Thursday, April 16, 2009

The McBoard? ESPN's Draft Coverage Should be Fun

ESPN’s 30th NFL Draft Telecast
Berman, Johnson, Kiper, Mortensen and Young Lead Coverage from Radio City
Chris Berman, Mel Kiper, Jr., and a team of hosts, analysts and reporters will be a part of ESPN’s 30th consecutive year of televising the NFL Draft (April 25-26) from Radio City Music Hall in New York. The 16 hours of planned live coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 over two days will be supplemented by Draft-related content on multiple ESPN platforms throughout the weekend, including ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS and ESPN.com.

Berman and Kiper, working their 29th and 26th NFL Drafts for ESPN, respectively, will team with analysts Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Young on the main set from Radio City on Day 1. NFL Live host Trey Wingo and first-year analyst Herm Edwards, as well as NFL insider Chris Mortensen, will report from additional set locations in the hall, while reporter Erin Andrews will conduct green room and post-pick interviews with the prospects invited to the Draft. Also, ESPN Scouts Inc. director of college scouting Todd McShay will be a major contributor to the coverage from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.

SportsCenter Special: On the Clock at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, April 25, will kickoff ESPN’s comprehensive coverage. The five-hour pre-Draft line-up will include Monday Night Football’s Mike Tirico hosting with Suzy Kolber and analysts Cris Carter, Trent Dilfer, Tom Jackson and Ron Jaworski, College GameDay’s Kirk Herbstreit, McShay, and correspondent Michael Smith in Bristol.

The focus will shift to Berman and the crew in Radio City in the 3 p.m. hour before the NFL Draft telecast officially begins at 4 p.m. ESPN’s Day 1 coverage will switch to ESPN2 at 9 p.m. through the conclusion of round 2.

ESPN will televise all eight hours on Day 2 (Sunday, April 26, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) with Wingo hosting from Radio City with Edwards, Jaworski, Kiper and Mortensen. Kolber will co-host from Bristol and be joined by Carter, Dilfer, Jackson, McShay, and Smith.

What’s New in 2009:
  • Draft telecast will be presented in high definition for the first time (ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD);
  • Redesigned compression format will present information along the bottom of the screen and on the right-side HD bar (no graphics on left-side HD bar), offering a true 16x9 presentation;
  • McShay will use a perceptive pixel touch screen (aka “the McBoard”) to react to picks and to identify best available players and player movement scenarios;
  • McShay and Kiper discussion segments will be part of coverage both days;
  • Former NFL head coach Herm Edwards will offer analysis both days in his first draft for ESPN;
  • ESPN Axis technology will highlight players’ abilities and how their skills will translate to the NFL;
  • EA Virtual Playbook segments with Jackson will identify NFL teams’ personnel needs and how draftees will fill specific needs in the pros;
  • Five-hour SportsCenter Special (Sat., Apr. 25, 11 a.m.) before Draft telecast kicks off at 4 p.m.

As part of its extensive NFL Draft coverage, ESPN will dispatch reporters throughout the weekend to team sites across the country for all the latest updates and reactions, including: Pedro Gomez (at Arizona), Rachel Nichols (Detroit), Wendi Nix (New England), Sal Paolantonio (N.Y. Jets-Day 1/Philadelphia-Day 2) and Ed Werder (Denver). Also, ESPN’s Los Angeles-based correspondent Shelley Smith will be with USC quarterback and projected first-round pick Mark Sanchez, who will be with his family in Southern California on draft day. Sanchez is one of many draftees whom ESPN will be tracking and speaking with beyond Radio City during the telecast.

ESPN NFL Draft TV schedule (Apr. 25-26):
Sat., Apr. 25 11 a.m. ET SportsCenter Special: On the Clock (ESPN)
1 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock (ESPN2)
3:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock (ESPN/simulcast on ESPN2)
4 p.m. 2009 NFL Draft (ESPN)
9 p.m. 2009 NFL Draft (ESPN2)

Sun., Apr. 26 10 a.m. 2009 NFL Draft - Day 2 (ESPN)
ESPNEWS
ESPNEWS will supplement its traditional multisport news coverage on Saturday, April 25 with eight hours (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.) of “On the Clock” team-by-team draft previews, analyzing one NFL division per hour -- 10 minutes per team concluding with the Detroit Lions. Mike Hill will host the first four hours with McShay and director of NFL scouting Jeremy Green of ESPN Scouts Inc., NFL analyst Qadry Ismail and Palmer. Kevin Connors will host from noon – 4 p.m. with Green, NFL analyst Marcellus Wiley and college football analyst Brock Huard.

When the Draft telecast begins on ESPN at 4 p.m., ESPNEWS will provide expanded coverage -- along with highlights, news and information from other sports events of the day -- with host Suzy Kolber and analysts Carter, Dilfer, Jackson and college football analyst Jesse Palmer providing analysis and reactions to picks for the first two hours. From 6 p.m. to midnight, hosts Rece Davis, Jonathan Coachman and J.W. Stewart will be joined by Eric Allen, Pat Forde, James Hasty and Huard for interviews with coaches, general managers and draftees, as well as updates and analysis through the second round.

On Day 2, draft-related content on ESPNEWS kicks off at 1 p.m. with Ismail and Allen and will continue throughout the day. ESPNEWS will highlight the NFL Draft winners and losers on Monday, April 27 at noon.

ESPNEWS “On the Clock” Team-by-Team Divisional Previews:
AFC East: Dolphins (8 a.m.), Patriots (8:15), Jets (8:30), Bills (8:45)
NFC East: Giants (9 a.m.), Eagles (9:15), Cowboys (9:30), Redskins (9:45)
AFC South: Titans (10 a.m.), Colts (10:15), Texans (10:30), Jaguars (10:45)
NFC South: Panthers (11 a.m.), Falcons (11:15), Buccaneers (11:30), Saints (11:45)
AFC West: Chargers (12 p.m.), Broncos (12:15), Raiders (12:30), Chiefs (12:45)
NFC West: Cardinals (1 p.m.), 49ers (1:15), Seahawks (1:30), Rams (1:45)
AFC North: Steelers (2 p.m.), Ravens (2:15), Bengals (2:30), Browns (2:45)
NFC North: Vikings (3 p.m.), Bears (3:15), Packers (3:30), Lions (3:45)

ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman and ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton will host ESPN Radio’s NFL Draft Day 1 coverage from Radio City Music Hall, joined by Ryen Rusillo from the network’s Bristol, Conn., studios. Day 1 coverage begins at 3 p.m. and will continue through the second round of the draft including interviews with top players and other newsmakers. Jon Stashower will host the ESPN Radio Draft Preview Show from 1-3 p.m. ET on Saturday.

ESPN’s 2009 NFL Draft Lineup:
ESPN – Day 1:
Radio City Music Hall in New York City –
  • Set #1: Chris Berman, Keyshawn Johnson, Mel Kiper Jr. and Steve Young
  • Set #2: Trey Wingo and Herm Edwards
  • Stage set: Chris Mortensen
  • Reporter: Erin Andrews
Bristol, Conn. –
  • Perceptive Pixel touch screen: Todd McShay
  • SportsCenter Special: On the Clock (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.): Mike Tirico, Suzy Kolber, Cris Carter, Trent Dilfer, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski, McShay and Michael Smith
NFL Team Sites –
  • Reporters Pedro Gomez (at Arizona), Rachel Nichols (Detroit), Wendi Nix (New England), Sal Paolantonio (N.Y. Jets/Philadelphia-Day 2) and Ed Werder (Denver)
ESPN – Day 2:
  • Radio City Music Hall: Wingo, Edwards, Jaworski, Kiper, and Mortensen
  • Bristol: Kolber, Carter, Dilfer, Jackson, McShay, and Smith
ESPN Radio:
  • Freddie Coleman and John Clayton will host Day 1 coverage from Radio City Music Hall; Ryen Rusillo will also join from Bristol. Jon Stashower will host the ESPN Radio Draft Preview Show
ESPNEWS:
  • Mike Hill and Kevin Connors will host “On the Clock” previews with McShay, Jeremy Green, Brock Huard, Qadry Ismail, Jesse Palmer and Marcellus Wiley beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Apr. 25
  • Suzy Kolber will host expanded draft coverage with Carter, Dilfer, Jackson and Palmer (4-6 p.m.)

Courtesy ESPN PR

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