ESPN Will Not Air 24-Hour College Basketball Marathon Tipoff This Year
There will be "no 24-hour basketball marathon on ESPN to mark the start of the college season this year," according to the AP. ESPN said that the annual event, which ran for nine seasons, "presented programming challenges and won’t be part of this year’s schedule." The event "featured more than a dozen games spread out over 24 consecutive hours." ESPN VP/Communications Josh Krulewitz said that the company may "explore a return of the marathon concept at some point in the future." ESPN recently announced it will "air a new early-season tournament, the Phil Knight Invitational, which will feature 16 teams playing across two separate brackets from Nov. 23-26" (AP, 10/9). NBCSPORTS.com's Travis Hines wrote the marathon event "did provide college basketball with something of a television and marketing foothold early in the season when interest ... can be hard to garner." It was "always a gimmicky concept, but it was a fun one, at least for those who were willing to trade shuteye for low- and mid-major basketball" at 3:00am (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/9).