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Fox Experiments On CFB Broadcast

When UM plays at FAU at 8 p.m. Friday, the announcers calling the game for Fox Sports 1 will be 2700 miles away, sitting in a studio in Century City, a neighborhood in Los Angeles’ Westside.

This type of arrangement isn’t unusual for international soccer broadcasts or NBA games held overseas. But it’s highly unusual for college football.

So why is Fox having Rob Stone, Dave Wannstedt and Matt Leinart announce both Thursday’s Louisiana Tech-Western Kentucky game and Friday’s UM-FAU game from a studio in California?

Two reasons:

### The network wants to give Wannstedt and Leinart an opportunity to be game analysts, but it would be difficult if not impossible for them to work Friday’s game in Boca Raton and then be back in Los Angeles to handle their main job as Fox college studio analysts on a 4 p.m. pre-game show.

With Wannstedt having worked at UM, “he was a no-brainer to use [on this game],” said Brad Zager, Fox’s vice president of remote operations. “We have a group in studio that could really call a good game.”

Sideline reporter Petros Papadakis will be Fox’s only on-air presence at Friday’s game.

### Zager said handling game production from the studio — as well as keeping the announcers there — allows Fox to use additional technical toys.

“We can use virtual graphics, stuff that isn’t available on a Conference USA broadcast,” Zager said. “Wannstedt can draw plays on a greaseboard and Leinart can do demonstrations.”

Fox insists this isn’t an attempt to save money and Zager said Fox won’t attempt to conceal that the announcers are in California.

“It’s an experiment,” Zager said. “Can we do a college game and have the viewer not lose anything by having the announcers and camera in studio? It’s an opportunity to see if it’s something that works.”

Credit to the Miami Herald who originally published this piece