The ratings success for football this fall has been well documented here and elsewhere. The people at CBS Sports are looking forward to it’s final big act of the season when it telecasts the SEC Championship Game this Saturday (4pm ET).
“Obviously the season has turned out exactly the way we would have wanted it if we had written the script back in September.” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports referring to the match-up of #1 Florida vs. #2 Alabama., “All we need now is one more terrific game to put an end to what, for us, has been one of the most successful college football seasons in recent memory.”
This season CBS has seen it’s ratings jump by nearly 25% from a year ago and those numbers translate to the highest college football ratings for the network in nearly ten years.
“The timing is good because it’s at the beginning of our new 15 year deal with the SEC.” said McManus, “So its good to have a really good jumping -off point when you’re starting a new contract.”
Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson will call the game for CBS with Tracy Wolfson on the sidelines. Both Lundquist and Danielson believe that despite this being a rematch of last season’s championship tilt, there is no indication that Florida and Alabama will continue to dominate the conference…and television has a lot to do with that.
“More players are going to gravitate to this league (because of the television coverage) meaning the rest of the league is going to get better.” said Danielson.
“I think that’s where you’re gonna see the benefits of this television package because it is a national window for the SCC with CBS on Saturday afternoon and ESPN on Saturday night.” said Lundquist, ” I think that will strengthen all the members (of the SEC)”
College football coordinating producer Craig Silver said the championship game coverage will consist of 15 cameras, 12 replay angles, and 2 graphics machines, the same compliment as used during the regular season.
“We try to take the game that’s in front of us…do our normal preparation, and use all the facilities we have at our disposal.” said Silver
Because it is the marquis college football game on its schedule CBS is bringing it’s College Football Today pre-game show on site (3pm ET), with Tim Brando as host with Spencer Tillman, Archie Manning, and Tony Barnhart lending analysis.
CBS College Sports will kick off the day’s coverage with its SEC Tailgate show beginning at 12Noon ET and will end it with it’s post game show at 8pm with Phillip Fulmer, Brian Jones, Sam Ryan, and Dave Baker.
Taking the lead from the success of it’s streaming coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the game will also be streamed live on CBS Sports.com as well as CBS Sports mobile.