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Volume 21 No. 26
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Plugged In: Dan Shanoff, Monumental Sports Network

Hired to oversee Monumental Sports Network’s content strategy in February 2016, Dan Shanoff has been experimenting with all sorts of programming to see what works in an over-the-top environment. Like other media platforms, he has found success with live games, like minor league hockey (the Hershey Bears) and local high school sports. The network also will carry G League games when a D.C.-area team forms in a year.

Highlights always have been a massive part of sports. But the way they are distributed today has changed the nature of how we relate to live games. Highlights posted to Instagram or Twitter within 60 seconds of it happening might as well be live. I want to watch the game. My son is content watching Instagram and seeing the game highlight pretty quickly after me.

On trends in sports media: I’m interested in the six-second ad formats where we’re not leaving the game. We’re shrinking the screen and hitting you with a highly engaging six-second ad. It’s so much closer to a soccer broadcast where there are no commercial breaks, just persistent branding. What does it mean for the more traditional sports that have ad breaks?

A traditional media company well suited for the future: You can’t coach youth sports and not recognize that a company like Bleacher Report owns a share of attention and awareness that would make most media companies envious. Kids who like traditional sports are finding an entryway into those sports through Bleacher’s app or Bleacher on Instagram. That’s powerful.

A new media company worth watching: Cheddar is really interesting. It is a forward-thinking, nimble, media company. It looks like a company somebody would dream up if they were starting a media company from scratch today.

Programming in the works for Monumental: We experimented with a lot of things in the first year. In the end, it comes down to bringing viewers closer to the stars. We have incredible access to Wizards and Capitals and Mystics — athletes our fans care deeply about. In the absence of showing live Wizards and Capitals games, we want to give exclusive insight and access into who the players are.

You coach sixth-grade basketball; give us a play that works: Five players around the perimeter. Set a screen for the ball handler. First option is always driving to the basket. Second option is a kick out to the wing for a jump shot.

                                                                                                                            — John Ourand