ESPN Announces New Initiatives Beginning This Fall

Spring is the time of year when the networks unveil their plans for the upcoming television season which starts in the fall.  ESPN held its “Upfront” event today in New York and announced a number of new programs and features for the coming year.

Among the new television ventures this season include (from ESPN PR):

NFL Insiders:

  • ESPN will debut NFL Insiders, a new one-hour weekday pro football-themed show, in time for the 2013 season.
  • Year-round program, which will replace NFL32, will focus on the biggest NFL news stories and information each day, including front office decisions, coaching moves, trades, free agency, NFL Draft, and more.
  • Debuts Monday, Aug. 5, the day after the Pro Football Hall of Fame game.
  • Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, two of the most respected reporters in the NFL, will be featured prominently on NFL Insiders and will have an even greater platform for breaking league news.
  • Fans will also gain an inside look into how teams operate from six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian, who has more than a quarter century of front office experience.
  • Veteran host/anchor Suzy Kolber will host the show from Bristol.
  • The program’s daily four-person panel will include journalists, former front office executives and league experts.

ESPNFC – New Daily Show

·         ESPN launching its first daily, highlights-driven, soccer studio program in the U.S. (Sundays-Fridays) on Aug. 11.

·         Show will offer fans need-to-know news, information, highlights, in-depth analysis and digital segments.

·         Will feature influential voices both from ESPN’s soccer coverage on television and ESPN FC’s global newsroom of reporters, columnists, insiders, bloggers and more.

ESPN also announced that a new slate of 30 for 30 films will debut beginning October 1st.  Among the films set for the fall: Big Shot, from director Kevin Connolly (Entourage), about con man John Spano’s attempt to buy the New York Islanders; Hawaiian:  The Legend of Eddie Aikau, from director Sam George, about the famous surfing icon; and No Mas, from director Eric Drath, about Roberto Duran and his rivalry with Sugar Ray Leonard.

SportsCenter will see many new changes in the coming year (again from ESPN PR):

  • New Studio:

    • 10,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art studio debuts in 2014.
    • Approx. 350 video display units throughout the SportsCenter Studio, with some as large as 15’ in height.
    • Here is a look at the new studio
  • New Bus:

    • SportsCenter on the Scene is a new feature that will travel to big events throughout the year
    • Bus is outfitted with satellite technology, bureau kit camera, lighting and equipment to do a live shot.
    • Offers meeting space for reporter, producer and crew to work, and an area to conduct interviews.
  • New App:

    • ScoreCenter app (No. 1 sports app) will become SportsCenter app in time for football season this fall.
    • Will include current features: personalized set of latest scores from favorite teams and leagues.
    • Feed of latest breaking news, articles and video clips, plus live tweets from ESPN talent, and more.
    • Graphic design will echo new SportsCenter studio; the app will also drive social media elements on set that will be used on air.
    • At launch, the app will be available for iPhone and Android, with a version for iPad to follow.
  • This is SportsCenter:

    • On August 1,ESPN will showcase the top 50 ‘This is SportsCenter’ spots in an hour-long special

ESPN also announced that it will have a new soccer app tied into ESPNFC.com

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