Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, henceforth referred to as Desus & Mero, have carved out a nice niche on Viceland. Their 172 episode first season wrapped up just a few weeks ago, and the season premiere of season 2 dropped Monday night. And now, ESPN is bringing them on board to augment the network’s digital NBA coverage.
That’s according to a press release ESPN sent out on Tuesday announcing the new venture:
ESPN is collaborating with comedy duo Desus Nice & The Kid Mero, “Desus & Mero” from Viceland, to create short videos featuring their commentary about on the biggest NBA storylines on and off the court — from blockbuster trades to evolving hairlines, notable hirings to questionable fashion choices, as well as their bold predictions for the upcoming year. The shorts will be incorporated across ESPN’s NBA coverage on digital, social and TV platforms.
The first video in the series went live today:
And that’s likely a representation of the content they’ll be creating for ESPN. It’s short, coming in just under 90 seconds, while successfully weaving in multiple topics and jokes in the space SportsCenter might use for one game highlight.
The format also lends itself to quick reactions on topical storylines, which is right in the wheelhouse for Desus & Mero. That’s what they do best, albeit in slightly extended format on Viceland on a nearly-nightly basis. Obviously it’d be a lot to ask for them to do much more for these ESPN videos in addition to their Viceland responsibilities, but it’s fair to assume one or both of the hosts could turn up on other ESPN shows for some cross-promotion.
ESPN has had a formal partnership with VICE going back to early 2016, but this kind of integration could be a new trend, and one that could make sense. Other networks have pivoted to video in disastrous fashion, partly because a video-only editorial strategy is probably a non-starter and definitely because the content itself was bad. Rather than forcing people to watch bad videos and calling it a day, this is a sign that ESPN is willing to look at people already successfully doing what they want to do and bringing them on board to do their thing.
Plus Desus & Mero are great, and deserving of more exposure, so this seems like a solid move all-around.