ESPN has tapped an eclectic cast for its first “MegaCast” coverage of an NFL wild-card playoff game, making a play to acquire new viewers as NFL media rights negotiations are underway.
Specialized coverage of Baltimore Ravens-Tennessee Titans on Jan. 10 will air across six Walt Disney Co. networks — ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, ABC, and Freeform — and feature announcers and analysts from multiple ESPN shows.
ESPN’s Maria Taylor, Jesse Palmer and unannounced special guests will target younger fans with a “Watch Party” on Disney’s Freeform channel, and include pop culture conversations alongside game commentary.
DJ Khaled, who hinted in a tweet that he has “surprises” in store, will perform at halftime during the Freeform broadcast. The Grammy-winning artist is known for his collaborations with superstars like Drake and Beyoncé.
The network will tap its more traditional NFL talent for the other broadcasts, including a betting and analytics-focused ESPN+ stream.
ViacomCBS plans to air its own Jan. 10 wild-card game on Nickelodeon with special effects like slime and virtual filters.