MEDIA MATING DANCE BETWEEN DISNEY AND ESPN
Published September 30, 1994
Walt Disney World and ESPN will team up to develop studios at a new sports-themed resort where Disney guests can watch sports shows being broadcast, the two companies announced yesterday. ESPN's sports club will highlight Disney's BoardWalk, a new 45-acre sports-themed resort to be located between EPCOT and Disney-MGM studios near Orlando. The BoardWalk is scheduled to open in July 1996. BoardWalk broadens Disney's emphasis on sports-related themes. ESPN will periodically broadcast its regular shows, like SportsCenter, from the new studios. In addition, ESPN plans to use the studios to do nightly reports during spring training. ESPN spokesperson Rob Tobias: "We're expanding ESPN's brand name" (Lisa Backman, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/30). BATTLE OF SPORTS BARS: The N.Y. POST reports this morning that Ken Griffey Jr., Andre Agassi, Joe Montana, Shaquille O'Neal and Wayne Gretzky are all partners with Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl in the upcoming opening of the sports bar: Official All Star Cafe in New York. The five athletes also plan to open their cafe in Orlando in March, 1995, more than a year before ESPN opens its studios in Disney (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST, 9/30).