ESPN Expanding Digital Programming

ESPN is expanding its original program on digital devices, launching long and short-form content designed to complement its TV schedule.

For starters, ESPN continues to expand its “Sportscenter” franchise beyond TV. Earlier this week the company announced that Sportscenter would launch a new live product on Twitter, and on Wednesday ESPN added yet another digital adaptation of the franchise: an early-morning edition specifically for the ESPN app.

The app edition of Sportscenter will be hosted by Scott Van Pelt,  giving fans highlights from the previous night, and a preview of the day ahead.

ESPN senior VP Rob King said that the decision to launch the new program in the app was also made with advertisers in mind. “Ultimately our app’s success positions us to deliver the right content, and the right ad, to the right fan, at the right time,” King said at the company’s newfront presentation Wednesday.

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ESPN also announced a new late-night digital show hoisted by Katie Nolan called “Always Late.” The show will feature Nolan’s irreverent takes on sports and pop culture, paired with field segments and interviews.

"ESPN serves sports fans, anytime, anywhere. We customize that experience, and give them content based on the platform [on which] they are consuming it,” said Connor Schell, executive VP of content for ESPN. “Consumers can get a different experience on the app than from on Twitter, they can get ESPN highlights through a instagram story. They are different in tone and in texture, but it is all ESPN.”

Finally, the company mentioned its ESPN+ subscription service, positioning it as a place for super fans to watch sports they won’t be able to get anywhere else, such as college lacrosse.

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