2007 Upfronts — ESPN
• Date: 5/15/07 in New York
Pitching media buyers the same day in New York as its Disney cousin ABC, ESPN touted the "value" of its brand across its stable of networks and platforms, from print to broadband, radio and international and beyond. The SportsCenter Minute on ABC will debut in September as an hourly sports update during "ESPN on ABC" programming. ESPN is also close to renewing its Mark Burnett-produced boxing nonscripted The Contender for a second season. On the digital front, ESPN.com launched video podcasts of The SportsCenter Minute (also coming to ABC in Sept.), the "big finish" from Pardon the Interruption, the "first word" segment from Around the Horn and other short-form video clips, which will also be available on iTunes. ESPN also is getting back in the mobile game with ESPN MVP with Verizon.
• Upcoming programming:
Bronx is Burning (July) – Scripted eight-part series starring John Turturro as former NY Yankees manager Billy Martin during the historic 1977 American League East playoff race.
ESPNEWS (in August) will debut a weekly Sunday morning one-hour program focusing on fantasy sports (title TBD). The show will extend ESPN’s on-going increased focus on this popular activity, via segments on Sunday NFL Countdown, Baseball Tonight and ESPNEWS, and a Sunday-morning show ESPN Radio.
This is SportsCenter 300 (Sept. 4) – A series of original specials airing on Tuesdays in September will celebrate the 300th commercial in the 14 years-long, award-winning “This is SportsCenter” promo campaign. The final show will include the premiere of the 300th commercial.
ESPN Reports (Oct. 16) – Working title for a recurring primetime news magazine shot in HD and dedicated to cutting-edge sports journalism. A team of award-winning ESPN correspondents will serve as the reporters: Tom Farrey, Rachel Nichols, Lisa Salters, Jeremy Schaap and Michael Smith. ESPN The Magazine‘s Bill Simmons and ESPN.com contributor Chuck Klosterman will also be featured.
The Moto X World Championships (April 2008) – new annual event from the ESPN X Games team will feature the best Moto X riders in the world competing for title of Moto X World Champion in a variety of disciplines including Freestlye, Super Moto, Best Trick and Step Up. Live coverage will be featured on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN360.com and EXPN.com, with additional content available on ESPN Mobile. » Click here for Cable360’s 2007 Cable Upfronts Guide