Seen on Screen: ESPN, the CFL, Soccer Superstar, and More
ESPN will televise 20 Canadian Football League (CFL) games, including the 103rd Grey Cup championship, this year, and an additional 69 games will be available on online streaming service ESPN3. The 89-game schedule is part of a multiyear agreement that grants ESPN exclusive rights to present the league’s games in the U.S. The schedule kicked off with three preseason contests on ESPN3, beginning Friday June 12 with defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders defeating the BC Lions. Regular-season games begin Thursday June 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
…With the 2015 Canadian Football League season set to kick off, TSN launches original series CFL Around the Table, a forum for discussion and debate of hot-button issues around the league. Modeled on fan-favorite RDS series Table d’Hôte and hosted by CFL on TSN’s Rod Smith, each 30-minute episode features four CFL personalities sharing memories and personal anecdotes about their experiences in the league.
…Soon after the crowning of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Nickelodeon will present Soccer Superstar, a four-night reality competition that follows the coast-to-coast search for the next best teen female soccer player. Airing Wednesday-Saturday July 8-11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, during the NickSports TV block on Nicktoons, Soccer Superstar is hosted by three-time soccer Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts and features a panel of all-star judges: National Soccer Hall of Famer Marcelo Balboa, two-time Olympic gold medalist Angela Hucles, and youth-development expert Dan Metcalfe. Produced by Kristopher Lythgoe (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance), the show also features interviews with soccer professionals — including members of this year’s U.S. Women’s World Cup team Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Amy Rodriguez — and training challenges led by former soccer professionals Lorrie Fair, Cobi Jones, and Mario Melchiot and Olympic Beach Volleyball silver medalists Jen Kessy and April Ross. Fifteen players on the Final Squad are judged on training, competitive games, and challenges on the field (penalty kicks, kick-ups, multistage fitness test) and off the field (ballet, beach volleyball).
…NBC Sports will kick off its coverage of the 2015 Dew Tour season Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, featuring many of the world’s best skateboard and BMX athletes. NBC Sports Group will offer four hours of coverage on NBC and more than 10 hours on NBC Sports Live Extra and DewTour.com. In addition, NBC Universo will provide Spanish-language coverage at the same time. The Dew Tour returns to Chicago after a five-year hiatus and features the streetstyle competition created by the Dew Tour three years ago. The event takes place at Grant Park Skate Plaza.
…The latest installment of the YES Network’s Emmy-winning Yankeeography: Moments of Glory series, which premiered Tuesday following Yankees postgame coverage, highlights Scott Brosius’s MVP performance during the 1998 World Series. Traded to the Yankees after struggling through a sub-par 1997 season at the Oakland A’s, Brosius proved to be an explosive asset during his first season in pinstripes, batting .300 with 19 home runs and a career-high 98 RBIs in the regular season. His clutch play for the Yankees continued in the 1998 postseason and reached a peak during the World Series.
…On Saturday June 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET, PBC on NBC returns to primetime from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, featuring a highly anticipated showdown between former titleholders Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-1, 22 KOs) and “Showtime” Shawn Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs), fighting at a catch weight of 144 lb. Coverage begins with the undefeated Errol Spence Jr. (16-0, 13 KOs) vs. veteran Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs) in a welterweight bout. Blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert and analysts Sugar Ray Leonard and B.J. Flores call the action. Al Michaels hosts, current middleweight titleholder Daniel Jacobs serves as a corner analyst in his PBC on NBC debut, and Kenny Rice reports from ringside. After the NBC show, live boxing continues on NBCSN at 11 p.m.
…Versus, a short-film series from ESPN Films and executive-produced by Eva Longoria, is premiering four titles this year. The series launched May 8 with “Go Sebastien Go!,” directed by Longoria, and will roll out one a month through September. The films feature female NBA referee Violet Palmer, figure skater Surya Bonaly and her one-bladed back flip, former NFL star Jim Plunkett, and the story of Jennifer Bricker, a gymnast born without legs who discovered that her hero, Dominique Moceanu, was her biological sister. Each film debuts on a Friday episode of SportsCenter and then is available for viewing on the ESPN Versus Website.