Seen on Screen: PLL Makes Comeback With Two-Week Tourney in July; ESPN Pushes Up Release Dates of Three 30 for 30s
Seen on Screen provides a roundup of the current sports programming landscape as networks deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In this week’s edition, major networks like NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and ESPN are combating the silence of no live sports with previously-released, taped, or archival content. Many networks have also continued producing live studio content – often with on-air talent located remotely.
The Premier Lacrosse League is returning with the launch of the PLL Championship Series Powered by Ticketmaster, a two-week quarantined and fanless tournament scheduled to run from July 25 to August 9.
PLL Championship Series will take shape in two parts. Throughout the first week, the league’s seven teams will compete in a fourteen-game group play format to determine seeding for the following week’s single-elimination tournament. The winner of the tournament will be crowned the 2020 PLL Champion. All twenty league games will be presented live across NBC, NBCSN, or NBC Sports Gold, with all televised games also streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
To guarantee the safety of tournament participants and staff, the PLL has formed a COVID-19 Medical Committee that will consist of multiple physicians, including infectious disease experts. Throughout the duration of the tournament, the PLL will implement regular COVID-19 preventative measures and restrict all travel in and out of the selected location (venue TBA at a later date).
The PLL’s 2020 league season was originally scheduled to start on May 29th in Foxborough, MA., but was postponed indefinitely last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic…
…ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series is premiering three new documentaries that will air on Sundays in May and June. Following the airing of final episodes of the record-breaking documentary series, The Last Dance, ESPN will air LANCE, Be Water, and Long Gone Summer. The films will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after their respective premieres, along with the rest of the 30 for 30 library.
Leading the slate on Sunday, May 24 will be part one of the two-part film, LANCE, which features unprecedented access to Armstrong through raw interviews and personal perspective on his full story, the inspiring rise and dramatic fall from grace. Lance is directed by Marina Zenovich. Part two will premiere the following Sunday, May 31.
Bao Nguyen’s film, Be Water, an intimate and very personal look at the life and purpose that motivated Bruce Lee, the martial artist trailblazer and pop culture icon, will debut on Sunday, June 7.
Finally, on June 14, AJ Schnack’s, Long Gone Summer, chronicles Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s storied 1998 home run chase following the 1994 MLB strike. For the first time, both men discuss that summer at length, including its lasting legacy and undeniable complications…
…May’s American Cornhole League (ACL) Pro Invitational Qualifier, ACL Cornhole Mania 2020, will be televised live from Rock Hill, SC this Saturday, May 9. The event will be held at the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center.
The doubles competition at ACL Cornhole Mania 2020 is slated for 12 to 2 p.m. ET on ESPN, with singles in primetime on ESPN2 from 6 – 8 p.m.
In recent weeks, the ACL pivoted to virtual and digital competition, with more than 60,000 ACL registered players having the option to compete via ACL Virtual and Facebook Live to keep their skills sharp while staying at home.
ESPN and the ACL signed a multi-year deal in summer 2017, and the league hosts competitions and tournaments across the amateur, collegiate, and professional ranks with thousands of players taking part every year…
…Inspired by the extraordinary acts of heroism and humanitarian aid happening around the world, The 2020 ESPYS will shift its customary focus from outstanding athletic achievement in order to further highlight narratives of service, perseverance, and courage from within the world of sports. ESPN will celebrate the year in sports with The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One airing June 21 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
Details of the show continue to evolve with production underway, but the two-hour produced program will underscore sport’s continued role in bringing us together, encouraging resilience, providing joy, and inspiring hope. The 2020 ESPYS will preserve several core elements of the annual show, including the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service, and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. Additionally, the show will include the Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, with several key awards including the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, among others.
Due to safety concerns surrounding any large gatherings, ESPN has canceled the live events for The 2020 ESPYS and the sixth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards. Additional information regarding The 2020 ESPYS will be announced at a later date.