stroke in 2009, he has not appeared with the crew. In addition, the announcers have become increasingly interchangeable, starting in 2008. From the 2006 season onward, as part of a network-wide rebranding of sports coverage, broadcasts on ABC are now presented under ESPN branding and graphics as ESPN College Football on ABC.

During the 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons, the presenting sponsor was Best Buy. During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the presenting sponsor was Kay Jewelers. Since the 2011 season, the presenting sponsor has been Buffalo Wild Wings.

On November 18, 2006, ABC had the highest rating and most-viewed contest in over 13 years when #1 Ohio State beat #2 Michigan 42–39.[8]


2010 commentator pairings

  • Sean McDonough, play-by-play, Matt Millen, analyst, and Heather Cox, Jeannine Edwards, Shelly Smith or Quint Kessenich, sideline reporter.
    • Eleven games: Connecticut-Michigan, Florida State-Oklahoma (with Edwards), Nebraska-Washington (with Smith), UCLA-Texas, Michigan State-Michigan (with Kessenich), Texas-Nebraska (with Kessenich), Wisconsin-Iowa, Michigan State-Iowa, Northwestern-Penn State, Ohio State-Iowa (with Kessenich), and Michigan-Ohio State (with Kessenich).
  • Ron Franklin, play-by-play, Ed Cunningham, analyst, and Jeannine Edwards, sideline reporter.
    • Seven games: Iowa State-Iowa, Virginia Tech-NC State, Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, Iowa-Michigan, Nebraska-Oklahoma State (with Edwards), Missouri-Nebraska (with Edwards), and Colorado-Nebraska (with Edwards).
  • Mike Patrick, play-by-play, Craig James, analyst, and Quint Kessenich, sideline reporter.
    • Six games: Arizona State-Wisconsin, Wake Forest-Florida State, Wisconsin-Michigan State (with Kessenich), Georgia Tech-Clemson, North Carolina-Florida State and Rutgers-West Virginia.
  • Carter Blackburn, play-by-play, and Mike Belotti and Brock Huard, analysts, and Shelly Smith, sideline reporter.
    • Five games: UCLA-Kansas State, Eastern Michigan-Ohio State, Clemson-North Carolina, Washington-Oregon (with Smith), and Texas Tech-Oklahoma.
  • Mark Neely or Dave Lamont, play-by-play, and J.C. Pearson, analyst.
    • Two games: Kentucky-Louisville (with Lamont), and Virginia Tech-North Carolina.
  • Brent Musburger, play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreet, analyst, and Erin Andrews, sideline reporter.
    • Saturday Night Football crew
    • One game: Penn State-Ohio State.

2009 commentator pairings

  • Sean McDonough, play-by-play, Matt Millen, analyst, and Holly Rowe, sideline reporter.
    • Twelve games: Georgia-Oklahoma State, Notre Dame-Michigan, Nebraska-Virginia Tech, Miami-Virginia Tech, Florida State-Boston College, Wisconsin-Ohio State, Minnesota-Penn State, Penn State-Michigan, Ohio State-Penn State, Iowa-Ohio State, Ohio State-Michigan, and Cincinnati-Pittsburgh.
  • Mike Patrick, play-by-play, Craig James, analyst, and Heather Cox or Quint Kessenich, sideline reporter.
    • Nine games: Western Michigan-Michigan (with Kessenich), Arizona-Iowa, Penn State-Illinois, Connecticut-Pittsburgh, Texas Tech-Nebraska, Michigan-Illinois (without Cox), Penn State-Michigan State, Miami-South Florida, and Arizona-USC.
  • Terry Gannon or Dave Lamont, play-by-play, David Norrie, analyst, and Quint Kessenich, sideline reporter.
    • Eight games: USC-Washington (with Kessenich), California-Oregon, UCLA-Stanford (with Lamont), Oregon-UCLA, California-UCLA, Oregon-Washington, California-Arizona State, and Arizona-Arizona State.
  • Bob Wischusen, play-by-play, and Brian Griese, analyst.
    • Six games: NC State-Boston College, Clemson-Miami, Miami-Wake Forest, Oklahoma State-Iowa State, Miami-North Carolina, and Virginia-Clemson.
  • Ron Franklin, play-by-play, and Ed Cunningham, analyst.
    • Five games: Illinois-Ohio State, Baylor-Oklahoma, Oklahoma-Kansas, Kansas-Texas Tech, and Nebraska-Kansas.
  • Dave Lamont, play-by-play, and J.C. Pearson or Shaun King, analyst.
    • Two games: Baylor-Wake Forest (with King), and Missouri vs. Kansas.
  • Brent Musburger, play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreet, analyst, and Lisa Salters, sideline reporter.
    • Saturday Night Football crew
    • Three games: Oklahoma vs. Texas, 2010 Rose Bowl, and 2010 BCS National Championship Game.
  • Pam Ward, play-by-play, and Ray Bentley, analyst.
    • ESPN crew
    • One game: Wake Forest-Georgia Tech.

Game schedules

Typical games

Games that are shown every year on ABC include Oklahoma–Texas and Ohio State–Michigan.

Notre Dame-USC, Notre Dame-Michigan State and Florida-Florida State are broadcast every other year on ABC.

ABC's bowl coverage consists of the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. It will also include the Liberty Bowl in 2011.


Since 1981, ABC has aired College Football Countdown before the slate of games at 3:00 pm ET with the studio crew.

While ABC has exclusive rights to the BCS bowl games from 1998 to 2005,[9] they aired a Bowl Championship Series Selection Show after Championship Weekend ended on the Sunday after the games.[10]

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ESPN College Football — is the branding used for broadcasts of NCAA Division I FBS college football across ESPN properties, including ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, and ESPN Radio. ESPN College Football debuted in 1982. Contents 1 Coverage overview 1.1 Major… …   Wikipedia

  • College Football on ABC — is a presentation of the college football television package on the American Broadcasting Company. The television network broadcasts games of all the major conferences of Division I A NCAA football except Southeastern Conference Past historyABC… …   Wikipedia

  • ESPN College Football broadcast teams — The ESPN College Football Broadcast Teams are listed in the table below, including games broadcast on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU,, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN 3D, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, and ESPN Radio. Note: All ABC split… …   Wikipedia

  • ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime — Infobox Television | show name=College Football Primetime format = college football runtime = 3 hours (approximate) starring = Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe country = USA network = ESPN (1984 ) first aired = 1984 last aired =… …   Wikipedia

  • ESPN College Football Thursday Primetime — Infobox Television | show name=College Football Primetime format = college football runtime = 3 hours (approximate) starring = Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, and Erin Andrews country = USA network = ESPN first aired = last aired =… …   Wikipedia

  • College Football on ABC results — All rankings are from that week s AP Poll or BCS standings. Contents 1 2011 Schedule 2 2010 Schedule 3 2009 Schedule 4 References …   Wikipedia

  • College Basketball on ABC — Genre Sports Starring Brent Musburger Steve Lavin Brad Nessler Jimmy Dykes Mike Patrick Len Elmore Karl Ravech Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • College football on television — includes the broadcasting of college football games, as well as pre and post game reports, analysis, and human interest stories. Within the United States, the college version of American football annually garners high television ratings. College… …   Wikipedia

  • College Football Final — Format College Football Starring Rece Davis Lou Holtz Mark May Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • College Football Scoreboard — Format College Football Starring Rece Davis Lou Holtz Mark May Wendi Nix Todd McShay Robert Smith Country of origin …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.