- ESPN is rebooting its Snapchat Discover channel with two daily “SportsCenter” shows.
- The new “SportsCenter” episodes will be three-to-five minutes in length and will feature a rotating cast of younger hosts, including Katie Nolan and Elle Duncan.
- The move comes as ESPN is under pressure from macro trends like cord-cutting and digital upstarts such as Bleacher and Barstool Sports.
ESPN is looking to revive – and reinvent – “SportsCenter,” and it’s turning to Snapchat for help.
Starting Nov. 13, ESPN will roll out a twice-daily version of its iconic sports highlight show on its Snapchat Discover channel. The show will replace ESPN’s daily Snapchat Discover content, which since launching in 2015 featured a daily magazine-like package of highlights, photos and articles.
ESPN has lined up a new team of non-traditional hosts for the Snapchat “SportsCenter,” including former Fox Sports star and social media personality Katie Nolan (who the network just hired from FS1) , longtime music artist-turned ESPN Radio host Jason Fitz from the country music act The Band Perry as well as the stand up comedian Cy Amundson.
The shows will be three to five minutes in length and will post to Snapchat at 5 am and 5 pm daily. The morning edition will recap the previous night’s sports action, while the afternoon edition will focus on personalities and newsy sports topics.
Regardless of the timing, the mission seems to be – “don’t be the SportsCenter of old, featuring white guys in suits behind desks showcasing highlights and breaking down the nuances of the zone blitz.”
It’s a high stakes bet, as ESPN’s traditional, once-dominant linear business continues to face massive challenges, including the rise of cord-cutting, the proliferation mobile devices and the overall decline of live TV viewing.