Seen on Screen: ESPN Lines Up Black History Month Programming; SpikeTV Set to Launch ” Premier Boxing Champions”

by Jarrel Harris, Editorial Assistant

ESPN will commemorate Black History Month with multiple programming offerings on television and online celebrating the achievements of African-Americans who made a positive influence within their sport and in society. The month of February will include the premieres of three special programs.

Trailblazers; Past, Present and Future will team current African-American sports stars with living legends for intimate conversations on challenges overcome and still ahead. The program, hosted by John Saunders, airs Sunday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.

Longhorn Network will air the LBJ Library’s Reflections on Race, an evening with members of the “Little Rock Nine,” on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m and Through the Eyes of Texas: Integration on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 9:30 p.m.

… The launch of “Premier Boxing Champions” on Spike TV features a can’t-miss double main event on Friday, March 13 from Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. including with a welterweight showdown between hard-hitting Andre “The Beast” Berto (29-3, 22 KOs) and the electrifying Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez (33-6, 19 KOs), fighting in front of his hometown fans.

The first main event of the evening will see the return of former welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (24-1, 15 KOs) facing off against the dangerous Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (36-3, 23 KOs)…

ESPN Friday Night Fights is introducing a new series of video elements to help educate viewers on the various fundamentals of boxing.Inside the Ropes,” in which ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas demonstrates various boxing techniques and fundamentals, debuted on the January 30 edition of Friday Night Fights with Atlas demonstrating the fundamentals of the bump and run technique.

…MLB Network will premire its final installment of the offseason on Tuesday, February 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET with the Story of Billy Bean, a one-hour documentary hosted by Bob Costas about former outfielder as one of just two Major League Baseball players – current or former to publicly come out as gay. Narrated by Bean himself, the program details his decision to leave baseball in 1996 at age 30 following the death of his partner, a relationship that he’d kept secret from his family and teammates, and his return to the game 18 years later as MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion…

… At this year’s ESPN Sport Science Newton Awards, the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. took home a trophy for “Best Catch” for his stunning one-handed touchdown against the Cowboys this season. Beckham’s appearance to accept his award for “Best Catch” is just one of the highlights of the 2015 ESPN Sport Science Newton Awards, which air Sunday, Feb. 15, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The second annual awards show, which recognizes the top moments in sports from a scientific perspective, was taped at Herberger Theater in the heart of Phoenix during Super Bowl week. While most awards shows are based on a voting process, the Newton Awards are judged on unprecedented scientific analysis of thousands of athletic performances from the world of sports during 2014.

In addition to “Best Catch,” other Newton Award categories include “Outstanding Agility,” “Best Flight,” “Best Use of Geometry,” “Outstanding Reaction,” “Best Trajectory,” “Outstanding Save,” “Best Application of Leverage,” “Outstanding New Limit,” “Most Improbable,” and the mathematical equivalent of posterization, “Greater Than.” Category nominees, drawn from across the world of sports, include the NFL’s Peyton Manning, J.J. Watt, and Marshawn Lynch, the NBA’s John Wall, MLB players Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, as well as Steven Souza Jr., Rafael Nadal, Tim Howard, Mo’ne Davis, Samaje Perine, the Los Angeles Kings, and Olympic gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington.

ESPN Sport Science Newton Awards are hosted by the creator and host of ESPN Sport Science, John Brenkus…

…FOX Sports announced its live event programming schedule for its first year as the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) principal domestic media partner, featuring over 300 hours of coverage across eight championships and a record 38.5 hours of coverage from the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.  The announcement was made today by FOX Sports President and COO Eric Shanks.  Coverage begins in May with the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship May 5-6 from The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

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