Nickelodeon is ratcheting up its sports commitment when NickSports, a two-hour weekly primetime programming block on Nicktoons, debuts today. The block will highlight the network’s expanded programming relationships with the NFL, MLS and NASCAR, and include a mix of original and acquired, long- and short-form content in a rotating lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials and documentaries from leagues and key athletes, as well as acquired theatrical movies.
On the content team will be new episodes of Nicktoons’ animated series Wild Grinders from Rob Dyrdek, NFL Rush Zone, documentary programming including the world TV premiere of two-hour documentary Little Ballers, plus movies including Bend it Like Beckham, Space Jam, Cool Runnings and Speed Racer. NickSports will air on Nicktoons Wednesdays from 9–11p.
“More than 70 percent of kids ages 7-14 in the U.S. play two-to-three organized sports a year, so the interest and enthusiasm is already there,” said Keith Dawkins, SVP/General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. The block will launch with original short-form content ranging from humorous man-on-the-street style interview to parodies and sketches featuring the likes of NBA player Charlie Villanueva, NFL players Jason and Devin McCourty, and Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen. Kids’ Choice Sports, hosted by Michael Strahan, garnered 2.7 million total viewers (L+7) when it aired in July.