On Monday, the National Football League will be airing not one, but two Monday Night Football games on different networks. The first game of the double-header will feature the Buffalo Bills hosting the Tennessee Titans in a game that will kick off on ESPN at 6:15 PM Central. Then, starting at 7:30 PM Central on ABC, the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and our Minnesota Vikings will get underway.
According to Rob Tornoe of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the league is going to do something different during these broadcasts.
During portions of both broadcasts, ESPN will activate a double-box view that will allow live look-ins of each game, with SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt offering highlights and updates for both. There will also be a second scorebug of Vikings-Eagles on ESPN and Titans-Bills on ABC to keep fans in the loop.
During halftime of both games, host Suzy Kolber and analyst Booger McFarland will go over highlights and offer live game action look-ins. Once Titans-Bills ends, ESPN will cut to SportsCenter hosted by Van Pelt, who will offer extended looks at the last quarter of Vikings-Eagles.
Tornoe likens the double box to what we see each week on the Red Zone Channel. That means that, if big things are happening in the other game, people won’t have to flip back and forth to be able to see them.
It will be interesting to see how this works for the networks. As Tornoe points out, while this is the only MNF doubleheader on the schedule for this year, the league will be doing three of them next season and this will likely serve as a bit of a trial run to make sure people know how things work.
Hopefully the new innovations won’t detract too much from the important stuff, like being able to keep track of what’s happening in the Vikings/Eagles game.