ESPN INTRODUCING “SPORTSCENTER RIGHT NOW”; LOOKING TO KEEP BRAND RELEVANT IN AGE OF DIGITAL MEDIA
ESPN is experimenting with the implementation of “SportsCenter Right Now” segments, 90 second updates designed to provide the viewer with up-to-the-minute game scores or breaking news. By January, the spots will appear several times an hour within all daytime ESPN programming and during halftime of games aired on ESPN/ABC (DIS); simultaneously airing on ESPN.com and within the home screen video player on the ESPN app. ESPN is using “SportsCenter Right Now” to keep the SportsCenter brand relevant, in a time when fans can access highlights on demand through various social media channels.
Howie Long-Short: SportsCenter ratings have fallen 30% since 2010 (40% in younger demo), so something had to be done. Turning SC into a digital property makes sense. Expecting Jemele Hill and Michael Smith to drive viewers, does not.
Fan Marino: For fans of ESPN radio, the spots will sound familiar. They are the live TV equivalent of the updates that have run 2x/hour on the station for years. Of course, as a loyal Mongo, I prefer to get my updates from the Mink Man.