Nov 13, 2017

ESPN launches SportsCenter on Snapchat


ESPN is replacing its Publisher Story on Snapchat, which used to feature more magazine-like content, with a fast-paced SportsCenter show on Snapchat's featured content platform, Discover. The show launches today at 5 p.m. and will feature a new slate of anchors and content catering to a younger, mobile audience.

Why it matters: Snapchat''s high millennial reach gives ESPN a unique opportunity to reimagine its flagship show for the next generation of sports fans and gives Snapchat its first foray into daily live sports programming on Discover.

Details: The three-to-five-minute show launches today with new ESPN host Katie Nolan and will be available twice a day at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and once at 5 a.m. on weekends.

The show's new format will focus on off-the-court topics and conversations around the games as well as hard recaps of the games themselves. The show will feature a mix of the latest sports news, highlights and commentary about a wide mix of sports (not just the big four leagues) and will be led by new hosts that ESPN thinks can best connect with a younger audience, including:

  • Emmy-winning sports personality and new ESPN host Katie Nolan
  • SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan
  • ESPN NBA commentator Cassidy Hubbarth
  • ESPN Radio host Jason Fitz
  • Comedian Cy Amundson

Snapchat has invested heavily in sports partnerships globally, but until now, it's never had a daily sports show on Discover. (It's launched a few daily news shows already.) In the coming year Snap plans to continue to expand shows into a diverse range of programming, including scripted content. ESPN launched as an original Snapchat Discover launch partner two years ago.

Go deeper: Once the centerpiece of ESPN's cable dominance, SportsCenter has evolved to meet new TV viewership demands, moving from less highlight-driven coverage to more debate and analysis about players' lives and sports culture. Those changes are a part of a broader network push to reach younger audiences on digital platforms, as its linear TV audience continues to decline. Sports Illustrated reported last week that SportsCenter will be hit with layoffs in a few weeks.

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