ESPN delivers upfront barrage

Meanwhile, ESPN’s upfront presentation to advertisers took place from Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, as new president Jimmy Pitaro made his debut at the vent, along with personalities that spanned from Kenny Mayne to Kobe Bryant to Alex Rodriguez to Jerry Jones.

Among the news coming out of ESPN’s day in the spotlight was the announcement that the network and Alex Rodriguez were deepening their relationship through a four-part series Pivot with Alex Rodriguez that will air on the network and ESPN Deportes during the MLB regular season. In each episode, Rodriguez will conduct an in-depth, one-on-one interview with a current or former star athlete who is navigating through obstacles in their life and career and A-Rod will use his personal experiences to lead an unfiltered, dynamic discussion about the changing phenomenon of life in the public eye and to help these athletes share their side of the story regarding their challenges.

News also saw ESPN Films and Netflix unveiled the joint production The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary series that will chronicle Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls. Directed by Jason Hehir, the anthology will examine the simultaneous rise of Jordan and the NBA during those years and feature more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the team’s last championship run in the 1997-98 season.

ESPN is expanding the role of NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick, who will now appear on Monday Night Football halftime and postgame shows as part of a new multi-year extension. Riddick, will now travel to the site of ESPN’s weekly MNF game where he will work alongside host Suzy Kolber and Steve Young on Monday nights.

In addition, former NFL head coach John Fox joined ESPN as an NFL studio analyst. Fox will make year-round appearances on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio shows, and more.

Finally, ESPN reached an agreement with FC Bayern Munich for rights to use and share content directly from the German Bundesliga club across its digital and linear platforms. Bayern Munich will make available its content – behind-the-scenes video, access-driven features, pre- and post-match reports, press briefings, team travelogue, and more – for use across a myriad ESPN programs in the United States, Canada, throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

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