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SBD/Issue 162/Sports Media
ESPN To Announce Web Site, "SportsCenter" Changes At Upfronts
Published May 13, 2008
|ESPN To Announce Revamping Of Web Site
During Its Upfront Presentation In N.Y.
COMPLEX REBRAND: Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, which took its name from the iconic sports broadcast property when it opened in '97, is updating with a rebrand to a name that is still undetermined, but will likely include the ESPN brand. That presumably means sponsorship assets across the 220-acre indoor/outdoor participatory sports complex -- which annually hosts more than 180 events -- will be sold centrally, along with other ESPN commercial assets. However, a Disney spokesperson said the rebrand and associated elements were "very much a work in progress, with those details still to be worked out." However, more ESPN TV programming from the sports complex is a certainty. In December, the 11-year-old sports complex opened additional outdoor playing fields for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, and a new field house is scheduled to open this summer.
SPORTSCENTER: Starting August 11, ESPN will telecast a nine-hour block of "SportsCenter" live from 6:00am-3:00pm ET Monday-Friday. The move, which coincides with the opening week of the Beijing Olympics, replaces the current wheel of "SportsCenter" repeats. ESPN will use three separate two-person anchor teams during the block, including Storm, who will host the program from 9:00am-noon ET. The show will refresh during the day (Ourand & Lefton, THE DAILY).
ORIGINAL PITCH: In N.Y., Steinberg & Elliott write ESPN today also “intends to play up its new-media offerings along with what is coming on TV, outlining plans for original programming that will appear only online or on mobile devices.” Those shows include “Mayne Street,” featuring Kenny Mayne and “Erik’s Got Issues,” featuring Erik Kuselias. Other shows include “P.O.V,” which will “compile and present video clips that are submitted to ESPN by viewers and fans,” and an untitled MMA series. ESPN/ABC Sports Consumer Marketing & Sales President Ed Erhardt said that there also will be “sponsorships available with the new media offerings … along with the opportunity for advertisers to integrate brands and products into the shows” (N.Y. TIMES, 5/13).
NBC: NBC yesterday during its upfront presentation had “autograph-signing tables for the broadcast team of ‘Sunday Night Football’” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/13).