Seen on Screen: Fox Sports To Celebrate 25th MLB Season; ESPN Releases WNBA Schedule at IMG Academy
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.
Fox Sports returns to the field as America’s Home for Baseball with the release of its complete regular season broadcast lineup. As it celebrates its 25th season, the network continues to connect fans to the Major League Baseball’s marquee events and biggest moments, including its 23rd year as the exclusive home of the World Series.
The network opens its season on Saturday, July 25 with its first-ever quadruple-header. The daylong marathon begins with pregame coverage at 12:30 PM ET, bringing fans expert analysis and up-to-the-minute news from around the league. Game coverage starts at 1:00 PM ET as the Milwaukee Brewers head to Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Cubs. An in-state rivalry matchup between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers follows at 4:00 PM ET, and the New York Yankees and reigning champion Washington Nationals complete the opening slate on Fox at 7:00 PM ET. Rounding out Fox Sports’ Opening Day, the San Diego Padres welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks at 9:00 PM ET on FS1.
The network’s regular season lineup is highlighted by a collaboration with MLB, bringing the 1989 Oscar nominee “Field of Dreams” to life. On Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7:00 PM ET on Fox and Fox Deportes, the Chicago White Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals, in the first-of-its-kind event, on the Dyersville, Iowa farm site where the classic film was shot. A special edition of the network’s highly acclaimed pregame show begins at 6:00 PM ET on FS1 before shifting to Fox at 6:30 PM ET. Additional details around the event will be announced at a later date.
Highlighted by 22 total games on broadcast, regionalized action on Fox begins Thursday, July 30 with a pair of games featuring the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets in addition to the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins at 7:00 PM ET.
The network will announce its full regular season slate, inclusive of all FS1 and Fox Deportes matchups, Postseason schedule and on-air talent lineup at a later date.
Click HERE for a full schedule…
…ESPN’s WNBA schedule will open on July 25, with a doubleheader featuring No. 1 draft pick Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty vs. legend Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm at noon ET on ESPN, followed by Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks vs. Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury at 3 p.m. on ABC. Opening weekend continues on Sunday, July 26, with another double-header featuring Connecticut Sun vs. Minnesota Lynx at Noon, on ESPN, and Chicago Sky vs. Las Vegas Aces at 3 p.m., on ABC.
The full slate will feature at least 24 games across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. All games will also be available in the ESPN App.
Additional Highlights of the More than 20-game schedule include:
- Reigning WNBA Champions Washington Mystics on July 30, August 7, and August 13
- Bird and the Seattle Storm set to appear on July 25, July 30, August 4, August 6, August 8, and August 10.
- AP, Citizen Naismith & ESPN.com Player of the Year and No. 1 draft pick Sabrina Ionescu with the New York Liberty make four appearances across regular season schedule.
ESPN commentators will call the games remotely from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus. Booth teams include:
- Play-by-Play Ryan Ruocco and Analyst Rebecca Lobo
- Play-by-Play Pam Ward and Analyst LaChina Robinson
ESPN’s sideline star Holly Rowe will also participate in game coverage, providing insight and storytelling around various games.
There will be the typical six to eight cameras showcasing a multitude of angles on each game, with the use of some robotic cameras implemented to accommodate health and safety protocols related to social distancing. Other production elements will include live coach’s mics and player mics in select games.
Click HERE for the full schedule…
…NBC Sports’ full Premier League match and studio coverage this Wednesday, July 15 will be presented free to all fans on Peacock – NBCUniversal’s new streaming service – as part of its national launch celebration that day.
On July 15, Peacock will be the exclusive home for all free NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage featuring four matches – including newly-crowned champions Liverpool visiting Arsenal at 3:15 p.m. ET – and the full complement of studio programming including prematch, halftime and postgame. In addition, NBC Sports’ six hours of coverage, beginning at Noon ET, on July 15 will be presented without commercial interruption.
In addition, Peacock will present more than 175 exclusive Premier League matches on Peacock Premium in the 2020-21 season, and in total, more than 1,500 hours of Premier League live match and shoulder programming – the most robust offering ever available in the U.S. Included are full-event replays for all 380 matches on-demand (after 9 p.m. ET). All content presented on NBC Sports Gold’s “Premier League Pass” will shift exclusively to Peacock Premium with the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season…
…NBC Sports Group and the Premier Lacrosse League jointly announced the media schedule for the PLL Championship Series, a two-week quarantined and fanless tournament taking place at Zions Bank Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, from July 25 – August 9.
Throughout the first week of the PLL Championship Series, the league’s seven teams will compete in a 14-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 20 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.
Fans will be able to watch four games on NBC, and 10 games on NBCSN. NBC Sports’ presentation of four PLL Championship Series on NBC will mark the most-ever professional lacrosse games on broadcast television over a two-week span.
The opening game of the PLL Championship Series will air on NBC featuring Matt Rambo and the defending champion Whipsnakes LC against Ryder Garnsey and Redwoods LC in a rematch of the inaugural season Championship on Saturday, July 25, at 4 p.m. ET. NBC Sports’ opening day coverage of the tournament continues with the first game on NBCSN when Justin Guterding and Chrome LC face Connor Fields and Chaos LC at 7:30 p.m. ET.
NBC will present a second opening-weekend matchup, highlighted by Paul Rabil and Atlas LC taking on Ryan Drenner and the expansion Waterdogs LC in their first-ever game on Sunday, July 26, at 4 p.m. ET.
The first NBC Sports Gold exclusive game of the PLL Championship Series will be the nightcap on Thursday, July 30, featuring Marcus Holman and Archers LC against Chrome LC at 9:30 p.m. ET.
PLL Championship Series coverage on NBC kicks off the second week of tournament action on Saturday, August 1, when Redwoods LC play Atlas LC at 1 p.m. ET, and concludes with the league’s Championship on Sunday, August 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Click HERE for the full schedule…
…NASCAR announced its schedule of events through the regular-season finale at the end of August, highlighted by its Cup and Xfinity Series telecast schedule on NBC and NBCSN and a pair of races at iconic Daytona International Speedway on NBC.
For the first time, the NASCAR Cup Series will race on the storied road course at Daytona on Sunday, August 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. The NASCAR Cup Series regular-season culminates with drivers’ one last chance to make the Playoffs under the lights on the traditional oval at Daytona on Saturday, August 29, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
NBC Sports will also present Cup Series doubleheaders on NBCSN from Michigan International Speedway (August 8-9) and Dover International Speedway (August 22-23). NASCAR Xfinity Series coverage in August on NBCSN will include races from Road America on August 8, the Daytona Road Course on August 15, a Dover doubleheader on August 22-23, and the Daytona oval on August 28.
Following coverage on FS1 through the NASCAR All-Star race on July 15, NBC Sports resumes its coverage of the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races through the remainder of the season on July 18 and 19 at Texas Motor Speedway on NBCSN, followed by a mid-week Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on July 23 on NBCSN, and Cup Series racing from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 2 on NBCSN.
NBC Sports’ first weekend of the 2020 NASCAR season last Saturday and Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on NBC delivered significant year-over-year viewership gains for the Cup and Xfinity Series. Viewership of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 was up 46% vs. the same race in 2019 and up 32% vs. the Daytona race on the same weekend in 2019. Saturday’s Xfinity Series race viewership was up 21% vs. the Series’ four-race average on NBC in 2019.
Current NBC Sports NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series schedule through August 29:
- Sat., July 18 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Texas 3 p.m. NBCSN
- Sun., July 19 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Texas 3 p.m. NBCSN
- Thurs., July 23 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Kansas 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
- Sat., July 25 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Kansas 5 p.m. NBCSN
- Sun., August 2 NASCAR Cup Series Race – New Hampshire 3 p.m. NBCSN
- Sat., August 8 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Road America Noon NBCSN
- Sat., August 8 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Michigan 4 p.m. NBCSN
- Sun., August 9 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Michigan 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
- Sat., August 15 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Daytona Road Course 3 p.m. NBCSN
- Sun., August 16 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Daytona Road Course 3 p.m. NBC
- Sat., August 22 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Dover 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
- Sat., August 22 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Dover 4 p.m. NBCSN
- Sun., August 23 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Dover 1 p.m. NBCSN
- Sun., August 23 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Dover 4 p.m. NBCSN
- Fri., August 28 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Daytona 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
- Sat., August 29 NASCAR Cup Series Race – Daytona 7:30 p.m. NBC…
…NBC Sports has announced its television schedule for the 2020 MotoGP season on NBC and NBCSN, beginning with the Spanish Grand Prix from Circuito de Jerez on Sunday, July 19 at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Four races will air live on NBCSN, beginning with the Andalucia Grand Prix at Circuito de Jerez on Sunday, July 26 at 7:30 a.m. ET. Additionally, NBCSN will host live coverage of the Czech Grand Prix from Automotodrom Brno on Sunday, August 9, at 7:30 a.m. ET; the Austrian Grand Prix from Red Bull Ring – Spielberg on Sunday, August 16, at 7:30 a.m. ET; and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Sunday, September 20, at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Two races are slated to air on NBC: the Teruel Grand Prix from Motorland Aragon on Sunday, October 25, at 4:30 p.m. ET, and the Comunitat Valencia Grand Prix from Comunitat Valencia – Ricardo Tomo on Sunday, November 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET. All race coverage that airs on NBC and NBCSN will stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Live coverage of all races will continue to stream on motogp.tv, both live and OnDemand, as will each and every session of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. Full WorldSBK VideoPass access will also remain available.
This marks NBC Sports’ first season as the exclusive TV home of Moto GP in the United States. MotoGP joins NBC Sports’ comprehensive motorsports portfolio, which features exclusive coverage of the second half of the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series seasons, as well as the entire INDYCAR season, including the Indianapolis 500; IMSA; the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship; Supercross and American Flat Track.
In addition to its MotoGP coverage, NBC Sports will present seven races of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) on NBCSN in 2020, which began in early March.
Click HERE for the full schedule.