After months of planning, preparation and rehearsal, the new midnight (ET) edition of ESPNSportsCenter, hosted by Scott Van Pelt, will premier Monday, Sept. 7, immediately following ESPN’s telecast of the game between No. 1 Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
The longtime ESPN anchor, who also previously hosted a program on ESPN Radio, will introduce a different version of SportsCenter, presenting the world of sports as seen through his unique perspective.
“Scott and a team of very talented and creative people have been working hard to be ready to launch a new and entertaining midnight SportsCenter,” said Rob King, ESPN senior vice president, SportsCenter and News. “The show will deliver what sports fans are used to fromSportsCenter but in a different and fast-paced way, led by the intellect, humor and sports fandom of Scott Van Pelt.”
Much as was done on the previous SVP & Russillo radio show, the program will showcase Van Pelt’s passion for sports, with his self-deprecating wit and disposition toward celebrating stars and storylines.
“It’s still SportsCenter,” said Van Pelt. “It’s still a show that at its core is about whatever has happened that day in sports – highlights and stories – and not a variety show. It’s our interpretation of what SportsCenter would be if you blended it with some room for commentary. The crux is that it’s SportsCenter, just our version of it.”
While presenting the day’s news and highlights with Van Pelt’s own spin, the program also will offer commentary, guests and interviews, with featured elements that set it apart from other editions of SportsCenter, including:
- One Big Thing — the trademark essay from Van Pelt’s radio program
- Bad Beats — games that had a unique resonance in Las Vegas
- Best Available Video — the fun, extraordinary images of the day
- Best Thing I Saw Today — Van Pelt’s nightly pick of the signature moment/topic
- Oh, No! — a kinder, gentler, and shorter version of the SportsCenter “Not Top 10,” presented with empathy
- West Coast Bias — a feature designed to serve fans who watch at 9 p.m. PT, at times including 1 a.m. SportsCenter anchors Neil Everett and Stan Verrett.
- Where in the World Isn’t SVP? — Tweets from fans who see lookalikes of Van Pelt at places around the world
“Our thought was ‘how do we create a long list of possible ways to just take a different approach to stories?’” Van Pelt said. “It’s a great group of creative people, and we’re far from done. September 7 is when the show starts, but we don’t have to be done then. Our list of ideas won’t end that day. That’s just the first day we take a stab at it.”
Music will play a large role in distinguishing this edition of SportsCenter from others, with a special new cut of the SportsCenter theme produced by Timbaland in collaboration with Jingle Jared for jingle punks. Also, Van Pelt favorite Trombone Shorty provides music for a regular football season Thursday segment called “Winners,” a carryover from his radio show.
New graphics have been designed especially for the program and the show’s set will have a refined desk, lighting and overall positioning for a differentiated, intimate feel.
Key members of the show’s staff include producer Tom DeCorte, director Rodney Perez and “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, a former producer of Van Pelt’s radio show, who will have both an on- and off-air role, appearing on-camera for segments and also helping to book guests and conceive show ideas.
The program will be found on Twitter with the hashtag #SCSVP, as well as Van Pelt’s @notthefakesvp and @SportsCenter.
The premier of the show coincides with the 36th anniversary of the launch of ESPN on Sept. 7, 1979.
“That’s an honor,” Van Pelt said. “They tried something different 36 years ago, and we’re trying something just a little bit different here.
“The good news for me is that I have 36 years of what’s been great about ESPN and what’s been great about SportsCenter behind me, so I can stand on the shoulders of all the folks who have built it.”
Credit to ESPN Media Zone who originally published this article
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.