ESPN has announced that it will premiere a new three-hour morning block of SportsCenter starting this month. It will now begin at 7 a.m. ET and run until 10 a.m. and revamp its other daytime editions. With the ease that people can watch highlights either on their laptops, mobiles and/or tablets, ESPN is hoping the next generation of sports fans will get hooked on SportsCenter as their parents did in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Instead of morning re-airs of the late night edition of SportsCenter, the show will now go live in hopes of capturing commuters and students ready to head out the door to work or school.
The new morning block will be hosted by SportsCenter mainstays Jay Harris, Kevin Negandhi and Jaymee Sire as first reported by Sports Illustrated. They’ll be joined Sarina Morales who will contribute to the show and also be live on Snapchat and Periscope at times. ESPN says the new morning edition to be called SportsCenter:AM and according to today’s announcement, will have “a greater emphasis on highlights and video, and a faster pace and more personality, while understanding the demands and time restrictions of morning viewers.”
ESPN senior vice president of SportsCenter and News Rob King said this new edition of SportsCenter will cater to the sports fan on the go:
“…this show will be especially attuned to the needs of this audience: delivering a smart, fast-paced, highlights-driven report that’s mindful of the time fans have to consume news as they start their days.”
King also talked about bringing fans the social media aspect of sports “from highlights to Emojis,” so we await to see how this will work.
The SportsCenter:AM format will be as follows:
7-8 a.m.: Focusing on highlights and providing a fresh take on the previous night in sports.
8-9 a.m.: Showcasing the top plays and moments from the previous night.
9-10 a.m.: Previewing the upcoming day in sports with a mix of highlights.
And the other daytime editions of SportsCenter will have some tweaks as well:
10-11 a.m.: Hannah Storm will host this hour solo and will have her featured “Face to Face” interviews as well as some discussion about the previous night’s events as well as focusing on the upcoming day’s storylines. Toni Collins will join Hannah to anchor the news updates
11 a.m.-noon: Chris McKendry and Jay Crawford will team up to host this one-hour edition which will be of a conversation and discussion-driven program. ESPN personalities and insiders will join McKendry and Crawford to provide analysis. Collins will provide news updates.
noon-1:30 p.m.: Former First Take moderator Cari Champion will co-anchor this 90-minute edition with David Lloyd. This will again be conversational and the time will allow for some longer features.
Also on February 8, the Mike & Mike radio show will get a new set on ESPN2. Variety reports that the new SportsCenter:AM will share resources with ABC’s Good Morning America as well as Mike and Mike.
This is all part of the re-tooling of SportsCenter that has been ongoing over the last year. We’ve seen more of an emphasis on the personalities who host the program such as Lindsay Czarniak and Scott Van Pelt. Now with the revamp of the morning and daytime editions to cater to fans, ESPN is hoping the next generation of sports fans will become loyal viewers as the older generations once did.