ESPN to show 75 college football games in movie theaters this season, including NY6 bowls


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ESPN will broadcast 75 college games in movie theaters this fall.

A partnership with the Theater Sports Network announced Tuesday will expand from last season’s plan, which put the College Football Playoff semifinals and title game in theaters as a partnership with Cinemark. This year, the partnership will mostly feature games involving ACC teams but has expanded to include every New Year’s Six bowl game, plus the College Football Playoff semifinals and national championship.

“We believe movie theaters are the next great frontier for live sporting events, and we are elated with this unprecedented agreement with ESPN,” Scott Daw, the president and COO of Theater Sports Network, said in a release. “We believe that theaters have the ability to generate excitement around live sporting events. These events will replicate the feel of a football stadium experience as fans gather and fill theaters to watch the games on the big screen. As we move forward, we hope to add games from additional college football conferences as well as other live sporting events.”

In Week 1, Virginia’s game in Nashville against Tennessee, North Carolina’s rivalry game with South Carolina, LSU’s top-10 showdown against Florida State and Clemson’s Labor Day prime-time trip to Duke will all be available. More details and more games can be found at

Will fans buy in?

This is a very new concept for not just college football fans but sports fans. Last year’s theater experiences didn’t generate much buzz nationally, but sports are inherently communal and watch parties are a big part of the sport. Could those move to dark theaters and become college football’s newest tradition? It’s an interesting idea, but getting fans to take the first step and try it out may be the most difficult part.

Required reading

(Photo: Rich Barnes / USA Today)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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