Sports media roundtable: Traina, Sports Business Daily's Ourand on ESPN 2018 lineup
Episode 119 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features a return of the sports media roundtable with Sports Business Daily media writer John Ourand and SI.com columnist Jimmy Traina. On this podcast, we discuss ESPN’s 2018 television schedule, which includes a new Mike Greenberg solo show every morning and a reduction of SportsCenter on linear television. We also discuss the announcement that Beth Mowins and Rex Ryan will call the late game of the Monday Night Football doubleheader on Sept. 11; Fox Sports’ plans for this fall; ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball; why the NBA ratings are up on TNT and ESPN; the ripple effect of the ESPN layoffs heading forward; Sports Illustrated’s layoffs; whether competitors see ESPN’s issues as a chance to outbid them when new NFL deal comes to tender; and much more.
On the issue of ESPN’s new weekday lineups that will debut on ESPN and ESPN2, no matter how ESPN execs want to spin it, they have sent a message to the marketplace that SportsCenter is no longer the television sports show of record. Instead, ESPN is banking on opinion-driven dialogue for its most-watched channel in an era of declining cable subscribers and viewership. The new ESPN daytime lineup in 2018 will begin with a Mike Greenberg-fronted morning show that will premiere on Jan. 1. The still-untitled daily program will originate from a studio in Manhattan and will air live from 7-10 a.m. ET on ESPN, and re-air each day at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
“I can tell you what the wrong strategy is and that is to have the SportsCenter we grew up with,” said Ourand. “If they were to say we are going to have a highlight-driven show that shows you the highlights that happened yesterday, that is what hasn’t been rating.”
• The ESPN Upfront Presentations to media buyers and what it means for viewers – 1:40
• Can Mike Greenberg succeed in the morning on his own? – 5:30
• The audience at noon for sports networks – 9:40
• The character assassination of John Wall – 11:30
• Those who were laid off at ESPN – 16:00
• ESPN President John Skipper not taking questions from reporters – 18:00
• Beth Mowins and Rex Ryan calling Monday Night Football 20:30
• The new Fox Sports slogan: Fox owns the Fall – 25:30
• The disappearance of Katie Nolan – 34:00
• Jimmy’s anger over Sunday Night Baseball – 37:00
• Why are the NBA’s playoff ratings up? – 40:00
• John’s takeaway from the ESPN layoffs – 46:00
• Will competitors see ESPN’s situation as a chance to outbid them when the NFL rights come up again? – 53:30
• Odds and ends – 57:00
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