ESPN Adds Seven More Hours of SportsCenter on ESPNEWS
SportsCenter addicts will now have seven more hours to get their fix as ESPN has announced that its flagship program will expand by seven hours each weekday on ESPNEWS. Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, ESPNEWS will offer live SportsCenter programs from 3-6 and 7-11 p.m. ET.
The 24-hour sports news network will continue to present 30-minute news and highlights blocks the rest of the day, outside of the SportsCenter windows. The new ESPNEWS editions will supplement SportsCenter on ESPN, which airs live on weekdays generally from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at 6 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. (reaired 2-9 a.m.), and on weekends.
As part of the expansion, SportsCenter on ESPNEWS will feature increased integration with ESPN.com, particularly in the 3-6 p.m. block. Examples will include television segments incorporating ESPN’s local Websites (ESPNBoston.com, ESPNNewYork.com, ESPNLosAngeles.com, ESPNChicago.com and ESPNDallas.com); interactive polls; fan videos and photos; social media content from fans and athletes; and viewer Q&As with ESPN commentators. ESPN also plans to produce SportsCenter-branded videos for ESPN.com.
“SportsCenter is our flagship franchise and we’re always looking for new and effective ways to strengthen it,” says Norby Williamson, ESPN EVP, production. “These steps will increase the show’s live TV presence, connect with sports fans in the digital space and provide dynamic new sales opportunities. We’re showcasing SportsCenter within primetime television hours and during an active time for online traffic.”
Cindy Brunson and Robert Flores will serve as primary co-hosts for the 3-6 p.m. SportsCenter block. The anchor team from ESPN’s 6 p.m. show will also work the 7-8 p.m. hour on ESPNEWS, while the 8-11 p.m. SportsCenter window on ESPNEWS will primarily be co-hosted by Linda Cohn and Kevin Negandhi.
ESPN also believes that this new format will create new advertising elements that integrate packages with SportsCenter on ESPN.com and sponsor-able, commercial-free hours within the new programming blocks.