ESPN Brings Live Shows to Twitter and Makes SportsCenter Mobile
"No new distribution announcements because we're already everywhere," said ESPN senior vice president of social content during the sports publisher's newfront presentation today in New York City. But while ESPN demonstrated impressive reach to the media buyers in the audience, its big announcements were all about distribution.
Twitter broke the news during its newfront Monday night that ESPN is one of over 30 new publishers that will soon deliver video programming over the social networking platform. Today, ESPN gave more detail on that announcement. It will bring five live or on-demand shows to Twitter, including "SportsCenter Live" (an extension of the cable show featuring breaking news), "Hoop Streams" (a show centered around the NBA Playoffs that includes real-time conversations with fans), "Fantasy Focus Live" (a daily live stream of the ESPN podcast), "The College Football Show" (a weekly recap of college highlights), and "Rankings Reactions" (a new season of the college football discussion show). ESPN didn't offer dates, but said the shows will come to Twitter soon.
Besides moving to Twitter, "SportsCenter" is also moving to the ESPN app. A "SportsCenter" daily brief, hosted by Scott Van Pelt and other anchors, will show fans highlights from the night before and prepare them for upcoming matches. Again, ESPN said the show will debut soon.
ESPN's other programming highlight was the announcement of "Always Late With Katie Nolan," a weekly late night show with an irreverent viewpoint. It's coming soon to digital platforms, ESPN says.
Check back with StreamingMedia.com and OnlineVideo.net for additional NewFront Week updates.
Katie Nolan talked about her upcoming weekly late night digital show at the ESPN NewFront.
The ESPN+ experience get tailored with recommendations customized for each subscriber, while the mobile apps can download favorite shows.
Who won the NewFronts this year? Twitter won. Not by producing great video, but by distributing video for many of the biggest publishers online.
News, entertainment, and sports brands want to work with Twitter to stream live niche programming to an engaged, lean-forward audience.
Sports-lovers will find plenty to watch in the OTT service, including hundreds of MLB, NHL, and MLS games, but they won't find a replacement for cable.
The long-awaited ESPN streaming service is almost here, but it's meant to be an addition, not an alternative, for cable service.