College Gameday Expands to Three Hours; Erin Andrews Gets Expanded Role

ESPN incorporates two announcements in one press release. First, Erin Andrews is returning to ESPN, something we’ve been discussing for the past two weeks. It’s been confirmed by ESPN today to USA Today’s Michael Hiestand. Erin will be a host host the first hour of College Gameday which will run Saturdays during college football season on ESPNU at 9 a.m. ET. Then the show runs as normal on ESPN at 10 a.m. In addition, Erin will do work on Good Morning on non-sports stories.

But this release talks about College Gameday expanding to three hours and it will also be simulcast on ESPN Radio. And because of the expanded Gameday, host Chris Fowler won’t be able to call Thursday night college games, that responsibility will go to Rece Davis. Anyway, here’s the release in its full glory.

College GameDay Expands to Three Hours

  • ESPNU to Televise First Hour of Expanded Show
  • Erin Andrews Adds College GameDay, Good Morning America to Sideline Reporting Role
  • ESPN Radio to Simulcast College GameDay for First Time
  • College GameDay on ESPN Radio to Originate from ESPN’s College GameDay Site
  • Chris Fowler and John Saunders Add Weekday Hosting Duties
  • Play-by-play Commentator Rece Davis, Reporter Jenn Brown Added to Thursday Night Games
ESPN’s two-time Emmy Award winning College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will expand to a three-hour format and now be aired from 9 a.m. to noon ET, providing an extra hour of college football analysis, news and features every Saturday during the season beginning Sept. 4.
ESPNU will televise the new first hour of the popular show — originating from the site of the day’s best game or the game with the most compelling storyline — from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. From 10 a.m. to noon, GameDay will continue to air on ESPN. The first site of the season is yet to be announced. Each location throughout the year will generally be determined on the preceding Monday.
The three-hour College GameDay will feature show host Chris Fowler with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. Also, Erin Andrews will join the College GameDay lineup, anchoring several segments during the first hour on ESPNU, and contributing reports, interviews and features during the ESPN portion of the show.
As part of her role, Andrews will also work as the sideline reporter on the game from which College GameDay originates from, if the game is on an ESPN network (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc.). In addition to her responsibilities across ESPN platforms, Andrews will provide select reports on ABC’s Good Morning America throughout the year.
“Millions of fans can start their college football Saturdays an hour earlier and the ever-expanding ESPNU offers the perfect home for more award-winning College GameDay,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “As part of the new lineup, we’re thrilled to announce an enhanced role for Erin Andrews that includes GameDay, while some of our most prominent college football personalities will have new and expanded responsibilities.”
College GameDay and College GameDay on ESPN Radio
For the first time, ESPN Radio will simulcast the television version of College GameDay (9 a.m.-noon). In addition, every remote edition of College GameDay on ESPN Radio – Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m. — will now originate from the same site as ESPN’s College GameDay. The program – hosted by Ryen Russillo with analysts Trevor Matich and Brad Edwards – is scheduled to travel to eight regular-season games in 2010.
ESPN’s Thursday night series and studio coverage
Rece Davis, who will continue to anchor ESPN’s daylong Saturday studio coverage with analysts Lou Holtz and Mark May, will assume play-by-play responsibilities for ESPN’s popular weekly Thursday night ESPN College Football Primetime game series. He will join returning analysts Craig James and Jesse Palmer. Jenn Brown will join the Thursday team as the sideline reporter.
As part of ESPN’s year-round commitment to college sports and the Bowl Championship Series, Chris Fowler — adding to his extensive duties with ESPN — will host College Football Live and contribute college football content to SportsCenter on Mondays and Tuesdays during the season. John Saunders, who will continue to anchor Saturday pregame, halftime and postgame studio segments on ABC with analyst Jesse Palmer, will also host College Football Live and studio coverage around game telecasts every Thursday and Friday on ESPN and ESPN2.
College Football Live, the weekday college football studio show providing in-depth analysis, news, interviews and more – is aired generally at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN through the conclusion of the BCS National Championship Game.
College GameDay
College GameDay — entering its 24th season and 18th season of originating from a game – won the 2009 and 2007 Studio Show Weekly Sports Emmy and was the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award, given by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Awards Committee in 2006. Fowler will begin his 21st season as host of the show. Corso has been affiliated with the show since its first year while Herbstreit – who won a Sports Emmy as best Studio Show Analyst in 2009 — will begin his 15th year and Howard his fifth.
The 2009 College GameDay season was the most-viewed ever for the program, averaging 1,711,000 households, 2,034,000 viewers and a 1.7 rating for increases of 14 percent (vs. 1,504,000), 12 percent (vs. 1,815,000) and 13 percent (vs. 1.5) over 2008. The previous high was set in 2007.

That’s it.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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