ESPN Hires Nate Silver From NY Times

By | Friday July 19, 2013 @ 6:29pm PDT

ESPN has made its second high-profile signing in a week, and it’s someone well known to Hollywood political circles. The New York Times announced online tonight that its political number cruncher Nate Silver is … Read More »

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Keith Olbermann In “Serious Discussions” For ESPN2 Talk Show: Report

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 2:58pm PDT

Is Keith Olbermann’s latest TV renaissance about to take him back to Bristol? The lightning-rod veteran of sports and political shows is in “serious discussions” with Disney-owned ESPN for a late-night talker on sister outlet … Read More »

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ESPN Takes A Hit As Q2 Ratings Dive 32% Over 2012

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 10:13pm PDT

Is the Worldwide Leader looking over its shoulder? Two months after laying off hundreds of staffers and five weeks before the launch of Fox’s rival sports network, ESPN saw its second-quarter ratings plunge compared with … Read More »

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ESPN’s NBA Draft Scores Near-High

By | Friday June 28, 2013 @ 7:56am PDT

The selection of UNLV’s Anthony Bennett’s last night by the Cleveland Cavaliers kicked off the 2013 NBA Draft on ESPN, but the No. 1 pick wasn’t the only highlight. The 7:30 PM-12:15 AM multi-round broadcast Thursday garnered a 2.6 overnight rating, up 13% from last year’s 2.3. It also tied the 2007 edition as the second-highest-rated NBA Draft in the decade since the sports network has been televising the event. The strong number is somewhat of a surprise, with most pundits considering this year’s eligible class lower than usual in marquee value. The all-time high NBA Draft remains the 2003 event, which received a 2.7 on a night when future teammates LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were selected. Last night’s NBA Draft peaked with a 3.3 rating between 8:30-8:45 PM. Here are the Top 10 markets for the telecast: Read More »

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ESPN Scraps Little-Seen 3D Channel

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 11:47am PDT

The sports network had been at the forefront of the TV technology, which might be part of the problem. ESPN 3D was one of the first such channels launched, offering extra-dimensional versions of high-profile games. But nobody was watching, … Read More »

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TV Everywhere Remains A Jumble For Most Consumers: Cable Show

By | Monday June 10, 2013 @ 1:32pm PDT

The cable initiative to stream any TV show, anytime, and anywhere remains spotty and confusing — and is progressing slowly — execs acknowledged in a panel on the subject today at the Cable Show in D.C. Thus far “it’s not a success,” says Fox Networks’ Mike Biard. NBCUniversal’s Ron Lamprecht rated the progress at no more than a 5 out of 10. There’s no turning back, though. “We see our consumers expecting that our content be everywhere,” he says. “There really isn’t any other choice. We have to be there.” But the industry faces a gauntlet of negotiations before it can hope to provide a service that will look the same across all TV networks, cable providers, and technology platforms. For example, Watch ESPN — the sports channel’s TV Everywhere service — “is almost exactly like what you see on ESPN, but there are blackouts because they don’t have the underlying rights” to all the games, Comcast Cable’s Marcien Jenckes says. Consumers also will find different shows when they use a network’s app compared with a cable company’s, and whether they’re used in or outside the home. “In a TNT application within the home you’re accessing TV Everywhere, but in an Xfinity application it could be [just the cable company's] VOD” programming, says Turner Broadcasting’s Jeremy Legg. “Explain to a consumer why they can get TNT in the home but not out of the home.” Read More »

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Disney CFO Says ‘Iron Man 3′ Sales Could Hit $1.2B But Won’t Match ‘The Avengers’

By | Thursday May 30, 2013 @ 10:15am PDT

Most execs like to raise expectations when they address investors. But Disney CFO Jay Rasulo did just the opposite when he opened his appearance today at the Read More »

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ESPN Layoffs Could Reach 400 As Part Of Latest Disney Cuts

By | Tuesday May 21, 2013 @ 10:14am PDT

ESPN just released a statement confirming the cuts, which were first reported by Deadspin. Said the company: “We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident … Read More »

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US Open Tennis Tournament To Air Exclusively On ESPN Beginning 2015

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 1:15pm PDT

After 45 years, the U.S. Open tennis tournament is leaving CBS and moving to cable. Beginning with the 2015 tournament, ESPN networks will air the sporting event exclusively. The U.S. Tennis Association and ESPN announced an 11-year … Read More »

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ESPN Inks Deal With Twitter For Ad-Supported Sports Highlights

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 4:49pm PDT

Twitter users soon will be able to see — rather than just read about — more hail Marys, big air, and golden goals. ESPN said today it is broadening its ties to the 140-character world, making ad-embedded clips of several major events available on Twitter and mobile devices, creating yet another potential revenue stream. The sports behemoth becomes the latest TV entity to get cozier with the site as video becomes a bigger part of the twitterverse. Last month, Twitter was said to be holding talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal about hosting clips from those companies’ shows, and BBC America tweeted a few weeks back that it had signed up for the first “in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” The Disney-run “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” as it brands itself, soon will make the clips available on Twitter and mobile devices shortly after they happen live on-air. Expect video from NCAA football, the X Games and action from the pitch during the run-up to next year’s soccer World Cup. The net will detail its plans during its upfront Tuesday in New York. Read More »

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ESPN, Southeastern Conference Team To Launch SEC Network In 2014

By | Thursday May 2, 2013 @ 11:32am PDT

The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network, which will launch in August 2014, it was announced today by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. The network and its digital extensions will connect with each SEC institution and create opportunities for each school to produce and develop content.

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ESPN Writer Clarifies Remarks On Gay NBA Player As Media Adjust To New Reality

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT

Chris Broussard became part of the story yesterday with his outspoken comments about NBA player Jason Collins‘ coming-out in a Sports Illustrated column, making the journeyman center America’s first openly gay major sports figure. Broussard, a Christian and a longtime respected NBA beat writer who now works for ESPN The Magazine, called homosexuality a sin during a segment on the network’s newsmagazine OTL discussing Collins’ revelation. Not sure why anyone is surprised that a TV commentator provided commentary — agree or disagree with his take that’s what they pay the guy for, and he won’t be the last to offer an opposing view in this debate — but it prompted an apology from ESPN last night and a clarification by Broussard via Twitter:

Today on OTL, as part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion on today’s news, I offered my personal opinion as it relates to Christianity, a point of view that I have expressed publicly before. I realize that some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that. As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.

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ESPN Moving X Games Out Of LA

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 11:24am PDT

Beginning in 2014, LA residents will no longer able to hear the sound of snapping fibulas and ulnas echoing throughout the basin on hot summer days. That’s because ESPN announced today it … Read More »

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ESPN Scores Record Masters Ratings

By | Saturday April 13, 2013 @ 1:48pm PDT

The 2013 Masters Tournament on Friday notched the highest rated and most-viewed Friday performance for the sports network, and drew the fourth-best golf viewership ever on cable television. Per Nielsen, ESPN‘s Friday Masters coverage had 4.2 million … Read More »

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NBC Sports, ESPN, Turner Lead Sports Emmys Nominations

By | Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 2:40pm PDT

The networks of the NBC Sports Group, which aired the London Olympics over the summer, drew a leading 48 nominations for the 34th annual Sports Emmy Awards, which … Read More »

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Super Bowl Champ Ray Lewis Officially Joins ESPN

By | Wednesday March 13, 2013 @ 2:13pm PDT

It was not the best-kept secret that the outspoken (and out there) Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was being courted by ESPN — as well as every other network … Read More »

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Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival Sets Lineup

By | Tuesday March 12, 2013 @ 11:51am PDT

[New York, NY – March 12, 2013] – The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) today announced the lineup for the seventh annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. Founded to broaden the audience for independent film through stories about sports and competition, this year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will consist of nine films, including four titles from ESPN Films’ highly anticipated “Nine for IX” series which celebrates the fortieth anniversary of Title IX with nine documentary films about women in sports directed by outstanding female filmmakers. The 2013 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will run during the 12th edition of TFF, presented by American Express, April 17 – April 28 at locations around New York City.

The Festival revealed that the world premiere of Big Shot, directed by Kevin Connolly, will serve as the gala premiere of the program on Friday, April 19. Connolly is returning to Tribeca having debuted his feature film Gardener of Eden in 2007. In Big Shot, Connolly chronicles John Spano’s fraudulent purchase of the New York Islanders. In 1996, Spano bought the New York Islanders for a staggering $165 million. The scheme behind Spano’s acquisition of the team is revealed as Big Shot takes viewers behind the scenes of the biggest fraud in hockey history.

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Disney Picks Nielsen To Guarantee Online Ratings For ABC, ESPN, and ABC Family

By | Tuesday March 5, 2013 @ 7:43am PST

NEW YORK — March 5, 2013 — ABC, ABC Family and ESPN have adopted Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to manage demographic guarantees for online video campaigns. Each network is using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings audience composition data in conjunction with total delivered impression counts from ad servers to calculate viewer demographics.

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Fox Sports 1 To Go Live In August; Regis Philbin To Host Show On National Cable Net

By | Tuesday March 5, 2013 @ 1:58am PST

The Fox Sports Media Group has an upfront presentation scheduled for this afternoon and is expected to use that platform to announce the launch of its first national cable sports network, Fox Sports 1. The all-sports network will go live in August, timed to the start of college football season and David Hill, the former head of the Fox Sports Media Group, has been brought in to oversee the creation and launch. Plans for the channel have been brewing for some time – News Corp. COO Chase Carey last month called it the “world’s worst kept secret” – but up to now details were scant including what sports the network would carry. According to The New York Times, Fox Sports 1 will have Nascar, Major League Baseball, college basketball and football, soccer (including the 2018 and 2022 World Cups) and UFC fights. Also, an in-studio show will be hosted by Regis Philbin who last week hinted at the prospect. Read More »

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