ESPN's SportsCenter Updates Format: Bad Call
Starting Aug. 11, SportsCenter will begin to air live on weekday mornings from 6am-3pm EST.
How can anybody be excited about this?
Honestly, when I first read this story, I began frowning like a 17-year old guy at a Backstreet Boys concert. I was so not excited.
Since 1996, SportsCenter has simply taped the previous night's show and re-aired it in the morning. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of "if it's not broke, don't fix it." Does anybody else remember New Coke? Clear Pepsi? The synthetic basketball?
SportsCenter is considered the epitome of sports news on TV; however, not a large number of sports-related news takes place between midnight and 6am. Maybe a DUI or arrest, but sadly those have become so commonplace that they can be thrown into the SportsCenter update every twenty minutes without any real depth. There really will be nothing new for these anchors to talk about FOR NINE HOURS.
I'm sure there'll be more guests, a lot more analysts (please give Barry Melrose his own hour), and a large serving of highly-produced highlight reels, but one would be hard-pressed to find anything to talk about for nine hours, regardless of the topic.
I think the people that will be most upset by this is the crew of ESPN's First Take on ESPN2. This pretty much makes their show second-tier, as if it wasn't already.
It was also announced that along with the live show would be a new website, one that will allow for greater interaction between viewer and show. This is a novel ideal, but think about who is really going to be watching: stay-at-home dads and college kids. Since there are roughly only four stay-at-home dads in the US, we can safely assume that college kids will be the overwhelming majority of viewers, and even they will have to go to class eventually.
I applaud ESPN for making an effort and showing that they're still trying, but I believe this is merely another manifestation of ESPN's dangerously close flirtation with overkill. Even the most diehard of sports fan has a maximum capacity for highlights and Neil Everett before they get turned off.
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