Earlier this month it was announced that ESPN was cancelling one of the flagship shows on ESPNEWS - Highlight Express. Although live episodes of SportsCenter also air on ESPNEWS throughout the day, Highlight Express did what its name suggested - focused on highlights. Although there's a section of sports fans longing for the olden days when ESPN would stick to basics and show highlights, the viewers just weren't there. Highlight Express was one of a few shows on television to draw a 0.0 rating.
In recent months ESPNEWS has also taken to showing more live sporting events, as the name might not suggest. Perhaps the most notable live sporting event to air on ESPN's 24/7 news channel in recent weeks was the highly anticipated women's soccer game between Canada and the United States. This weekend ESPNEWS will air Confederations Cup soccer between Japan and Mexico Saturday afternoon as well. In addition, the news channel has taken to airing replays of various ESPN studio shows such as SportsNation, Numbers Never Lie, Outside the Lines and others.
It could lead one to hypothesize that ESPNEWS is slowly transforming into a channel that looks suspiciously like its big brothers - ESPN and ESPN2. If News showed more live event programming and studio shows, could it some day be rebranded as ESPN4 and bring us halfway to The Ocho?
We inquired about the fate of ESPNEWS and learned a few things about the future direction of the channel...
When asked about the future of its programming direction, an ESPN spokesperson confirms the channel has no plans to change its brand name or central vision. ESPNEWS will still be focused on news, information and highlights. At the core of this strategy will be the SportsCenter franchise and ESPN's commitment to airing its flagship show throughout the day. Up to one-third of the live episodes of SportsCenter currently air on ESPNEWS and that will continue.
In place of Highlight Express, we've learned ESPNEWS will air replays or time-shifted episodes of its news and information programs such as Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, Outside the Lines, or others. This represents a slight shift away from traditional highlights and more towards the news of the day and programs that have proven to draw viewers. As for televising live events, ESPNEWS will still be available to air games to fulfill programming commitments when there is an overflow of content on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc the network spokesperson confirms.
Although Highlight Express may be a thing of the past (and the all-highlight show in general), the future of ESPNEWS as a news channel appears to not be in doubt. The network may indeed have more flexibility to air live events moving forward - after all, that's where the highest ratings are - but perhaps that represents an evolution of ESPN's networks and the television industry as a whole. ESPNEWS may look slightly different and may better reflect the overall tenor of ESPN's programming direction with more replays of ESPN and ESPN2 shows and a wider definition of what "news" entails. In this day and age, that means less of an emphasis on highlights and more of an emphasis on a mix of highlights, news, and information.
Yes live Sportscenter 24/7 if not then 6am to 9am and call it Good Sports America Morning. Theirs not a n ESPN3 TV Channel only Online version. Would like them to bring back on their Sportscenter page who's doing them for the day. Also could do Sports Millionaire and Jepoardy and Bloopers. Could also do a 24/7 Sports Movie/TV Show Channel,Regional Channels,24/7 Sports Radio Channel with all it's Radio Shows on it. Also do baseball Coast to Coast and Baseball Live in the Afternoon's. Show MLB and NHL Draft to.
Matt the Japan VS Mexico Confedertions Cup Soccer game was moved from ESPNNEWS to ESPN2 last Saturday, since the College World Series game that was suppose to be on ESPN2 wasn't necessary.
I remember those days of when MTV played just music. See its no different now. In the coming years, ESPNEWS will be ESPN 4 or ESPN may create 5 more ESPNs.
Lets not even start about ESPN Classic. You mean to tell me with there vast library of shows and events, ESPN cant fill time for ESPN Classic? Really?
See the problem with ESPN is that they created too many channels and watered down the ones they had. You had ESPN, then ESPN2. Now, you have ESPN3, watchESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS. Its not necessary. If your having trouble with one channel, why do you create more? The very fact that they replay First Take after it airs and then airs sometimes a Best of First Take says it all.
Sad, not sure why people actually watch those talking head shows but then again FOX News is #1 so nothing should surprise me anymore. Awful indeed.
ESPN's a joke. The whole reason for ESPNEWS is to show highlights of games Sportscenter can't devote an hour of. Of course, showing a 6 hour preview show of the NBA Finals doesn't help either.
remember when MTV used to play music? and then they had to get another channel that played just music?
How about they just show SportsCenter on ESPNEWS 24/7 instead of live sports programming. I still wouldn't watch since SportsCenter is all crap now but at least it's news channel could present "news" instead of live events. This would be better than placing non-important sports on a news channel. OR they could stop bidding on unimportant sports and let other sports channels build their inventory of live events instead of outbidding them and banishing those sports to the news channel or ESPN3.
I remember when Bravo used to be one of the best cable channels available. That changed about ten years ago when NBC bought it. Every cable channel now it made to appeal to the lowest common denominator. The best thing I ever did was cancel cable.
@Craig Kirkendall I remember! And then MTV2 evolved into just replays of stuff from MTV. Sounds familiar..