ESPN+ is adding a sports business show, which seems like a logical enough step for the streaming service. But in a somewhat surprising note, the show will not be hosted by Darren Rovell, ESPN’s ever-present sports business, branding, and stadium food guru, but will instead be hosted by Jay Williams.
Furthermore, the show, which is being dubbed The Boardroom, is being created in cooperation with Thirty Five Media, the production company owned by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, and both Durant and Kleiman will make regular appearances on the show during its initial six episode run
Jordan Schultz will also make appearances as a correspondent on The Boardroom, which is reportedly scheduled for a 2019 premiere.
Durant offered up a statement, which didn’t say much about the actual series.
“We’re excited to partner with ESPN for this series,” said Durant. “I’m looking forward to bringing fans insights from some of the greatest minds in in the sports business world and show how athletes and thought leaders are changing the game.”
Some of the topics that will be touched on, per the release from ESPN, will be team ownership, player development, and ‘the business of social media’.
I think the overall concept of this show is interesting, but I’m still on the fence about the potential execution. Is Kevin Durant, a guy so thin-skinned that he wanted a reporter to ask him about a Skip Bayless tweet in a press conference so he could give him a public response (not to mention the absurd burner account incident), the best athlete to be talking about “the business of social media”? Probably not, but that’s what Williams and Schultz are there for.
This isn’t Durant’s first foray into either sports business or original content. In January, a report claimed that Durant was interested in owning an NBA team one day. Apple is also developing a dramatic series about Durant, and he’s been involved with a Fox documentary about incarcerated basketball player at San Quentin, both through Thirty Five Media.