ESPN and Disney are switching up their strategy heading into the holiday season. First, ESPN will work with their Disney colleagues at ABC to simulcast two Monday Night Football games in December. Second, the worldwide sports leader will simulcast their annual NFL Wild Card weekend matchup on Freeform, Disney’s network targeted towards millennial audiences. The NFL playoff game will also be shown on ESPN 2, ABC and ESPN Deportes. However, the broadcasts on Freeform and ESPN 2 will not be the same as those on ESPN and ABC. In the past, ESPN “megacasts” have featured looser commentary on a variety of different channels.
ESPN is not alone in its efforts to diversify its viewing audience. NBC will stream a playoff game on the paid tier of their Peacock streaming service. Meanwhile, CBS will broadcast a playoff game on the kids network Nickelodeon.
ESPN’s playoff broadcast will air on either January 9, 2021 or January 10, 2021. The main broadcast team will be led by Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters, Steve Levy, Brian Griese and John Parry. As for their Monday Night Football simulcasts, the first edition will air on December 7 with the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. The second edition will air on December 28 with the Bills and New England Patriots.