You may not be aware of the launch of a new online sports venture that began this week called “120 Sports.” Backed by Sports Illustrated and its parent company, Time, Inc., 120 Sports is providing live programming between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET.
In quick two-minute segments, 120 Sports goes from topic-to-topic and has the ability to cut-in live to MLB games and show highlights. Before the official launch, the network signed equity partnerships with MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NHL, PGA Tour and Campus Insiders which has access to most of the major athletic conferences. The only major professional league missing is the NFL.
Thanks to these partnerships, 120 Sports has access to clips, highlights and live cut-ins. The 120 Sports app is already available for iOS devices and will be available for Android next month.
120 Sports has hired some familiar sports names including former ESPN’er Michael Kim, who will be the face of the network, Alexandra Schlereth (one of the many daughters of ESPN Radio’s Mark Schlereth), Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle and former Boston Celtics star Antoine Walker. One notable hire is former New York Mets GM and ESPN’er Steve Phillips.
From the first two hours, there’s weren’t too many kinks. The segments were two minutes long or 120 seconds hence the 120 Sports moniker. The hosts including Kim and Dave Ross kept the discussion moving quickly and tossed to other subjects. A big help in driving 120 Sports’ first day was Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter which the network cut to live.
On the 120 Sports app, you do have the ability to watch the live programming or go back to certain topics you may have missed. In addition, the app allows for interaction through social media.
But without the NFL participating in the venture, it will leave a big hole in its programming on Sundays during the fall. Without NFL highlights and clips, 120 Sports will have to be creative in its segments during a time when the sport dominates the landscape.
However, in its first day, 120 Sports is off to a decent start. If the network can gain a foothold with fans in this digital age, it may be the start of something. By hooking fans who are locked into their mobiles and tablets, 120 Sports hopes it can part of the new revolution. 120 Sports is made for fans who are on the move while in transit or waiting for a game to start.
If 120 Sports is successful, there’s no limit to where it could lead for other networks.