College football fans interested in how a game is produced will get a chance to see the inner workings on Saturday during CBS Sports Network’s coverage of the game between Middle Tennessee and Marshall.
The game will be streamed on Facebook. Because commercials are not aired on the platform during breaks in the action, CBS will show what goes on inside the production truck, as well as showing features on the preparation that goes into a broadcast. CBS is calling the broadcast “TV 101.”
Steve Karasik, the network’s VP, Remote Production, said that the broadcast is challenging because there are no commercial breaks for the production and broadcast crews, but that it gives them an opportunity to do something they normally don’t have the chance to do.
“It lets us do all these ancillary things without impacting the game coverage,” he said. “We don’t want to disappoint those fans who are tuning in to watch the game. The main thing is still covering the game.”
This will be the third Conference USA football game that CBS has done for Facebook this season. They did 12 football and basketball games last year and showcased different things, from interactive polls to Instagram videos shot at team events.
There will be cameras inside the truck while game producer Bill Thayer and director Dan Reagan will be wearing microphones. During media timeouts, sideline reporter John Schriffen will explain the different responsibilities that people in the production truck have during games and explain how decisions are made.
Audio of Thayer and Reagan’s decisions during one drive of the game will also be televised. Dave Ryan and Corey Chavous will be the announcers.
Schriffen said the broadcast is a good way to peel back the curtain and give fans a virtual tour of what is going on. A social media producer will also be at the game to provide the crew with feedback from fans.
“I’m looking forward to the fan interaction because it is something we have never had with a TV broadcast,” he said. “We will see what gets them excited about the game and what goes on behind the scenes. Sure we have Twitter during games, but we are not really following it. Here we will be able to see the comments as they come in.”