ESPN Reaches Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Rights Agreement with Big Sky Conference





ESPN Reaches Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Rights Agreement with Big Sky Conference
More than 600 Big Sky events in both men’s and women’s sports will stream on ESPN+ and the ESPN App.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Reaches Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Rights Agreement with Big Sky Conference

· More than 600 Live Events Set for ESPN+ and the ESPN App

· ESPNU to Televise Two Football Games, One Regular Season Men’s Basketball Game; Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Games Set for ESPN Networks

ESPN and the Big Sky Conference have announced a new multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement, adding hundreds of Big Sky live events to ESPN’s college sports portfolio. More than 600 Big Sky events in both men’s and women’s sports will stream on ESPN+ and the ESPN App. ESPNU will televise two football games each year, in addition to a regular season men’s basketball game, and the championship games for the Big Sky Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments are slated for ESPN networks.

“The Big Sky Conference consistently delivers compelling storylines and high-caliber competition across all 16 of its sports, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to further highlight the student-athletes and member institutions as we showcase hundreds of matchups each year across our ESPN platforms,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.

“This landmark agreement for the Big Sky and our membership rightfully aligns the nation’s preeminent FCS conference with the strongest media brand in sports,” Big Sky Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “We are absolutely thrilled to join the ESPN family and deliver an elevated viewing experience with hundreds of Big Sky contests on ESPN+ each year. In addition, the numerous linear opportunities on ESPN networks now available to us is unprecedented among our peers, and yet another way that we will enhance the brand of the Big Sky.”

The first event on ESPN networks as part of the new deal is the Big Sky Conference’s annual Football Kickoff, which will stream live on ESPN+ on Monday, July 26. Big Sky teams have recently been featured on ESPN networks while competing on the national stage, including Eastern Washington and conference champion Weber State in the FCS Playoffs, and the Northern Arizona men’s cross country team claiming their fourth NCAA title in five years, live on ESPNU.

The longstanding relationship between ESPN and the Big Sky Conference goes back to ESPN’s formative years, when Big Sky football was featured on the network on October 4, 1980 for Northern Arizona’s homecoming against Idaho State. Since at least 1989, ESPN has regularly televised the championship game of the Big Sky Men’s Basketball Tournament.

About the Big Sky Conference

Founded in 1963, the Big Sky Conference is a NCAA Division I conference competing in the Football Championship Subdivision. With 165 teams representing 15 institutions in 16 sports (seven men’s, nine women’s), the Big Sky prides itself on its “#ExperienceElevated” platform that emphasizes the unique traits and lifelong benefits that the conference and its member institutions provide to around 4,000 student-athletes each year.

The conference has 11 full members (Eastern Washington University; the University of Idaho; Idaho State University; the University of Montana; Montana State University; Northern Arizona University; the University of Northern Colorado; Portland State University; Sacramento State; Southern Utah University; and Weber State University) located in eight states across the western United States, plus two football affiliate members (Cal Poly and UC Davis) and two men’s golf affiliate members (Binghamton University and the University of Hartford). Conference members have won 11 NCAA championships, including seven in football by five different members as well as four titles by NAU men’s cross country over the past five seasons.

For more information, visit BigSkyConf.com and the Big Sky’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 13.8 million subscribers.

Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $5.99 a month (or $59.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).

About ESPNU

ESPNU launched March 4, 2005. The 24-hour college sports television network televises more than 750 live events annually. Action includes a variety of top football and men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as Olympic sports from 27 Division I conferences. ESPNU is the destination for premier collegiate and high school programming, including elite football, basketball, baseball, softball and lacrosse events. ESPNU, as part of ESPN’s wide-ranging agreement with the NCAA, has extensive coverage of NCAA Championship events.

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ABC’s Coverage of LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Game 7 Draws Largest Audience





ABC’s Coverage of LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Game 7 Draws Largest NBA Playoffs First Round Audience: 5,489,000 Viewers
Overall, ESPN and ABC combined to average 3,389,000 viewers for its first round NBA Playoffs coverage, up 49 percent vs. the 2020 first round and up four percent from the 2019 first round.
[via press release from ESPN]
ABC’s Coverage of LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Game 7 Draws Largest NBA Playoffs First Round Audience: 5,489,000 Viewers

Audience Peaked with 7,205,000 Viewers

ABC’s coverage of the LA Clippers victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of their first round series generated an average audience of 5,489,000 viewers. It is the most-watched first round game of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, according to Nielsen. The broadcast peaked with 7,205,000 viewers from 6-6:15 p.m. ET.

Game 7 won the day across all of television in key adult and male demos, including 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. Overall, ESPN and ABC combined to average 3,389,000 viewers for its first round NBA Playoffs coverage, up 49 percent vs. the 2020 first round and up four percent from the 2019 first round. This includes Play-In Tournament viewership. In addition, NBA games on ESPN and ABC were the most viewed telecasts of the day in the key male and adult demos on all seven days that these platforms aired games in the first round.

ESPN and ABC have televised the five most-watched NBA games of the 2020-21 season:

1. Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, December 25, (ESPN and ABC simulcast): 7,014,000 viewers;

2. Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers, May 16, Play-In Tournament, (ESPN): 5,619,000 viewers;

3. Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers, June 6, first round Game 7, (ABC): 5,489,000 viewers

4. Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers, May 30, first round Game 4, (ABC): 5,380,000

5. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors, December 25, (ABC): 4,804,000

ESPN’s NBA Playoffs coverage continues with six games this week, starting Thursday, June 10, when the Brooklyn Nets visit the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of their second round series at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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ESPN Networks’ Dynamic Early Season College Football Schedule





ESPN Networks’ Dynamic Early Season College Football Schedule: Unrivaled Slate of the Biggest Rivalries, Conference Championship Games and Postseason Action Set for All ESPN Platforms
ESPN will carry approximately 1,000 regular season games across all networks, gearing up for the return of a 40-game Bowl Season schedule that includes the exclusive presentation of the College Football Playoff Semifinals.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Networks’ Dynamic Early Season College Football Schedule: Unrivaled Slate of the Biggest Rivalries, Conference Championship Games and Postseason Action Set for All ESPN Platforms

· First Three Weeks Highlighted By More Than 100 Games; Approximately 1,000 CFB Showdowns Slated for 2021-22 Season

· High-Impact Matchups in Opening Weeks on ABC Include Georgia-Clemson, Alabama-Miami, Plus Big Time Non-Conference Showdowns from Michigan and Penn State

· ESPN+ Continues Expansive CFB Coverage, Including Start of SEC Games on the Platform and Record Number of Big 12 and American Contests

· Full Bowl Season Schedule Returns with 40 Bowl Games, College Football Playoff Semifinals and Championship

The spark of college football’s pageantry and passion is ready to ignite, as ESPN welcomes back its robust portfolio of the best rivalries, non-conference clashes, in-state showdowns, unparalleled conference championship contests and premier postseason programming. ESPN will carry approximately 1,000 regular season games across all networks, gearing up for the return of a 40-game Bowl Season schedule that includes the exclusive presentation of the College Football Playoff Semifinals. ESPN concludes the season in the Circle City with the CFP National Championship on Monday, January 10 in Indianapolis.

23 of ESPN’s Post-Spring Top 25 teams are featured across ESPN networks during ESPN’s early season slate and special date games, as well as 11 conferences represented and teams from all 10 FBS conferences booked for bragging rights throughout ESPN’s industry-leading college football portfolio. Games are set for all ESPN platforms, including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, Big 12 Now on ESPN+, Longhorn Network, ESPN3, ESPN+, SEC Network+ (SECN+) and ACC Network Extra (ACCNX).

Kickoff Week

ACC and SEC Squads Clash in Charlotte and Atlanta

As previously announced, ABC’s Labor Day Weekend coverage includes the much-anticipated Duke’s Mayo Classic in Charlotte featuring Georgia vs. Clemson on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Earlier that day, defending National Champion Alabama faces Miami in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 5, Florida State and Notre Dame tussle in Tallahassee at 7:30 p.m. in the Capital One Sunday Night Kickoff.

In addition to Saturday’s Crimson Tide-Hurricanes game, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will also play host to a second Chick-fil-A Kickoff showdown with Louisville vs. Ole Miss on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 6) at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

ESPN+ Adds Record Number of Robust Offerings Featuring SEC, Big 12 and American

As part of the SEC’s new agreement with ESPN, select SEC football games will be available on ESPN+ beginning this fall. ESPN+ has the right to stream one non-conference football game per school each season kicking off in 2021. These matchups will also be simulcast on SEC Network+, with both streams accessible in the ESPN App via connected devices. Four matchups are set for Week 1 action, including Akron-Auburn, Rice-Arkansas, Eastern Illinois-South Carolina and East Tennessee State-Vanderbilt. SEC squads featured on ESPN+ in the second and third weeks of the season include Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee, with additional games to be determined over the remainder of the season

Additionally, a record number of Big 12 games will be featured on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with 11 contests featuring eight different Big 12 teams scheduled across the first three weeks and as many as 15 total games likely throughout the season.

The American returns for its second season on ESPN+ as well, with approximately 25 total games planned throughout the season, featuring two appearances by returning conference champion Cincinnati to open the season.

In addition to the above, ESPN+ will feature games from Conference USA, MAC, Sun Belt and more, with more than 150 total FBS games expected on the platform throughout the season.

ESPN Welcomes Back CFB in Weeks 0 and 1

In Week 0, the West Coast contest between Hawaii and UCLA officially kicks off the 2021 season across ESPN networks on Saturday, August 28 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.

For Week 1, ESPN will also showcase a trio of on-campus games during the holiday weekend, beginning with UCF hosting Boise State on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. Friday night (Sept. 3) features a doubleheader of ACC and Big Ten openers as North Carolina plays Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (6 p.m.), followed by Michigan State at Northwestern at 9 p.m.

Marquee matchups from ESPN’s first three weeks and select blockbuster showdowns throughout the season were announced as part of last week’s Disney Upfront.

ESPN Events Features Expansive Schedule of Early Season Contests

ESPN Events’ Kickoff Games in Las Vegas and Houston Set for Saturday, Sept. 5

ESPN Events’ portfolio of premier college football events will be on display opening week with the 2021 Texas Kickoff and inaugural Vegas Kickoff Classic, both primed for primetime. Longtime Lone Star State rivals Texas Tech and Houston will match up in the Texas Kickoff at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the home of the Raiders, will host Arizona vs. BYU following the action from Houston at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Montgomery, Ala. Plays Host to Two Inaugural ESPN Events

The official Week 1 college football slate will begin with the first edition of the Montgomery Kickoff in Montgomery, Ala. on Wednesday, Sept. 1. ESPN will televise the neutral site showdown between UAB and Jacksonville State at 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the Montgomery Kickoff, the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery welcomes another inaugural neutral site showdown within the ESPN Events collection. Previously announced in February, Tuskegee University and Fort Valley State will play in the first Red Tails Classic on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. ESPN Events launched the event to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary Black military aviators who served in World War II.

MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff Now in Week 0

As part of a new, six-year agreement with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), ESPN Events will now schedule the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff in Week 0. This year, North Carolina Central and Alcorn State will match up on Saturday, August 28 on ESPN at 7 p.m.

SEC Network Kicks Off 2021 in Knoxville

SEC Network starts the season in primetime on Thursday, Sept. 2 with Tennessee hosting Bowling Green at 8 p.m. in Neyland Stadium. SECN is then set for a trio of tripleheaders to kickoff 2021, including SEC Saturday Night matchups featuring an early season SEC showdown between Missouri and Kentucky (Saturday, Sept. 11 | 7:30 p.m.) and an all-Florida feature with FAU traveling to Gainesville to take on Florida in Week 1 (Saturday, Sept. 4 | 7:30 p.m.). Overall, the network boasts a comprehensive slate each week of the season, with more details here.

ACC Network

ACC Network opens its third season with three straight days of games in Week 1 beginning in Raleigh, N.C. with NC State hosting USF on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. ACCN is set for tripleheader Saturdays Weeks 1 and 3, and a quadruple header Week 2 starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11. An ACC Coastal Division matchup – Virginia at North Carolina – highlights week 3 of ACC Primetime Football Presented By GEICO (Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.). More information on ACCN’s first three weeks of football can be found here.

Week 2

In addition to Washington-Michigan on ABC’s Saturday Night Football presented by Capital One, marquee matchups in Week 2 include the Sunshine State showdown on Saturday, Sept. 11 between Florida and USF at noon on ABC, as well as an early season rivalry battle between ranked in-state foes Iowa and Iowa State at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. On ESPN, Pittsburgh and Tennessee kick things off at noon, followed by Texas-Arkansas in primetime at 7 p.m. and another in-state rivalry, Utah-BYU at 10:15 p.m.

On ESPN2, 2020’s breakout team Coastal Carolina hosts Kansas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept 10.

Week 3

ESPN is set for several exciting matchups in Week 3, including Louisville hosting UCF on Friday, Sept 17, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. South Carolina and Georgia will meet in their first conference contest of the season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, followed by BYU hosting Arizona State at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN. The week kicks off on Thursday night with Ohio facing perennial Sun Belt contender Louisiana at 8 p.m. on ESPN, with the previously announced Saturday Night Football matchup featuring Auburn visiting Penn State in Happy Valley at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

As Longhorn Network nears its 10th anniversary this August, the network’s opening game of the 2021 season will be an in-state showcase as Texas hosts Rice on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.

ESPN Special Date Games Set for Spotlight

In addition to the first three weeks, ESPN has teed up an expansive schedule of marquee matchups for viewers to mark on their calendars, including ESPN’s signature slate of mid-week games. Highlights include:

· Week 4
· Marshall at Appalachian State (Thursday, Sept. 23 | ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)

· Week 5
· Virginia at Miami (Fla.) (Thursday, Sept. 30 | ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)
· Houston at Tulsa (Friday, Oct. 1 | ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)

· Week 6
· Temple at Cincinnati (Friday, Oct. 8 | ESPN, 7 p.m.)
· Stanford at Arizona State (Friday, Oct. 8 | ESPN, 10:30 p.m.)

· Week 7
· Appalachian State at Louisiana (Tuesday, Oct. 12 | ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.)
· Clemson at Syracuse (Friday, Oct. 15 | ESPN, 7 p.m.)
· California at Oregon (Friday, Oct. 15 | ESPN, 10:30 p.m.)

· Week 8
· Tulane at SMU (Thursday, Oct. 21 | ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)
· Washington at Arizona (Friday, Oct. 22 | ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.)

· Week 11
· North Carolina at Pittsburgh (Thursday, Nov. 11 | ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)

· Week 12
· Northern Illinois at Buffalo (Wednesday, Nov. 17 | ESPN2 or ESPNU, 7 p.m.)

· Rivalry Week (Week 13)
· Buffalo at Ball State (Tuesday, Nov. 23 | ESPNU or ESPN+, 7 p.m.)
· Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, Nov. 25 | ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)
· North Carolina at North Carolina State (Friday, Nov. 26 | Network/Time TBD)
· South Florida at UCF (Friday, Nov. 26 | Network/Time TBD)

A complete list of games is provided in the grid at the bottom of the release.

Conference Championships for ACC, American, Big 12 and Pac-12 Set for ABC; Six Total Currently Slated for ESPN Networks

ESPN is set to broadcast the ACC, American, Big 12 and Pac-12 Championship Games on ABC the first weekend of December, as ESPN networks close out their signature coverage of conference action. The Pac-12 Championship Game is slated for primetime on ABC (8 p.m.) on Friday, Dec. 3, with the ACC, Big 12 and American all set for the spotlight on ABC on Saturday, Dec. 4. Times for these games will be announced later in the season.

Additionally, the Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship and Sun Belt Championship Game will each be televised live on ESPN, with the tussle between the top teams of the MAC slated to kickoff at noon. The time for the Sun Belt Championship will be set at a later date.

Bowl Season is Back

ESPN’s continued commitment to the college football postseason is on full display this winter with a full 40-game slate in December and January, including 17 ESPN Events owned and operated bowl games and the entirety of the New Year’s Six. The postseason begins with the Bahamas Bowl on Friday, Dec. 17 at noon on ESPN, and ABC’s first bowl game is the Cricket Celebration Bowl at noon on Saturday, Dec. 18. The lineup also includes the inaugural editions of the LA Bowl and the Fenway Bowl.

The College Football Playoff returns for Year 8, with the Capital One Orange Bowl and Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic each playing host to the CFP Semifinals on ESPN. The College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN. More details regarding ESPN’s multi-platform presentation of the college football postseason and CFP will be announced later this year.

Schedules are subject to change. Please continue to check @ESPNPR and ESPN Press Room for more information.

ESPN NETWORKS – EARLY SEASON COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Sat, Aug 28 3:30 p.m. Hawaii at UCLA ESPN
7 p.m. Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff (Atlanta, Ga.):
Alcorn State vs. North Carolina Central ESPN
Wed, Sep 1 7:30 p.m. Montgomery Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.):
UAB vs. Jacksonville State ESPN
Thu, Sep 2 7 p.m. Boise State at UCF ESPN
7 p.m. Wagner at Buffal
· ESPN3
7 p.m. Long Island at Florida International ESPN3
7 p.m. The Citadel at Coastal Carolina ESPN+
7 p.m. Western Illinois at Ball State ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Duke’s Mayo Classic (Charlotte, N.C.):
East Carolina vs. Appalachian State ESPNU
7:30 p.m. South Florida at NC State ACC Network
7:30 p.m. UC Davis at Tulsa ESPN+
8 p.m. Bowling Green at Tennessee SEC Network
8 p.m. UT Martin at Western Kentucky ESPN+
Fri, Sep 3 6 p.m. North Carolina at Virginia Tech ESPN
7 p.m. St. Francis (Pa.) at Eastern Michigan ESPN3
7 p.m. Old Dominion at Wake Forest ACC Network
8 p.m. South Dakota at Kansas Big 12 Now on ESPN+
9 p.m. Michigan State at Northwestern ESPN
Sat, Sep 4 Noon Oklahoma at Tulane ABC
Noon Western Michigan at Michigan ESPN
Noon Army at Georgia State ESPNU
Noon Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky SEC Network
Noon Colgate at Boston College ACC Network
2 p.m. Rice at Arkansas ESPN+/SECN+
3:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff (Atlanta, Ga.):
Alabama vs. Miami ABC
3:30 p.m. West Virginia at Maryland ESPN
3:30 p.m. Northern Iowa at Iowa State Big 12 Now on ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati ESPN+
4 p.m. Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State ESPNU
4 p.m. Central Michigan at Missouri SEC Network
4 p.m. Massachusetts at Pittsburgh ACC Network
6 p.m. Gardner-Webb at Georgia Southern ESPN3
6 p.m. Campbell at Liberty ESPN3
7 p.m. Texas Kickoff (Houston, Texas):
Texas Tech vs. Houston ESPN
7 p.m. Missouri State at Oklahoma State Big 12 Now on ESPN+
7 p.m. Monmouth at Middle Tennessee ESPN3
7 p.m. Central Arkansas at Arkansas State ESPN3
7 p.m. Norfolk State at Toled
· ESPN3
7 p.m. Southern at Troy ESPN3
7 p.m. Akron at Auburn ESPN+/SECN+
7 p.m. Eastern Illinois at South Carolina ESPN+/SECN+
7 p.m. Nicholls at Memphis ESPN+
7 p.m. Abilene Christian at SMU ESPN+
7 p.m. Baylor at Texas State ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Duke’s Mayo Classic (Charlotte, N.C.):
Georgia vs. Clemson ABC
7:30 p.m. Florida Atlantic at Florida SEC Network
7:30 p.m. Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech ACC Network
7:30 p.m. Northwestern State at North Texas ESPN3
7:30 p.m. William & Mary at Virginia ESPN3
8 p.m. Kent State at Texas A&M ESPNU
8 p.m. Duquesne at TCU Big 12 Now on ESPN+
8 p.m. East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt ESPN+/SECN+
8 p.m. Southern Mississippi at South Alabama ESPN+
9 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at UTEP ESPN3
10:30 p.m. Vegas Kickoff Classic (Las Vegas, Nev.):
BYU vs. Arizona ESPN
Sun, Sep 5 3 p.m. Denny’s Orange Blossom Classic (Miami Gardens, Fla.):
Jackson State vs. Florida A&M ESPN2
7 p.m. Red Tails Classic (Montgomery, Ala.):
Fort Valley State vs. Tuskegee ESPNU
7:30 p.m. Notre Dame at Florida State ABC
Mon, Sep 6 8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff (Atlanta, Ga.):
Louisville vs. Ole Miss ESPN
Fri, Sep 10 7:30 p.m. Kansas at Coastal Carolina ESPN2
8 p.m. North Carolina A&T at Duke ACC Network
Sat, Sep 11 11 a.m. Illinois at Virginia ACC Network
11:30 a.m. VMI at Kent State ESPN3
Noon Florida at South Florida ABC
Noon Pittsburgh at Tennessee ESPN
Noon South Carolina at East Carolina ESPN2
Noon Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota ESPNU
Noon Alabama State at Auburn SEC Network
Noon Kennesaw State at Georgia Tech ESPN3
Noon Norfolk State at Wake Forest ACCNX
1:30 p.m. Wyoming at Northern Illinois ESPN+
2 p.m. Rutgers at Syracuse ACC Network
2 p.m. Duquesne at Ohi
· ESPN3
2 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Virginia Tech ACCNX
3 p.m. Robert Morris at Central Michigan ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Iowa at Iowa State ABC
3:30 p.m. UAB at Georgia ESPN2
3:30 p.m. California at TCU ESPNU
3:30 p.m. Murray State at Cincinnati ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Temple at Akron ESPN+
4 p.m. Mercer at Alabama SEC Network
4 p.m. South Alabama at Bowling Green ESPN+
5 p.m. South Carolina State at Clemson ACC Network
5 p.m. Illinois State at Western Michigan ESPN3
5 p.m. Long Island at West Virginia Big 12 Now on ESPN+
6 p.m. Gardner-Webb at Charlotte ESPN3
6 p.m. Lamar at UTSA ESPN3
6:30 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at UCF ESPN+
6:30 p.m. North Carolina Central at Marshall ESPN+
7 p.m. Texas at Arkansas ESPN
7 p.m. Appalachian State at Miami ESPN2 or ESPNU
7 p.m. NC State at Mississippi State ESPN2 or ESPNU
7 p.m. Texas Southern at Baylor Big 12 Now on ESPN+
7 p.m. Southern Illinois at Kansas State Big 12 Now on ESPN+
7 p.m. Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech Big 12 Now on ESPN+
7 p.m. Hampton at Old Dominion ESPN3
7 p.m. Grambling at Southern Mississippi ESPN3
7 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana at Louisiana Tech ESPN3
7 p.m. Nicholls at Louisiana ESPN3
7 p.m. Liberty at Troy ESPN+
7 p.m. Texas State at Florida International ESPN+
7 p.m. North Texas at SMU ESPN+
7 p.m. Morgan State at Tulane ESPN+
7 p.m. Memphis at Arkansas State ESPN+
7 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Louisville ACCNX
7:30 p.m. Washington at Michigan ABC
7:30 p.m. Missouri at Kentucky SEC Network
7:30 p.m. Georgia State at North Carolina ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Austin Peay at Ole Miss ESPN+/SECN+
8 p.m. Jacksonville State at Florida State ACC Network
8 p.m. McNeese at LSU ESPN+/SECN+
10:15 p.m. Utah at BYU ESPN
10:30 p.m. UNLV at Arizona State ESPN2
Thu, Sep 16 8 p.m. Ohio at Louisiana ESPN
Fri, Sep 17 7:30 p.m. UCF at Louisville ESPN
Sat, Sep 18 Noon Michigan State at Miami ABC or ESPN
Noon Cincinnati at Indiana ABC or ESPN
Noon Boston College at Temple ESPN2 or ESPNU
Noon Coastal Carolina at Buffal
· ESPN2 or ESPNU
Noon New Mexico at Texas A&M SEC Network
Noon Albany at Syracuse ACC Network
Noon Western Michigan at Pittsburgh ESPN3
Noon Chattanooga at Kentucky ESPN+/SECN+
Noon Southeast Missouri State at Missouri ESPN+/SECN+
Noon Tennessee Tech at Tennessee ESPN+/SECN+
2:05 p.m. Nevada at Kansas State Big 12 Now on ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Georgia Tech at Clemson ABC or ESPN
3:30 p.m. Florida State at Wake Forest ABC or ESPN
3:30 p.m. Bryant at Akron ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Baylor at Kansas Big 12 Now on ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Elon at Appalachian State ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Long Island at Miami (Ohio) ESPN+
4 p.m. Mississippi State at Memphis ESPN2
4 p.m. Colorado State at Toled
· ESPNU
4 p.m. Georgia Southern at Arkansas SEC Network
4 p.m. Northwestern at Duke ACC Network
5 p.m. Murray State at Bowling Green ESPN3
6 p.m. Fordham at Florida Atlantic ESPN3
6 p.m. Old Dominion at Liberty ESPN3
6 p.m. Middle Tennessee at UTSA ESPN+
7 p.m. South Carolina at Georgia ESPN
7 p.m. Incarnate Word at Texas State ESPN3
7 p.m. Florida International at Texas Tech Big 12 Now on ESPN+
7 p.m. Grambling at Houston ESPN+
7 p.m. Florida A&M at South Florida ESPN+
7 p.m. Troy at Southern Mississippi ESPN+
7 p.m. Charlotte at Georgia State ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Auburn at Penn State ABC
7:30 p.m. Central Michigan at LSU SEC Network
7:30 p.m. Virginia at North Carolina ACC Network
7:30 p.m. Furman at NC State ESPN3
8 p.m. Tulane at Ole Miss ESPN2
8 p.m. Stanford at Vanderbilt ESPNU
8 p.m. Rice at Texas Longhorn Network
8 p.m. Alcorn State at South Alabama ESPN3
8 p.m. Jackson State at Louisiana-Monroe ESPN3
10:15 p.m. Arizona State at BYU ESPN
Thu, Sep 23 7:30 p.m. Marshall at Appalachian State ESPN
Fri, Sep 24 7 p.m. Wake Forest at Virginia ESPN2
8 p.m. Liberty at Syracuse ACC Network
Sat, Sep 25 Noon Wagner at Temple ESPN+
Noon Bowling Green at Minnesota TBD
6 p.m. Charleston Southern at East Carolina ESPN+
TBD South Florida at BYU TBD
Thu, Sep 30 7:30 p.m. Virginia at Miami ESPN
Fri, Oct 1 7:30 p.m. Houston at Tulsa ESPN
Thu, Oct 7 7:30 p.m. Houston at Tulane ESPN
7:30 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State ESPNU
Fri, Oct 8 7 p.m. Temple at Cincinnati ESPN
10:30 p.m. Stanford at Arizona State ESPN
Sat, Oct 9 TBD Red River Showdown (Dallas, Texas):
Oklahoma vs. Texas TBD
TBD Notre Dame at Virginia Tech TBD
TBD Boise State at BYU TBD
Tue, Oct 12 7:30 p.m. Appalachian State at Louisiana ESPN2
Thu, Oct 14 7:30 p.m. Navy at Memphis ESPN
7:30 p.m. Georgia Southern at South Alabama ESPNU
Fri, Oct 15 7 p.m. Clemson at Syracuse ESPN
10:30 p.m. California at Oregon ESPN
Sat, Oct 16 TBD Iowa State at Kansas State TBD
TBD Stanford at Washington State TBD
Wed, Oct 20 7:30 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State ESPN2
Thu, Oct 21 7:30 p.m. Tulane at SMU ESPN
7:30 p.m. Louisiana at Arkansas State ESPNU
Fri, Oct 22 7 p.m. Memphis at UCF ESPN2
10:30 p.m. Washington at Arizona ESPN2
Sat, Oct 23 Noon Cincinnati at Navy ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Thu, Oct 28 7:30 p.m. South Florida at East Carolina ESPN
7:30 p.m. Troy at Coastal Carolina ESPNU
Fri, Oct 29 7:30 p.m. Navy at Tulsa ESPN2
Sat, Oct 30 TBD Florida State at Clemson TBD
TBD Texas at Baylor TBD
TBD Virginia at BYU TBD
Tue, Nov 2 7:30 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at Ohio or Eastern Michigan at Toledo or Ball State at Akron ESPN2
7:30 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at Ohio or Eastern Michigan at Toledo or Ball State at Akron ESPNU
Wed, Nov 3 7 p.m. Central Michigan at Western Michigan ESPN2 or ESPNU
7 p.m. Northern Illinois at Kent State ESPN2 or ESPNU
Thu, Nov 4 7:30 p.m. Georgia State at Louisiana ESPN
Fri, Nov 5 7:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at Boston College ESPN2
Sat, Nov 6 3 p.m. Idaho State at BYU ESPN3
Tue, Nov 9 8 p.m. Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) or Ohio at Eastern Michigan or Akron at Western Michigan ESPN2
8 p.m. Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) or Ohio at Eastern Michigan or Akron at Western Michigan ESPNU
Wed, Nov 10 7 p.m. Ball State at Northern Illinois or Toledo at Bowling Green or Kent State at Central Michigan ESPN2
8 p.m. Ball State at Northern Illinois or Toledo at Bowling Green or Kent State at Central Michigan ESPNU
Thu, Nov 11 7:30 p.m. North Carolina at Pittsburgh ESPN
Fri, Nov 12 6 p.m. Cincinnati at South Florida ESPN2
Tue, Nov 16 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. Toledo at Ohio ESPN2 or ESPNU or ESPN+
7:30 or 8 p.m. Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan ESPN2 or ESPNU or ESPN+
7:30 or 8 p.m. Bowling Green at Miami (Ohio) ESPN2 or ESPNU or ESPN+
Wed, Nov 17 7 p.m. Central Michigan at Ball State ESPN2 or ESPNU
7 p.m. Northern Illinois at Buffal
· ESPN2 or ESPNU
Thu, Nov 18 7:30 p.m. Louisville at Duke ESPN
Fri, Nov 19 9 p.m. Memphis at Houston ESPN2
Sat, Nov 20 TBD Nebraska at Wisconsin TBD
Tue, Nov 23 7 p.m. Buffalo at Ball State ESPNU or ESPN+
7 p.m. Western Michigan at Northern Illinois ESPNU or ESPN+
Thu, Nov 25 7:30 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPN
Fri, Nov 26 Noon Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan or Ohio at Bowling Green ESPNU
3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. North Carolina at NC State ABC or ESPN
3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. South Florida at UCF ABC or ESPN
3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Cincinnati at East Carolina or Tulane at Memphis or Tulsa at SMU* ABC or ESPN
Sat, Nov 27 TBD Oklahoma at Oklahoma State TBD
Fri, Dec 3 8 p.m. Pac-12 Championship Game (Las Vegas, Nev.) ABC
Sat, Dec 4 Noon Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship Game (Detroit, Mich.) ESPN
TBD Sun Belt Championship Game (Campus Site TBD) ESPN
TBD American Championship Game (Campus Site TBD) ABC
TBD Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game (Arlington, Texas) ABC
TBD ACC Championship Game (Charlotte, N.C.) ABC
Fri, Dec 17 Noon Bahamas Bowl ESPN
6 p.m. Cure Bowl ESPN2
Sat, Dec 18 11 a.m. RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl ESPN
Noon Cricket Celebration Bowl ABC
2:15 p.m. New Mexico Bowl ESPN
3:30 p.m. Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl ABC
5:45 p.m. LendingTree Bowl ESPN
7:30 p.m. LA Bowl ABC
9:15 p.m. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl ESPN
Mon, Dec 20 2:30 p.m. Myrtle Beach Bowl ESPN
Tue, Dec 21 3:30 p.m. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl ESPN
7:30 p.m. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl ESPN
Wed, Dec 22 TBD Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl ESPN
Thu, Dec 23 7 p.m. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl ESPN
Fri, Dec 24 8 p.m. Hawai’i Bowl ESPN
Sat, Dec 25 2:30 p.m. Camellia Bowl ESPN
Mon, Dec 27 11 a.m. Quick Lane Bowl ESPN
2:30 p.m. Military Bowl Presented by Peraton ESPN
Tue, Dec 28 Noon TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl ESPN
3:15 p.m. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl ESPN
6:45 p.m. AutoZone Liberty Bowl ESPN
10:15 p.m. Guaranteed Rate Bowl ESPN
Wed, Dec 29 11 a.m. Fenway Bowl ESPN
2:15 p.m. New Era Pinstripe Bowl ESPN
5:45 p.m. Cheez-It Bowl ESPN
9:15 p.m. Valero Alamo Bowl ESPN
Thu, Dec 30 11:30 a.m. Duke’s Mayo Bowl ESPN
3 p.m. TransPerfect Music City Bowl ESPN
7 p.m. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl ESPN
10:30 p.m. SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl ESPN
Fri, Dec 31 11 a.m. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl ESPN
3:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. CFP Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic ESPN
3:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. CFP Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl ESPN
Sat, Jan 1 Noon Outback Bowl ESPN2
1 p.m. Vrbo Citrus Bowl ABC
1 p.m. PlayStation Fiesta Bowl ESPN
5 p.m. Rose Bowl Game ESPN
8:45 p.m. Allstate Sugar Bowl ESPN
Tue, Jan 4 TBD Texas Bowl ESPN
Mon, Jan 10 8 p.m. CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T ESPN
* One of the listed matchups will be on Fri, Nov 26. Others remain on Sat, Nov 27.

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ESPN Generates Second-Largest Audience of Season for Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors





ESPN Generates Second-Largest Audience of Season for Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament Game
The telecast averaged 3,633,000 viewers and won the night in prime time across all of television, including in every key adult and male demo.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Generates Second-Largest Audience of Season for Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament Game

Won the Night Across Television and in All Key Adult and Male Demos

ESPN generated its second-largest audience of the 2020-21 NBA season for Friday’s telecast of the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament game. The telecast averaged 3,633,000 viewers and won the night in prime time across all of television, including in every key adult and male demo, according to Nielsen.

ESPN’s three State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament game telecasts averaged 3,842,000 viewers, up 99 percent from the single Western Conference play-in game on ABC in 2020. Friday’s Grizzlies vs. Warriors telecast trailed only the Lakers vs. Warriors game telecast on May 19 as ESPN’s most-watched NBA game of the 2020-21 season.

ESPN’s 2021 NBA Playoffs coverage continues with seven games this weekend between Friday, May 28 and Sunday, May 30. More information on the schedule and coverage plans will be announced on May 25.

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“The Return of The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega” Debuts Tuesday, June 1





“The Return of The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega” Debuts Tuesday, June 1, Exclusively on ESPN+
Each Tuesday, ESPN+ will debut a new “TUF 29” episode, followed by a new episode of “After TUF,” an original recap and discussion show hosted by ESPN’s Charly Arnolt and analyst TJ Lavin.
[via press release from ESPN]
“The Return of The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega” Debuts Tuesday, June 1, Exclusively on ESPN+

ESPN to Air Launch Party Preview Show, Tuesday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET

To subscribe visit ESPNPlus.com/ufc

The Ultimate Fighter, the acclaimed UFC reality series, debuts Tuesday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET, exclusively on ESPN+. The Return of The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega – the 29th season of the iconic reality series – will see UFC(R) featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and No. 2 contender Brian Ortega coach men’s bantamweights and middleweights for a coveted UFC contract. Each Tuesday, ESPN+ will debut a new TUF 29 episode, followed by a new episode of After TUF, an original recap and discussion show hosted by ESPN’s Charly Arnolt and analyst TJ Lavin, from reality show The Challenge, in his ESPN debut.

Following the series, the two coaches will prepare to square off for the featherweight title at a date that will be determined in the near future.

Watch TUF-related content across ESPN platforms:

· ESPN: The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Launch Party, preview show co-hosted by Arnolt and Lavin, Tue., May 25 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

· All 12 TUF 29 episodes will simultaneously be available with Spanish-language subtitles on ESPN+

· ESPN+ VOD: of All 28 seasons of TUF available Tue., May 25

· ESPN.com:

· Everything you need to know about TUF 29, launching Tue., May 25

· How to watch The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN+ and other MMA Stories

· SOCIAL: @ESPNMMA Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Fans can sign-up for ESPN+ at any time at ESPN.com, ESPNPlus.com, or on the ESPN App.

The Ultimate Fighter is the iconic reality series that has introduced millions of new and die-hard fans to future UFC champions and top contenders. Those whose careers have been shaped by their participation in The Ultimate Fighter include: Kamaru Usman, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Rose Namajunas, Michael Bisping, Robert Whittaker, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, T.J. Dillashaw, Matt Serra, Michael Chiesa, Al Iaquinta, Kelvin Gastelum, Uriah Hall and many others.

About The Return of The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega

Undisputed UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski (22-1, fighting out of Windang, New South Wales, Australia) is unbeaten in almost eight years, including nine straight wins in the UFC. Volkanovski proved himself as one of UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters with two title fight victories over Max Holloway, along with dominant performances against Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins. Volkanovski now hopes to experience the same type of success in his first opportunity as a head coach.

Ortega (15-1, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) is determined to make 2021 the year his UFC title dreams become a reality. Two years removed from his first title challenge, Ortega hopes to apply the same skills that helped him defeat the likes of Chan Sung Jung, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano, to foster the careers of future UFC stars.

The Return of The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega (name, age, professional record and fighting out of):

MEN’S BANTAMWEIGHTS
Daniel Argueta | 27 | 5-0 | Chicago, IL
Brady Hiestand | 21 | 4-1 | Spokane, WA
Dustin Lampros | 26 | 5-0 | Deerfield Beach, FL
Vince Murdock | 30 | 11-6 | Sacramento, CA
Mitch Raposo | 22 | 5-0 | Fall River, MA
Joshua Rettinghouse | 31 | 16-5 | Spokane, WA
Liudvik Sholinian | 30 | 9-1 | Kiev, Ukraine
Ricky Turcios | 27 | 10-2 | Houston, TX
MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Aaron Phillips | 29 | 5-1 | Kotzbue, AK
Andre Petroski | 29 | 5-1 | Philadelphia, PA
Bryan Battle | 26 | 4-1 | Charlotte, NC
Ryder Newman | 25 | 3-1 | Las Vegas, NV
Tresean Gore | 26 | 3-0 | Decatur, GA
Miles Hunsinger | 30 | 7-0 | Las Vegas, NV
Kemran Lachinov | 30 | 10-3 | West Springfield, MA
Gilbert Urbina | 25 | 6-1 | Rio Grande Valley, TX
*All athletes are subject to change

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 13.8 million subscribers.

Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $5.99 a month (or $59.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).



Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Play-In Game Most-Watched NBA Telecast





Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Play-In Game Most-Watched NBA Telecast on ESPN Since 2019 Western Conference Finals: 5,618,000 Viewers
The telecast peaked with 6,149,000 viewers on ESPN from 12:30-1 a.m. ET.
[via press release from ESPN]
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Play-In Game Most-Watched NBA Telecast on ESPN Since 2019 Western Conference Finals: 5,618,000 Viewers

· Up 190 Percent From Single Play-In Game on ABC Last Season

· Peak Audience: 6,149,000 Viewers from 12:30-1 a.m. ET on ESPN

· Most-Watched Telecast Across All of Television in Every Key Demo

ESPN’s exclusive telecast of the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors game generated 5,618,000 viewers, making it the largest audience for an NBA game on ESPN since the 2019 Western Conference Finals, according to Nielsen. The telecast peaked with 6,149,000 viewers on ESPN from 12:30-1 a.m. ET.

The Lakers vs. Warriors game, part of the State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament and widely-regarded as an instant classic, was up 190 percent from the single Play-In game on ABC last season. It was the second-most watched NBA game of the 2020-21 season across all networks, only behind the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks Christmas Day game simulcast on ABC and ESPN. It won the night across all of television in every key sales demo.

In addition, ESPN’s early game last night, featuring the Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs, delivered an average audience of 2,293,000 viewers, making it the third-most watched NBA game on ESPN of the 2020-21 season.

ESPN’s State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament coverage continues with the final Western Conference game on Friday, May 21, at 9 p.m. ET as the Golden State Warriors square off with the Memphis Grizzlies for the final spot in the Western Conference NBA Playoffs.



New Series: “Claressa Shields,” Premiering Exclusively on ESPN+





New Series: “Claressa Shields,” Premiering Exclusively on ESPN+
The four-part series will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at Shields’ quest to become the greatest two-sport athlete of all time, simultaneously maintaining her dominance in boxing while making her debut in mixed martial arts.
[via press release from ESPN]
New Series: Claressa Shields, Premiering Exclusively on ESPN+

· Four-part, all-access series follows two-time gold medalist as she moves to Professional Fighters League

· First episode premiering Thursday, June 3

· Shields to make MMA debut at PFL 4, Thursday, June 10, live on ESPN+ and ESPN2

Claressa Shields, a new four-part, all-access series, premiering exclusively on ESPN+ in June, will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at Shields’ quest to become the greatest two-sport athlete of all time, simultaneously maintaining her dominance in boxing while making her debut in mixed martial arts. A two-time boxing Olympic Gold Medalist and the first professional boxer – male or female – to win undisputed world titles in two separate weight divisions in the four-belt era, Shields has now set her sights on an MMA championship as part of her ambitious goal to be recognized as the undisputed, greatest woman in combat sports.

From Shields’ humble beginnings as a young girl who discovered boxing in a tough Flint, Michigan neighborhood, to winning Olympic Gold in London and Rio, to establishing herself as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female boxing champion, Claressa Shields tells her unique and inspiring story as she continues to rise.

The first episode of the series, premiering Thursday, June 3, captures Shields as she prepares to make her MMA debut with the Professional Fighters League in a lightweight bout versus Brittney Elkin at PFL 4 on Thursday, June 10, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. PFL 4 will be live on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET and on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.

Since announcing her decision to pursue an MMA title, Shields has been training at the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy, where former UFC champions Holly Holm and Jon Jones (the UFC’s No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter) train with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.

“Claressa has accomplished so much as an athlete already and her life story is both authentic and compelling,” said Brian Lockhart, senior vice president, original content and ESPN Films. “We know she’s just getting started, and this new series is a chance for all of us to join Claressa on her journey and to see up close what drives the ambition of a world champion who is reaching for all-time greatness.”

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 13.8 million subscribers.

Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $5.99 a month (or $59.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).



ESPN Leading “Fifty/50” Initiative Exploring Fifty Years of Title IX





ESPN Leading “Fifty/50” Initiative Exploring Fifty Years of Title IX Across The Walt Disney Company
June 2022 will be declared “Fifty/50 Month,” a wide-ranging initiative focused on the intersection of women, sports, culture and the fight for equality.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Leading “Fifty/50” Initiative Exploring Fifty Years of Title IX Across The Walt Disney Company

Initiative Will Feature 50 Stories at the intersection of Women, Sports, Culture and the fight for Equality to Debut in June 2022

Just over a decade after launching espnW, the groundbreaking brand for women’s sports and female athletes, The Walt Disney Company is leading a landmark initiative stretching across its storytelling platforms highlighting the civil rights journey of women in the sports and cultural landscape. Announced during Disney’s Upfront presentation today, “Fifty/50” will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the June 23, 1972 passing of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funding, which gave women the equal opportunity to play.

June 2022 will be declared “Fifty/50 Month,” a wide-ranging initiative focused on the intersection of women, sports, culture and the fight for equality. Highlighting it will be 50 women’s stories told in multiple formats, including long-form reporting, documentary storytelling, podcasts, features, and digital and social platforms.

“This initiative is an incredible undertaking by our team to provide a 360-degree view of the journey of women in sports and to underscore our commitment to telling women’s stories,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “‘Fifty/50’ promises to be a project about a story in progress, examining where we’ve been and where we’re headed, and I am eager to see it come to life.”

At the center of the original content rollout will be a definitive documentary event from award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter (“Bobby Kennedy for President,” “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” “The Way I See It”) that captures the essence of the path of women’s sports and culture. The multi-part film will explore the hard-fought battle of equal rights in education and athletics. Each part will offer a riveting look at the decades-spanning fight to nullify Title IX’s significance; the rippling impact of this landmark law across society, access, and equality; and how that struggle continues to evolve and define culture in surprising and historic ways.

“Title IX is one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in America’s history, but it may also be the most misunderstood,” said Porter. “I wanted to make this film because it speaks not just to my heart, but to issues that remain critical today. This is a story we think we know, but don’t.”

Among the many other components of “Fifty/50” will be an original anthem celebrating the power of women athletes written and performed by Grammy-nominated artist Rapsody and a ranking of the 50 greatest women athletes of the last 50 years from espnW.

“When we launched espnW in 2010, our goal was to create a platform to serve female sports fans more deeply and to shine a light on female athletes and women’s sports,” said Laura Gentile, Executive Vice President, Commercial Marketing, Networks & ESPN. “We’re proud of the work we do in driving that mission, and we are energized by the growth we’re seeing across both the sports and media landscapes. We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone for Title IX and our country, and to highlighting the many triumphs and continued challenges we must work to overcome.”

Additional content for the initiative to be announced.



ESPN+ Announces Upcoming Slate of Originals





ESPN+ Announces Upcoming Slate of Originals
Abby Wambach, David Ortiz, Eli Manning, Vince Carter and Ronda Rousey are among the featured talent.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN+ Announces Upcoming Slate of Originals

Slate will Include Expansion of Peyton’s Places Franchise, Season 2 of Bettor Days with Mike Greenberg and More

ESPN+ announced projects for its upcoming slate during Disney’s Upfront presentation today. The virtual upfront presentation included appearances from new Peyton’s Places franchise hosts Abby Wambach, David Ortiz, Eli Manning, Vince Carter and Ronda Rousey, who will each be taking on their own sport in an expansion of the Emmy-nominated series.

The upcoming ESPN+ slate for 2021 includes:

Quest for the Stanley Cup

A 7-part, behind-the-scenes docu-series that provides an all-access pass, both on and off the ice, as the NHL’s top teams pursue the coveted Stanley Cup.

Coming June 4th.

Peyton’s Places Expansion

Stars from a variety of sports, including Abby Wambach, David Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Vince Carter and Eli Manning, take on Peyton’s signature show to bring fans the people and places that make their sport what it is today. Abby’s Places will take a look at soccer; David Ortiz will host Big Papi’s Places about baseball; Rowdy’s Places will give viewers a look at combat sports; Vince’s Places will cover basketball; and Eli’s Places will explore the world of college football.

Abby’s Places coming July 7.

Bettor Days with Mike Greenberg Season 2

Bettor Days with Mike Greenberg, a character-driven reenactment show bringing to life the true stories of unforgettable gambling adventures. Hosted by ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, the series uses in-depth interviews and comedic reenactments to relive the wildest, funniest betting tales – and their unexpected outcomes.

Coming in August.

Man in the Arena: Tom Brady

After 21 seasons in the NFL, Tom Brady will share a personal first-hand account of his ten Super Bowl appearances. In a groundbreaking new series coming to ESPN+, Tom deconstructs the milestones of his legendary career, mining the psychological and emotional terrain of each victory and defeat. Each episode focuses on a single Super Bowl appearance and centers not just on the pivotal moments, but everything that leads to them, illustrating the series of small steps that seem insignificant at the time, but when reflected upon, show the distance traveled.

Coming in November.

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 12.1 million subscribers.

Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $5.99 a month (or $59.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $18.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).

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ESPN Films Announces Multi-Part Documentary Series “The Captain” featuring Derek Jeter





ESPN Films Announces Multi-Part Documentary Series “The Captain” featuring Derek Jeter
Emmy-winning director Randy Wilkins will tell the story of Jeter’s professional and personal triumphs and challenges.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Films Announces Multi-Part Documentary Series “The Captain” featuring Derek Jeter

Series is directed by Randy Wilkins, executive produced by Mandalay Sports Media, Spike Lee and Excel Media

ESPN Films today announced a multi-part documentary series that will tell the story of one of the greatest icons in modern sports and reveal the man behind the icon. Derek Jeter’s arrival with the New York Yankees helped transform a struggling franchise into a storied dynasty, all within a time of great change in New York City. As Jeter forged a Hall of Fame career, he established himself as the model Yankee both on- and off-the field, with his style, class, and charisma. Jeter’s commitment to winning came with a rare combination of competiveness and cool, traits he has taken with him into retirement as he tackles new tests as a team owner and executive with the Miami Marlins and as a father. As he prepares to enter Cooperstown this July, he is pulling back the curtain to reveal what it was really like to be “The Captain.”

Emmy-winning director Randy Wilkins (“86-32,” “Docket 32357,” “Dear… “) will tell the story of Jeter’s professional and personal triumphs and challenges. The documentary series will use Jeter’s journey as a vessel to tell a larger cultural story that explores race, family, community, rivalries and more. The heartbeat of the project is candid access to the man who helped restore shine to a team, a city, and a culture.

The series is being executive produced by Spike Lee, Mike Tollin, Mandalay Sports Media, Excel Sports Management’s media arm Excel Media, and Connor Schell, in association with The Players’ Tribune and Major League Baseball. It is slated to premiere on ESPN and ESPN+ in 2022.

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