Seen On Screen: ESPN, SiriusXM To Cover United Soccer League Final; TSN Previews NHL Season for Fans
Seen on Screen provides a roundup of recent sports programming news, including new original programs and live-game schedule announcements. In this week’s edition, ESPNU and SiriusXM cover the USL Cup Final, TSN gives fans a preview of what to expect this NHL season, Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated and Endemol Shine North America’s digital division provide viewers the first VR climb of Mt. Everest, ABC began airing exclusive coverage of Game 1 of the 2016 WNBA Finals, ESPN co-hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill will begin hosting 6 p.m. SportsCenter in February, FS1 plans a new morning show to lead-in to Skip Bayless, ESPN will begin covering NCAA Women’s Basketball games Nov. 14, and more.
The United Soccer League is set to begin their championship game broadcasted on ESPNU and simulcast on SiriusXM FC, as well as WatchESPN via any smartphone or tablet. The largest professional soccer organization in the country behind Major League Soccer is set to hold their USL Cup Final on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Every other game of the USL Cup Playoffs will be available through the USL Cup Playoffs Center, with updates from across the league available via Twitter, Facebook, Vine, and Instagram.
…TSN gave fans a preview of what is to come this coming NHL season Tuesday Oct. 11 with a lineup of specials. These specials included Tim Hortons That’s Hockey, Canada’s most popular source for daily hockey news and information, the “TSN Hockey Fantasy Draft Special,” and the “TSN Hockey Season Preview Special.” Each special featured big names in hockey and NHL analysts to provide viewers with a comprehensive look at what to expect when the puck hits the ice this season and who has the best chance to raising the Stanley Cup in June.
…Sports Illustrated and Endemol Shine Beyond USA have partnered to make the first-ever bottom to top climb of Mount Everest in Virtual Reality. This feat of cinematic history will be showcased as a documentary series to be titled “Capturing Everest” which follows the journey of four climbers during their 2016 summit of Mt. Everest. The ascent will premiere in early 2017 on Time Inc.’s new LIFE VR platform and SI.com in 360-degree video. Sports Illustrated will also feature coverage across its print and digital properties.
…FS1 is planning a new morning show as a lead-in to Skip Bayless’ Undisputed debate show. The Fox Sports affiliate The show would likely run from 6 A.M. E.T. and run through the beginning of Bayless’ show starting at 9 A.M. This is a major step for FS1, as they have been unable to fill this time-slot for some time and has been used to mostly show game reruns. In an effort to compete with ESPN, they seek to give Skip Bayless the momentum of a strong lead-in similar to what he provides Colin Cowheard, whose show The Herd with Colin Cowheard follows directly after Bayless’ show.
…Starting the February, Michael Smith and Jemele Hill will begin co-hosting 6 p.m. E.T. SportsCenter. This reimagined version of the 6 p.m. SportsCenter seeks to capitalize on the personality-driven His & Hers program on ESPN, as well as the immense popularity of the SportsCenter brand. This comes as current anchor Lindsay Czarniak goes on maternity leave in November. Between the time of Czarniak’s departure and Smith and Hill’s debut, the show will continue to be hosted by current SportsCenter anchors like Matt Barrie and Zubin Mehenti…
…ABC began airing exclusive coverage of the 2016 WNBA Finals Oct. 9. The championship features the defending league champion Minnesota Lynx facing the Los Angeles Sparks. The first game of this best of five series took place on the Lynx home court in Minneapolis, MN, with the visiting Sparks narrowly edging out a win on the road 78-76 against the defending champions. Following exclusive coverage of Game 1 on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 will air the rest of the games in the series.
…ESPN will begin coverage of NCAA’s Women’s Basketball Monday, Nov. 14. ESPN and the affiliate networks ESPN2, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, and SEC Network will air 140 games during the 2016-2017 regular season. The season will culminate with the 30th anniversary of ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Championship. In the future, exclusive games aired on ESPN3, SEC Network+, and ACC Network Extra will be included in releases. The season opener on Nov. 14 will feature four-time defending champion UConn at Florida State as part of the annual Tip-Off Marathon at 6 p.m. E.T. on ESPN2, along with the Stanford at Texas game.