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ESPN To Debut Shows on Facebook and Twitter

Brandon Contes

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ESPN which launched SportsCenter on Snapchat in November, will debut shows on Twitter and Facebook next week.

On Monday January 29th, a viewer participation version of First Take titled, First Take: Your Take will be introduced exclusively on Facebook Watch. The show will stream three 7-10 minute episodes weekly, airing Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

First Take: Your Take will feature Molly Qerim, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman while incorporating audience interaction.  Viewers will be able to upload videos to Facebook, some of which will be shown on Wednesday’s episode, with one fan being selected to join Friday’s program to debate a First Take commentator.

This is the second installment of First Take: Your Take, which was originally a contest giving two viewers the chance to debate Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN2’s broadcast of First Take. The contest took place in November 2016.

“We’ve created something truly unique and innovative with First Take: Your Take,” said Ryan Spoon, SVP of Social Content, ESPN. “This engaging video experience is the first of its kind that takes the best of ESPN and marries it with the best of what the Facebook Watch platform has to offer. By doing this, we are not only speaking directly to fans but also bringing them into the conversation as active participants.”

In addition to their new stream of First Take: Your Take on Facebook, ESPN is also launching a show on Twitter during the week of the Super Bowl. Unlike First Take: Your Take, the Twitter show titled Double Coverage is expected to only be a three-day special, not a continued program. According to VarietyDouble Coverage will feature Katie Nolan and Mike Golic Jr., it will air Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 4pm ET, live from Minneapolis.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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