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ESPN Celebrates ‘This Is SportsCenter’ Campaign

“On Sunday, May 24, ESPN announced they’ll air three specials celebrating This is SportsCenter from noon – 2:30pm ET, hosted by Steve Levy and Elle Duncan.”

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One week after ESPN concluded their very successful Jordan Bulls doc The Last Dance, ‘90s nostalgia remains at a premium. Looking to capitalize on the decade’s popularity, ESPN announced a celebration of their This is SportsCenter commercials. 

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the iconic ad campaign, having premiered in 1995 to produce dozens of memorable commercials over the years. On Sunday, May 24, ESPN announced they’ll air three specials celebrating This is SportsCenter from noon – 2:30pm ET, hosted by Steve Levy and Elle Duncan.

At noon ET, The Best of This is SportsCenter: 25 Years and Counting will highlight some of the most popular commercials of the last quarter-century and will include the evolution of the SportsCenter studio. The Best of This Is SportsCenter: The Superstars will air at 1pm, featuring some of the top athletes and celebrities to appear in the ad campaign. And at 2pm The Best of This is SportsCenter: Mascot Mayhem will offer a 30-minute look at some of the comical commercial moments involving college mascots. 

Launching in ‘95, This is SportsCenter commercials have mostly been created by ad agency Wieden & Kennedy, but the firm partnered with FOX Sports in Jan. 2017. Since then, ESPN has continued to produce This is SportsCenterspots, doing so with in-house resources. There have been more than 400 of the commercials in the last quarter-century, with the late Stuart Scott appearing in 83, more than any other ESPN personality according to Front Office Sports

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.”

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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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