Let’s get digital, digital
ESPN is continuing to bulk up its digital video offering with several new Twitter shows and a new, snackable version of its hit show “SportCenter.”
ESPN hopes that the new condensed version of its popular series, which is to be available for free on the network’s ESPN app, will be a more attractive offering for younger viewers who gravitate to short-form content that easily translates to mobile viewing. This is an audience that ESPN also hopes to attract with its new Twitter shows.
In addition to the two new shows for the social platform — “SportsCenter Live” and “Fantasy Focus Live” — announced Monday as part of Twitter’s NewFronts session, ESPN announced three more shows today at its presentation, including “Hoop Streams,” a series that will feature basketball analysts David Jacoby and Ryen Russillo, previewing each playoff, conference final and NBA Finals game prior to tip-off; “The College Football Show,” a weekly show that recaps the best highlights of the day and preview the biggest game of the week; and “Rankings Reactions,” coming off its success last year, the series returns with Mike Golic, Jr. and Jason Fitz this upcoming college football season. Each week, Mike and Jason will react to and discuss the latest College Football Playoff rankings from the moment they are first unveiled on October 30 through Selection Day on December 8.
Each of the five series launching on Twitter will incorporate interactivity in some way. For example, “Rankings and Reactions” will bring in audience questions and insights directly from Twitter to be discussed during the stream.
“Our relationship with Twitter goes as far back as 2007 and is rooted in connecting with fans and driving conversation around sports,” said Ryan Spoon, Senior Vice President, Social Content, ESPN. “For over a decade, ESPN has fostered a Twitter presence unmatched in reach and scale – which has led to terrific engagement and fan interaction. We are tremendously excited about delivering a series of unique, live and interactive shows that will pair the best of Twitter with the best of ESPN.”
Over the past 12 months, ESPN has been steadily increasing its efforts in building a digital offering to make up from the drop in viewership on its linear channels caused by cord-cutting. Aside from ESPN+, the newly launched streaming service from the Disney-owned network, the company has also been investing in producing content for section and Facebook Watch.