ESPNLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 10/19/18 at 6:10PM EDT
Washington State University lands ESPN's College Gameday after 15 years of in-person lobbying
Source: ESPN MediaZone
Since 2003, WSU flags have been shipped around the country for alums to display on College Gameday in hopes of the university one day landing college football's signature pregame show. That day will finally arrive on Saturday, when College Gameday originates from Pullman, Washington for the first time. The WSU flag has been on display for every College Gameday show for the past 15 years, something that the ESPN show has pointed out and even celebrated in a featurette airing last year when the WSU flag was flown for the 200th straight episode.
Posted Wednesday 10/10/18 at 1:29PM EDT
ESPN replaces Turner as CBS' partner in 11-year PGA Championship deal
The partnership, which starts in 2020, will end a nearly 30-year run for Turner Sports sharing coverage of the tournament.
Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 6:10PM EDT
ESPN's 20-hour Basketball: A Love Story is somehow insufficiently thorough
The Dan Klores-directed basketball-tribute documentary series that premieres tonight, airing in four-hour chunks over five weeks, is also available as a 62-part anthology of "short stories" narrated by a range of celebrities. And that's the problem, says Jack Hamilton. He adds: "Basketball: A Love Story’s embrace of short vignettes rather than a more straightforward, linear narrative too often lends the whole enterprise a half-baked and scattershot feel. Many of the topics tackled here have been explored with far greater depth and care by ESPN’s own film division. Watching a modest handful of the best basketball-related 30 for 30 entries—Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies, Requiem for the Big East, Free Spirits, and Fab Five, to name just a few—would likely give you a more informed gloss on basketball history. And while all historical narratives have their selection biases, the film’s patchwork structure allows it to effectively ignore moments that would complicate its sunny-side-up presentation of the sports’ trajectory. There’s precious little about Allen Iverson, for instance, one of the most complicated but significant figures in the modern game, nor is there much about the 2004 'Malice at the Palace' brawl and the league’s notoriously overzealous reaction to it." ALSO: Basketball: A Love Story is more like a Love, Actually-style rom-com than Ken Burns' Baseball.
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 3:29AM EDT
How can Jemele Hill write about sports and politics objectively when she's working on TV shows with LeBron James?
The former ESPN personality joined The Atlantic on Monday as a staff writer who will cover the intersection of sports, race and politics. Yet as Deadspin points out, Hill writing about sports now present many conflicts. In addition to narrating LeBron James' Shut Up and Dribble Showtime documentary, Hill is working with the NBA superstar on a potential sports and politics show. Hill and her friend Kelley Carter are also preparing to sell a sitcom idea to Sony based on their friendship in collaboration with Gabrielle Union, who is married to the NBA superstar Dwyane Wade. Deadspin asked Hill about the conflicts. To which she responded: "You’re asking the question — which is a fair one — about whether or not there’s a conflict of interest because I’m developing a content relationship with LeBron and his production partners. My response is that this is a different media age, where developing content with athletes is more acceptable and content buyers see it as a unique way to partner credibility with authenticity."
Posted Monday 9/24/18 at 9:40PM EDT
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo being out for the season is a "primetime nightmare"
Source: The Big Lead
The hype generated late last season by the 49ers quarterback (and former Tom Brady backup) prompted the NFL to schedule the 49ers in primetime -- on Thursday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football -- for four weeks over a five-week period starting in mid-October. With Garoppolo out for the season with a torn ACL, those primetime NFL games are likely to become ratings losers -- unless, perhaps, the 49ers re-sign Colin Kaepernick.
Posted Thursday 9/20/18 at 1:16PM EDT
ESPN+ hits 1 million paid subscribers after five months
Source: SportsBusiness Daily
The subscription service's numbers are higher than analysts expected while also comparing favorably to the growth of other direct-to-consumer subscription services. Yet the 1 million subscribers means ESPN is earning $5 million monthly from ESPN+ and $700 million monthly from traditional TV. ALSO: How many new ESPN+ subscribers came from ESPN Insider?
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 10:47PM EDT
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards looked like the worst Emmys ever
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards 10 years ago featured the debacle of five reality TV hosts co-hosting, but this year's ceremony was much worse. "It was," says Tim Goodman, "the worst Emmys telecast I've ever seen. That's not hyperbole. (Maybe there was a telecast as bad when I was a teenager and wasn't paying attention?) It was lifeless, it was dull, it was poorly produced, terribly written and it had hosts who should not have been hosting (they aren't well-known enough and, last night, were not funny enough and not engaging enough). The pairing of presenters was ill-conceived. The material given them was pathetic. Nearly every 'bit' in the show imploded upon itself. The staging looked like it came from 1978. People looked like they didn't want to be there. The fact that the television industry, on a night when it is supposed to celebrate its own achievements, can't actually make a TV event that is interesting is really pathetic." Goodman blamed the Television Academy. "It needs more oversight," he says. "It can't just let Lorne Michaels and NBC take over the Emmys and bore the life out of the country.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino appears to be the first person to win the writing and directing Emmy in the same year
- ESPN boasts that Monday Night Football beat the Emmys -- even though MNF had its worst Week 2 ratings ever
- #OscarsSoWhite creator pushes for Emmys diversity: "How many non-Black people of color do you remember during @TheEmmys last night?"
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Barry stars won because Emmy voters love shows about show business
- Hannah Gadsby's brief appearance was a welcome detour from the pre-chewed and inoffensive banter of SNL
- Black-ish's Jenifer Lewis wore Nike on the red carpet to show her support for Colin Kaepernick
- Pre-taped categories robbed viewers of hearing celebrities mispronounce nominee names
- Angela Bassett responded to The New York Times mistaking her with Omarosa with an Olivia Pope GIF
# TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, ESPN, NBC, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Monday Night Football, Saturday Night Live, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Angela Bassett, Hannah Gadsby, Jenifer Lewis, Award Shows, NFL, Ratings
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 3:04PM EDT
Jemele Hill confirms her ESPN exit, says she's now free to curse out her haters
“Over the last several weeks, there have been a lot of rumors about my job status,” Hill said in a statement posted to Twitter this morning. "Today is my last day at ESPN.” ESPN executive vice president Connor Schell praised Hill as “an exceptionally talented writer, storyteller host and commentator whose unique voice has made ESPN’s many platforms better over the last 12 years." Hill made headlines a year ago when she called President Trump a white supremacist, which resulted in her denunciation from the White House and the president himself. Now that Hill no longer represents ESPN and Disney, she says she's free to curse out her detractors. When one person on Twitter disparaged her, Hill responded: "I feel like i need to say this now as a warning. I was going out of my way not to cuss some of y’all out because I had a job and a corporation to represent. But now, I don’t have one. So I’m good with calling you a f*ckboi."
Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 1:29PM EDT
ESPN's new 30 for 30 slate includes documentaries Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas, Junior Seau, Deion Sanders and Bob Knight
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The documentary on NFL Hall of Famer Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 and was later found to have suffered CTE, will premiere exclusively on the ESPN+ streaming platform on Sep. 20 to help boost subscriptions.
Posted Monday 9/10/18 at 8:51PM EDT
Monday Night Football paying tribute to Aretha Franklin
Source: USA Today
The Queen of Soul will be honored tonight with a two-minute video featuring Boyz II Men and Tori Kelly performing Franklin's "Rock Steady" at spots around Detroit.
Posted Sunday 9/09/18 at 12:19PM EDT
ESPN College Gameday's Lee Corso pays tribute to college roommate Burt Reynolds
Corso said Reynolds and him were teammates on Florida State's football team in the 1950s until he got injured, prompting him to take acting lessons.
Posted Saturday 9/08/18 at 12:54AM EDT
ESPN's Get Up! revamp makes it look and feel like SportsCenter
Source: The Big Lead
"So far, Get Up! 2.0 has not featured nearly the amount of conversation between the hosts that the show once did," Bobby Burack says of ESPN's expensive morning show that premiered earlier this year and was rebooted this week. "It instead includes much more highlights, interviews, statistics, with the opinions coming from the guests. That combination is essentially the format SportsCenter looks like now. Several times this week, they have even incorporated the classic 'SportsCenter Top 10 Plays' segment."
Posted Thursday 9/06/18 at 2:04PM EDT
Retired ESPN legend Chris Berman to return to host a weekly segment called "Berman's Blast"
Source: Sports Illustrated
The three- to four-minute segment will air on various SportsCenter editions, featuring Berman recapping and discussing historic NFL rivalries.
Posted Tuesday 9/04/18 at 3:42PM EDT
ESPN tried to convince Jemele Hill to stay
Source: New York Post
Before the controversial former SportsCenter host and ESPN agreed to a divorce and a buyout of the remaining three years on her contract, ESPN tried to talk her into becoming a regular on Highly Questionable and a host on the since-canceled SportsNation, according to the New York Post. Hill's last day at ESPN, which was originally reported to be last Friday, will instead be on Sept. 15.
Posted Monday 8/27/18 at 7:52AM EDT
Jemele Hill is expected to exit ESPN on Friday after agreeing to a $2.5 million contract buyout
Source: New York Post
ESPN historian James Andrew Miller calls the breakup "amicable," but her impending exit comes almost exactly a year after she drew the ire of President Trump and his supporters by calling him a white supremacist, which plunged the sports network into a feud with the White House.