Over the past few years ESPN’s been trying to branch out into Sports Films with honestly little success. Their made for TV movies haven’t gone over too well and their trip to Tribeca earned good reviews, but the movies were/are hard to find.

Well now expect even more movies to hit the channel in the near future….
ESPN dominates sports on television. Now, the cable heavyweight is making a run at the big screen.

ESPN said it would collaborate with Creative Artists Agency and Walt Disney Studios to produce and distribute theatrical films with sports themes. As part of the network’s expansion in filmed entertainment, ESPN is also hiring 30 filmmakers to produce one-hour mini-movies to appear on the channel starting in September 2009.

Movies will be financed by Walt Disney, which owns ESPN; outside investors; or a combination thereof. ESPN executives declined to comment on financial elements, except to say budgets would vary by project.

I guess it’s only natural that this move would take place, but you have to wonder why it hadn’t happened sooner. Anyway, expect a lot more documentaries and short films to hit the network in September. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. This very well could be yet another sign that the “Leader” is changing their style or substance policy of the last few years.

With Partners, ESPN Is Expanding in Filmmaking (NY Times)

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