ESPN beefs up morning, late-night shifts

ESPN’s upfront presentation saw the company shore up its morning and late-night dayparts, among other news. In addition to shifting Mike & Mike to New York and tweaking its format, the company also announced plans for SportsCenter AM, which will run from 7-9a. The new show is “designed for viewers who are on the move and don’t have much time early in the morning, the new live show will take the popular “SportsCenter Top 10” franchise and turn it into a program with the previous night’s top plays, storylines, quotes, blunders and more.” “You’re going to leave SportsCenter AM knowing the top things that have happened through the course of the evening and what you need from the sports world to start your day,” said Rob King, ESPN senior vice president, SportsCenter and News. “We realize people are busy at that time of the day so this show will be produced in a way that viewers can watch by listening.

Meanwhile, the company announced that Scott Van Pelt inked a new multi-year deal and will now become solo anchor for SportsCenter’s weekday, midnight edition starting in late summer. Popular elements of his radio show, like “One Big Thing,” will be incorporated into the hour-long telecast. Van Pelt will continue to host ESPN golf coverage in addition to other assignments but will no longer do his radio show once the midnight show begins.

Other news to come out of the ESPN upfront presentation included word that ESPN’s NFL Wild Card playoff game will now be simulcast for the first time on ABC, as well as ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown pre-game show. The decision to simulcast the Wild Card game was made in conjunction with the NFL to maximize the audience across the two networks. “Our first Wild Card playoff game was one of ESPN’s highest-rated and most-watched events ever,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “By leveraging the broadcast platform we have on ABC, the upcoming Wild Card will rank among the most-watched programs of the year and we will reach even more fans during the NFL postseason.”

ESPN will also double down on the final week of the 2015 MLB regular season, announcing plans to carry up to seven Postseason Impact Games, three of which are new this year. All games will feature matchups with direct postseason implications leading up into ESPN’s exclusive presentation of the American League Wild Card Game.

Related Stories

Figure skater Adam Rippon is having a moment (Hagen Hopkins)

Figure skater Adam Rippon is having a moment (Hagen Hopkins)

Figure skater/headline maker Adam Rippon declined the opportunity to become an NBC correspondent for the rest of the 2018 Winter Games when he realized it would mean leaving the Olympic team and Village. “My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them,” tweeted the U.S. team […]

Cookie’s Momster on Empire

Cookie's Momster on Empire

Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage) will guest as Cookie’s formidable mother on an upcoming episode of Fox drama Empire….Madeline Stowe (Revenge) joins Fox musical drama pilot Mixtape….Bonnie Soper (Filthy Rich) will play Princess Diana and Maggie Sullivan (Fargo) takes on Queen Elizabeth in Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance.

NBA All-Star soars for Turner

NBA All-Star soars for Turner

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game handed Turner Sports with boosts across all platforms – television (TNT and TBS), digital and social, including a 4.3 household rating and 5.1 million household impressions – both up 2% over 2017 and marking the best for the event since 2013, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. In addition, the telecast […]

Big 12 expands its Flo

Bog 12 expands its Flo

The Big 12 Conference is turning to FloSports to live stream the 2018 Big 12 championships for swimming & diving on, indoor and outdoor track & field on, wrestling on, and gymnastics on The deal is an expansion of FloSports’ current agreement with the conference. Programming begins Feb. 21-24 with the […]



Job of the Week DIRECTOR, DIGITAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PGA TOUR FL Oversee our products, providing leadership across the TOUR to conceptualize/build/deliver our digital platforms. 8+ yrs related work exp. Knwldg of mult functional areas such as Prod Mngmnt, Engineering, Content dvlpmnt & UX/UI cust fan support. Full info/apply HERE CynopsisJOBS Good […]