ESPN Launches a New Version of ‘SportsCenter’ to Snapchat
ESPN is bringing SportsCenter to a Snapchat app near you.
Facing declining ratings for its sports programming and an exodus of subscribers in recent years, Walt Disney-owned ESPN has been trying to reach younger audiences for some time, including creating video content for Snapchat since 2015. ESPN has been creating temporary video “Stories” for Snapchat’s Discover service for news and media organizations over the past two years. But, now, the cable sports network is bringing a version of its flagship SportsCenter program to the social media service.
ESPN said on Monday that it has a line-up of younger broadcasters to host three- to five-minute Snapchat videos that will air twice daily on weekdays and once per day on the weekends. That group of sports anchors who will host ESPN’s short video segments on Snapchat includes Katie Nolan—who recently joined the network from Fox Sports after winning a Sports Emmy—along with SportsCenter TV anchors Elle Duncan and Cassidy Hubbarth, as well as radio host Jason Fitz and stand-up comedian Cy Amundson. The segments will cover quick hits on developing sports news, as well as game highlights and commentary.
“SportsCenter on Snapchat provides a creative new format and platform for our flagship franchise to continue to evolve,” Connor Schell, ESPN’s executive vice president of content, said in a statement. “Katie, Elle, Cassidy, Jason, and Cy collectively bring a new style, energy, and substance that I believe will connect with Snapchat’s audience in a real way.”
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The companies said the daily SportsCenter show on Snapchat is part of a new two-year deal between ESPN and Snapchat parent company Snap Inc., which includes revenue sharing. Much like media companies flocked to Snapchat’s Discover feature, more and more TV networks have been signing up to produce daily shows for the popular social media app in recent months. NBC News’ daily show Stay Tuned took off quickly with more than 29 million unique views in its first month earlier this year, and CNN followed suit with its own daily news program for Snapchat in August.
Snap has struggled to grow its revenue and subscriber base since launching an IPO earlier this year, and the company is looking to partner with more media companies to create videos and original series in order to keep their subscribers engaged with the mobile app.