Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe and Russell Wilson to Host The 2020 ESPYS





Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe and Russell Wilson to Host The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One Airing June 21 on ESPN
“There is so much good being done in the world right now, and The ESPYS are recognizing a sports community whose achievements reach far beyond the court,” said Sue Bird.
[via press release from ESPN]
Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe and Russell Wilson to Host The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One Airing June 21 on ESPN

The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One will have a different look this year, and is shifting its focus from outstanding athletic achievement to further highlight narratives of service, perseverance, and courage within the world of sports. This year, the show will be hosted by several of the world’s top athletes: Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird, OL Reign winger Megan Rapinoe and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The ESPYS will air on ESPN on June 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

“There is so much good being done in the world right now, and The ESPYS are recognizing a sports community whose achievements reach far beyond the court,” said Sue Bird. “I’m proud to be hosting this year’s unique show with Megan and Russell, two athletes I admire for their talent, but more importantly, their compassion in today’s world.”

“The stories we see at The ESPYS each year serve as a reminder of the hope that sports can inspire,” said Megan Rapinoe. “I’m looking forward to hosting the show alongside Sue and Russell, and bringing that much needed hope to audiences this year.”

“The ESPYS are always a highlight for me every year and I’m incredibly honored that they’ve asked me to co-host this year’s special show,” said Russell Wilson. “Although the sports world is on a pause, Megan, Sue, and I hope to shine a light on some of the amazing stories of resilience that we are seeing through this unique time.”

The three hosts are some of the most prolific athletes of their respective sports. Bird has won three WNBA championships, four Olympic gold medals, two NCAA Championships, and four FIBA World Cups. She has been selected to eleven WNBA All-Star teams and eight All-WNBA teams and is the WNBA All-Time Assists Leader. Rapinoe won gold at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the national team she co-captained alongside Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan. She was also named The Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2019. Wilson has started in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XLVIII, and has been named to seven Pro Bowls. He holds the record for most regular season wins by an NFL quarterback through eight seasons (86).

“The ESPYS always have the distinct pleasure of recognizing moments of inspiration, but this year they serve the added purpose of creating a collective experience for fans and players alike who miss live sports,” said Rob King, Senior Vice President and Editor-At-Large ESPN Content. “Part of the fun of The ESPYS is bringing together athletes from across a spectrum of sports and Sue, Megan and Russell represent a diverse lineup of teams. We’re excited to see them bring their passion to hosting the show.”

The 2020 ESPYS will include the Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, with several key awards including the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award presented by Anthem Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award presented by Dove Men+Care, among others.

The ESPYS help to raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach Jim Valvano at the first ESPYS back in 1993. ESPN has helped raise close to $116 million for the V Foundation over the past 27 years. The ESPYS are co-produced by Maggievision Productions.



Video: “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady” – Official Trailer – ESPN





Video: “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady” – Official Trailer – ESPN
Coming in 2021, “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady” is a nine-episode series that will focus on Brady’s first-hand account of the most iconic moments of his NFL career.
[via press release from ESPN]
Man in the Arena: Tom Brady | Official Trailer | ESPN

Coming in 2021, Man in the Arena: Tom Brady is a 9-episode series that will focus on Brady’s first-hand account of the most iconic moments of his NFL career, including each of his 9 Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots, along with the smaller, seemingly insignificant instances that became pivotal events and paved the path for Brady’s journey.



ESPN Sees “The Last Dance” Audience Skyrocket with Time-Shifted/On-Demand Viewing





ESPN Sees “The Last Dance” Audience Skyrocket with Time-Shifted/On-Demand Viewing; Now Averaging More than 12.8 Million Viewers per Episode, Up 128% from Premieres
ESPN further spins the numbers for the series to date.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Sees “The Last Dance” Audience Skyrocket with Time-Shifted/On-Demand Viewing; Now Averaging More than 12.8 Million Viewers per Episode, Up 128% from Premieres

· Episode 1 and 2 Average Audiences Now North of 15.3 Million Viewers; All Episode Audiences Will Continue to Grow

· Superlatives For Premiere Audiences are Vast and Wide-Ranging

· ESPN “Won the Night” Five Consecutive Sundays Across Key Demos

· ESPN Programming Accounts for 12 of 13 Most-Watched Sports Shows in Past Two Months; All 10 Episodes of “TLD” Make the List

· “The Last Dance” Drives Audience for SportsCenter, Social Shows and More

ESPN experienced significant audience increases for each episode of “The Last Dance” through time-shifted/on-demand viewing, as fans continue to consume the critically acclaimed 10-part documentary. Currently, the total average audience for all 10 episodes is 12,876,000 viewers (as of May 20, 2020), up 128% from the record-breaking 5.6 million viewers per episode, based on initial Nielsen reporting, the day following the premieres.

Each of the 10 episodes will continue to grow over time, as best demonstrated by Episodes 1 and 2, which now have an average audience of 15,339,000 and 15,590,000, respectively, up 142% and 169% from their premieres. Every episode has grown its audience by at least 122%, except Episodes 9 and 10, which premiered days ago (May 17, 2020). Trends dictate both episodes should see a similar result in short time.

“The Last Dance” Audience Growth through Time-Shifted/On-Demand Viewing

Episode Current Total Average Audience Original TV Audience Audience Growth
No. 1 15,339,000 6,340,000 142%
No. 2 15,590,000 5,792,000 169%
No. 3 14,132,000 6,143,000 130%
No. 4 14,871,000 5,657,000 163%
No. 5 12,894,000 5,785,000 123%
No. 6 12,964,000 5,214,000 147%
No. 7 11,870,000 5,344,000 122%
No. 8 12,532,000 4,918,000 155%
No. 9 9,878,000 5,891,000 68%
No. 10 8,694,000 5,400,000 61%
AVERAGE 12,876,000 5,648,000 128%

Current total audience is as of Wednesday, May 20 and includes original airings, DVR, and re-air data from Nielsen. Additionally, internal video on demand streaming metrics are included

Premiere Episodes Deliver Results for ESPN

Focusing on the premiere episode audiences, “The Last Dance” has already established itself as ESPN’s most-watched documentary content ever. A closer examination shows the success is vast and wide-ranging:

· ESPN “Won the Night” For Five Consecutive Sunday Nights Across Broadcast and Cable Television

“The Last Dance”, collectively as a two-hour block, “won the night” all five nights it aired (April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17), as the documentary scored the night’s highest ratings across all broadcast and cable networks in the key demos: Men 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 25-54, Persons 18-34, and Persons 18-49. Additionally, in those same demos, as well as Persons 25-54, the new episodes each Sunday were the two most-watched telecasts for that day.

· No. 1 Program in America Among Key Demos Since March

In addition to capturing key demos each Sunday night, “The Last Dance,” as a collective entity, is the No.1 program in television among Men 18-34, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54, regardless of night, since sports halted.

· ESPN: No. 1 Cable Network among Key Women Demo Each Premiere Night

ESPN was the top-rated cable network in primetime each of the five premiere nights among Women 18-49. Inclusive of broadcast television, ESPN was a top-three network among the demo each of the five premiere nights, including placing No. 1 or No. 2 four of the five nights. Across all ages, women comprised 34% of the premiere audience across the 10 episodes.

· ESPN Programming Peppers Most-Watched Sports Programs Since March

All 10 episodes rank in the top 13 most-watched sports shows, with ESPN programming accounting for 12 of the 13 shows on the list (including the first two nights of the NFL Draft) since March 13, the day sports halted,. Across sports and non-sports programming, The Last Dance also ranks as 10 of the 11 most-watched telecasts among the key 18-34 demo since mid-March.

· Chicago Finishes with 12.0 Local Market Rating

Across all episodes, Chicago led with a 12.0 rating. The complete top 10 local markets:

Rank Market Rating
1 Chicago 12.0
2 Raleigh-Durham 5.4
Greensboro-High Point 5.4
4 Birmingham 5.2
5 Richmond 4.9
6 Charlotte 4.4
7 Philadelphia 4.3
Washington, DC 4.3
Louisville 4.3
10 San Diego 4.2
Nashville 4.2

· Everyone is Talking

“The Last Dance” was a phenomenon on social media, becoming the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for five straight Sundays. Additionally, the show garnered more social conversation on a per episode basis than any TV series this year.

“The Last Dance” Impact Spreads Across ESPN Properties

· SportsCenter Sees Boost: SportsCenter with SVP followed each premiere block, with those five shows averaging 1,319,000 viewers per episode. Individually, all five Sunday shows rank in the 12 most-watched SportsCenter with SVP episodes in 2020.

· Recap Draws Big Audience on Multiple Platforms: Jalen and Jacoby – The Aftershow delivered 9,800,000 total viewers across the five weeks (available on the ESPN App, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). The same show then became ESPN’s No. 1 podcast in April, based on average downloads per episode.

· Pre-Game Hype: The Facebook exclusive pre- and post-shows hosted by Sarah Spain and Cassidy Hubbarth had 2,600,000 total viewers across the five weeks, and the Instagram exclusive pre-show hosted by Common saw 1,000,000 total viewers.

· The Last Game of The Last Dance: Game 6: The Movie averaged 608,000 viewers for its premiere on ESPN (May 20, at 9 p.m.). The unprecedented cinematic production of 1998 NBA Finals Game 6 featured exclusive, never-before-seen game footage captured by five different NBA Entertainment cameras.

“The Last Dance” Programming Continues

ABC will broadcast “The Last Dance” on Saturday nights over five weeks from May 23 through June 20, with two episodes airing each week at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET. In related programming Chicago Bulls programming, ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 6: The Movie on Sunday, May 24, at 4:30 p.m.



Peyton Manning Returns with Second Season of “Peyton’s Places” on ESPN+





Peyton Manning Returns with Second Season of “Peyton’s Places” on ESPN+
The 15-episode season will once again feature Peyton exploring football’s history and cultural impact through conversations with players, coaches and other key figures.
[via press release from ESPN]
Peyton Manning Returns with Second Season of “Peyton’s Places” on ESPN+

· Emmy-nominated series produced by NFL Films and ESPN+ will return with 15 new episodes

· Expected to debut Thanksgiving weekend and culminate Super Bowl weekend

Peyton Manning will return to host a second season of the popular and Emmy-nominated football-themed docuseries Peyton’s Places this fall, exclusively on ESPN+. The 15-episode season will once again feature Peyton exploring football’s history and cultural impact through conversations with players, coaches and other key figures. The season is expected to debut Thanksgiving weekend with two new episodes per week, culminating Super Bowl weekend in February 2021.

The 30-episode original season of Peyton’s Places was a signature program during the National Football League’s 100th season celebration in 2019. Peyton visited with Hall of Fame players, coaches, celebrities and more – taking fans of the game through some of the stories that helped make football what it is today. Highlights included a discussion with Tom Brady over golf, a conversation with the NFL’s all-time winningest coach Don Shula and members of his undefeated ’72 Dolphins, and a touch football game at Elvis Presley’s Graceland residence in Memphis.

Peyton’s Places will again be produced by NFL Films in collaboration with ESPN+. All 30 episodes of the original series are available on ESPN+, the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.

Peyton, an executive producer, will again work with a team of NFL Films senior producers to choose the people, places and stories in the series. “In preparing for Season one, we identified so many interesting stories but didn’t have enough time to tell even a fraction of them. I’m thrilled to bring the show back to ESPN+ for a second season so we can continue to dive into the great history of the NFL.”

Connor Schell, Executive Vice President, Content, ESPN adds: “Peyton is the perfect guide to bring fans close to the places and people that helped make the NFL what it is today. Season one of Peyton’s Places was a fun, fantastic trip through football and we’re excited to bring the second chapter to ESPN+ with Peyton and NFL Films.”

In addition to Peyton’s Places, Peyton Manning has collaborated with ESPN+, NFL Films and Kobe Bryant’s award-winning Granity Studios since 2018 on an NFL edition of Detail, the ground-breaking X’s and O’s sports analysis program which airs exclusively on ESPN+. The two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL MVP voiced ESPN and ABC’s ‘Hope’ themed open to the 2020 NFL Draft telecast, and he also hosted the 25th ESPYS on ABC in 2017.

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service from Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown quickly to 7.9 million subscribers, offering fans thousands of live events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, as well as premium editorial content.

Programming on ESPN+ includes exclusive UFC and Top Rank boxing events, thousands of college sports events (including football and basketball) from more than a dozen sports at 20 conferences, hundreds of MLB and NHL games, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, Bundesliga – beginning in 2020, EFL Championship and Carabao Cup, Eredivisie), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, exclusive ESPN+ Original series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films.

Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) through the ESPN App, (on mobile and connected devices), ESPN.com or ESPNplus.com. It is also available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+ – all for just $12.99/month



ESPN Films’ Latest 30 for 30 “Lance” Premieres Sunday on ESPN & ESPN2

ESPN Films’ Latest 30 for 30 “Lance” Premieres Sunday on ESPN & ESPN2
As with “The Last Dance,” a version containing strong adult language will air on ESPN and a version edited for that language will air simultaneously on ESPN2.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Films’ Latest 30 for 30 “LANCE” Premieres Sunday on ESPN & ESPN2

A version of the documentary containing strong adult language will air on ESPN and a version edited for language will air simultaneously on ESPN2

ESPN will air two versions of the 30 for 30 documentary “LANCE” over the next two Sundays (Part 1 on May 24th and Part 2 on May 31st). As with “The Last Dance,” a version containing strong adult language will air on ESPN and a version edited for that language will air simultaneously on ESPN2.

Lance Armstrong’s rise was among the most dramatic, inspirational, and popular stories in sports history. Then, his fall was remarkably absolute. Years later, his story remains as compelling as ever, and as for the man himself — he’s not done talking.

“I think it’s fair to say that this was one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of my directing career and I’m delighted that people will finally get to see my film,” said director Marina Zenovich. “Lance remains an iconic but divisive figure. I’m hoping that people will come to the film with an open mind. He gave me unprecedented access to himself and his family for two years. In the end, the film, and Lance, speak for themselves.”

“LANCE” directed by Marina Zenovich

Part 1: Sun., May 24, 9m ET on ESPN

Part 2: Sun., May 31, 9pm ET on ESPN

From acclaimed director Marina Zenovich, LANCE is a fascinating, revealing, comprehensive, chronicle of one of the most inspirational – and then infamous – athletes of all time. Based around extensive interviews and conversations with Lance Armstrong, the two-part, four-hour film tells the story of the cyclist’s rise out of Texas as a young superstar cyclist; his harrowing battle with testicular cancer; his recovery and emergence as a global icon with his seven consecutive Tour de France titles; and then his massive fall after he was exposed in one of the largest doping scandals in history.

Armstrong, along with a collection of family, teammates, friends, rivals, and journalists, all reflect on his story, creating a fascinating character study, capturing a unique chapter of sports history, and insisting the audience make its own interpretations about the many different sides of a complex saga.



ESPN Sees Double Digit Viewership Increases for “The Last Dance” Finale





ESPN Sees Double Digit Viewership Increases for “The Last Dance” Finale; Documentary Series Finishes with Average of 5.6 Million Viewers, The Most-Viewed Documentary Content on ESPN
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, May 17.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Sees Double Digit Viewership Increases for “The Last Dance” Finale; Documentary Series Finishes with Average of 5.6 Million Viewers, The Most-Viewed Documentary Content on ESPN

Episodes 9 and 10 Also Average 5.6 Million Viewers

Episode 9 Viewership Was Third Most-Watched of Any Single Episode

“The Last Dance” finished strong for its finale, with episodes 9 & 10 averaging 5.6 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2. Episode 9 (9-10 p.m.) averaged 5.9 million viewers, up 10% from last Sunday, becoming the third most watched episode of the series, trailing the record-breaking audiences of episodes 1 and 3. Episode 10 (10-11 p.m.) averaged 5.4 million viewers, up 9.8% from last week’s episode 8, which aired in the same time slot.

The original airings of all ten episodes of the series also averaged 5.6 million viewers within the same day, cementing “The Last Dance” as the most-watched documentary content ever on ESPN. The series started strong on April 19th, with episodes 1 & 2 averaging 6.1 million viewers, becoming the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004. Subsequent weeks continued the momentum, with episodes 3 & 4 averaging 5.9 million viewers, episodes 5 & 6 averaging 5.5 million viewers, and episodes 7 & 8 averaging 5.1 million viewers, all of which have become the most watched documentary content on ESPN, surpassing 2012’s “You Don’t Know Bo” (3.6 million).

“We are thrilled with the response from fans throughout the run of the series,” said Connor Schell, Executive Vice President, Content at ESPN. “The past five Sunday nights have brought fans together providing the type of communal viewing experience traditionally reserved for live sports. The exceptional content of the series has cut through culturally and sparked conversations far beyond ESPN platforms. We are grateful to Jason and his creative team and all of our production partners on the film and look forward to seeing fans continue to engage with ‘The Last Dance’ in the days and weeks ahead through the ESPN app.”

“The Last Dance” Original Airings

Episode Viewership*
Episode 1 (4/19, 9pm) 6,340,000
Episode 2 (4/19, 10pm) 5,792,000
Episode 3 (4/26, 9pm) 6,143,000
Episode 4 (4/26, 10pm) 5,657,000
Episode 5 (5/3, 9pm) 5,785,000
Episode 6 (5/3, 10pm) 5,214,000
Episode 7 (5/10, 9pm) 5,344,000
Episode 8 (5/10, 10pm) 4,918,000
Episode 9 (5/17, 9pm) 5,891,000
Episode 10 (5/17, 10pm) 5,400,000

*Viewership based on initial Nielsen reporting.

Time-shifted viewing has only increased viewership across the series, including nearly 15 million viewers for episode 1. A complete report will be released this week.

The top five metered markets for episodes 9 and 10 included: Chicago (12.5 rtg.), Greensboro, N.C. (5.5 rtg.), San Diego (5.1 rtg.), San Francisco-Oak-San Jose (4.8 rtg.), and Nashville (4.7 rtg.). As expected, Chicago was the #1 market, Chicago averaged a 12.0 metered market rating across the series, including a 12.5 rating on Sunday.

“The Last Dance” on social:

“The Last Dance” was a phenomenon on social media, becoming the #1 trending topic on Twitter for 5 straight Sundays. It was the #1 most social series on a per episode basis across TV year-to-date and was also among the top 10 primetime programs across TV overall, including sports events, award shows, and other series.



“The Last Dance” Premieres Continue to Inspire Significant Audiences





“The Last Dance” Premieres Continue to Inspire Significant Audiences, Averages 5.6 Million Viewers Across First 8 Episodes
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, May 10.
[via press release from ESPN]
“The Last Dance” Premieres Continue To Inspire Significant Audiences, Averages 5.6 Million Viewers Across First 8 Episodes

Episodes 7 and 8 Average 5.1 Million Viewers

Audiences Soar to Average of 12.2 Million with Additional Airings and Reporting

“The Last Dance” continues to be viewed by an extensive audience week after week, averaging 5.6 million viewers across premieres of its first eight episodes, based on initial Nielsen reporting. The significant audiences across four separate Sundays is 57% more viewers than the next-closest documentary debut on ESPN (“You Don’t Know Bo” in 2012). On Sunday, May 10th, Episodes 7 and 8 averaged 5.1 million viewers across ESPN & ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, with episode 7 (9-10 p.m.) averaging 5.3 million viewers and episode 8 (10-11 p.m.) averaging 4.9 million viewers, based on initial Nielsen reporting.

Since sports halted in mid-March, ESPN has aired the 10 most-viewed sports telecasts, with all eight episode premieres of “The Last Dance” ranking among them.

Following each premiere episode, the audience for “The Last Dance” continues to grow with video on demand, DVR viewing and through encore presentations. Accounting for all airings, episodes 1-6 have an average viewership of 12.2 million. Additional reporting for episodes 7 and 8 will be available this week.

Episode Viewership*
Episode 1 13,748,000
Episode 2 13,891,000
Episode 3 12,646,000
Episode 4 13,189,000
Episode 5 10,255,000
Episode 6 9,378,000

*Viewership includes DVR and Re-airs through 5/7 and VOD through 6am 5/11.

The top five metered markets for episodes 7 and 8 included: Chicago (11.6 rtg), Greensboro, N.C. (5.7 rtg.), Raleigh-Durham (4.6 rtg.), Nashville (4.4 rtg.), and Columbus (4.2 rtg.).

“The Last Dance” on social:

“The Last Dance” drove more social video views than any other program yesterday with 6.8M total views. The series again catapulted to the Top Trend on Twitter along with numerous storylines making their way into the top 20 throughout the night.

Grand Finale

The final two episodes of “The Last Dance” will air on ESPN (TV-MA) & ESPN2 (TV-14) on Sunday, May 17th from 9-11pm ET.

Please Note: All audience numbers from the Sunday premieres are based on Nielsen’s live + same day fast national reporting.



‘MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL’’S STRONG 2020 SCHEDULE





‘MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL’’S STRONG 2020 SCHEDULE FEATURES RAIDERS’ LAS VEGAS OPENER ON ABC AND ESPN – ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL,’ MONDAY, SEPT. 21
‘MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”SSTRONG 2020 SCHEDULE FEATURES
RAIDERS’ LAS VEGAS OPENER ON ABC AND ESPN – ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY
OF ‘MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL,’ MONDAY, SEPT. 21
Telecast Marks the First Regular Season NFL Broadcast on ABC
Since the 2005 Season

ESPN’s Schedule Also Featuresan MVP Matchup in Chiefs-Ravens, and
High-Profile Seahawks-Eagles and Bills-49ers Clashes
Six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Will Play Twice on ‘Monday Night Football’

The 51st season of Monday Night Football will kick off on ESPN with a doubleheader Monday, Sept. 14 – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants (7:15 p.m. EDT) and Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos (10:10 p.m. EDT / 8:10 p.m. MT). ESPN’s 17-game prime-time schedule in 2020 will feature 11 of 12 playoff teams from 2019, including both the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

On MONDAY, SEPT. 21 (8:00 p.m. EDT), the 50th anniversary of ABC’s first Monday Night Football game (Sept. 21, 1970, New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns), ESPN and ABC will combine to televise the Raiders’ first game in Las Vegas against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints at brand-new Allegiant Stadium. It will be ABC’s first regular season NFL telecast in 15 years after televising ABC’s “Monday Night Football” from 1970-2005.

In the “Monday Night Football” opener, two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger, who missed most of last season with an injury, is expected to make his return to the field for the Steelers against Saquon Barkley and the Giants at MetLife Stadium in a matchup of legendary NFL franchises.
In the late game, Drew Lock and the Broncos host Ryan Tannehill and the Titans, which advanced to last season’s AFC Championship. The Broncos – who last hosted a “Monday Night Football” opener in 2017 – will extend the NFL’s longest current streak, appearing on “Monday Night Football” for the 29th consecutive season (1992-present).

Beginning in week two, “Monday Night Football” games will start at 8 p.m. EDT (kickoff at 8:15 p.m. EDT). Suzy Kolber will host the “Monday Night Countdown” pregame show throughout the season (6:00 p.m. EDT), as well as halftime and post-game “SportsCenter” coverage, from the “Monday Night Football” stadium.

All “Monday Night Football” games will be streamed live on all devices via the ESPN App. Note: Fans must receive ESPN’s networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliated provider to watch “Monday Night Football” on the ESPN App.

ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will again offer a Spanish language production of “Monday Night Football”games in 2020.

Other 2020 “Monday Night Football” highlights include the following:
Battle of the MVPs: Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, faces Lamar Jackson, the 2019 MVP, as the Super Bowl champion Chiefs travel to Baltimore in a key matchup of 2019 AFC playoff teams (Sept. 28).
‘Tampa 2’ for Tom Brady – Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady will make two MNF appearances with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Giants, Nov. 2, and vs. Rams, Nov. 23).
NFC Wild Card Rematch – After a 17-9 road win in their NFC Wild Card meeting in January, the Seahawks will return to Philadelphia (Nov. 30) this fall to play the revenge-minded Eagles.
Super Bowl Contenders Collide – Looking to repeat as NFC champions, the 49ers host the Bills in the Bay Area on Dec. 7 in a matchup of 2019 playoff teams with Super Bowl aspirations.
Appearances by 11 of 12 playoff teams from 2019 – Baltimore Ravens (twice), Buffalo Bills (twice), Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots (twice), New Orleans Saints (twice), Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans.
Appearances by both Super Bowl teams – Chiefs (at Ravens, Sept. 28) and 49ers (vs. Bills, Dec. 7).

ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will again offer a Spanish language production of “Monday Night Football”games in 2020.
ESPN’s 2020 “Monday Night Football” Schedule
Preseason

Date
Time (ET)
Teams
Aug. 20
8 p.m.
New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions
Aug. 24
8 p.m.
Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts
Regular Season

Sept. 14
7:15 p.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants

10:10 p.m.
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos
Sept. 21
8 p.m.
New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders *
Sept. 28
8 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Oct. 5
8 p.m.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
Oct. 12
8 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints
Oct. 19
8 p.m.
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
Oct. 26
8 p.m.
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
Nov. 2
8 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Nov. 9
8 p.m.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Nov. 16
8 p.m.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Nov. 23
8 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nov. 30
8 p.m.
Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles
Dec. 7
8 p.m.
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers
Dec. 14
8 p.m.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Dec. 21
8 p.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Dec. 28
8 p.m.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
* Also simulcast on ABC



ESPN Films to Continue Sunday Night Run





ESPN Films to Continue Sunday Night Run – Moving Three High Profile “30 for 30s” to Sundays After “The Last Dance”
Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee, and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are among the featured subjects.

[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Films To Continue Sunday Night Run – Moving Three High Profile 30 for 30s to Sundays After “The Last Dance”
Documentary subjects include Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee, and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
Films available on ESPN+ immediately after their debuts

Just as ESPN Films moved “The Last Dance” earlier to fill the void that live sports left, ESPN Films’ Peabody and Academy Award-winning 30 for 30 series is premiering three new documentaries, two of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, that will air on Sundays in May and June. Following the airing of final episodes of the record-breaking documentary series “The Last Dance,” ESPN will air 30 for 30s “LANCE,” “Be Water,” and “Long Gone Summer,” which was an official selection to the Tribeca Film Festival. The films will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after their respective premieres, along with the rest of the 30 for 30 library.

Leading the slate on Sunday, May 24 will be part one of the two-part film, “LANCE,” which features unprecedented access to Armstrong through raw interviews and personal perspective on his full story, the inspiring rise and dramatic fall from grace. Lance is directed by Marina Zenovich (“Fantastic Lies,” “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind”). Part two will premiere the following Sunday, May 31. Bao Nguyen’s film “Be Water,” an intimate and very personal look at the life and purpose that motivated Bruce Lee, the martial artist trailblazer and pop culture icon, will debut on Sunday, June 7. Both films received acclaim at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Finally, on June 14, AJ Schnack’s, “Long Gone Summer”, an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, chronicles Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s storied 1998 home run chase following the 1994 MLB strike. For the first time, both men discuss that summer at length, including its lasting legacy and undeniable complications.

Libby Geist, Vice President & Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content said, “It’s a great feeling to bring three more epic documentary projects to sports fans who so need it right now. Moving up these films is no easy task, but it’s absolutely worth the effort to get them on the air for audiences to experience together. It’s a mix of fascinating topics, compelling characters and some of the absolute best storytelling our team has cranked out. The whole ESPN Films team is working hard to entertain fans while we wait for live sports to return and give them a distraction while we go through these hard times.”

30 for 30 Film Summaries and Dates:
“LANCE” directed by Marina Zenovich
Part 1: Sun., May 24, 9m ET on ESPN
Part 2: Sun., May 31, 9pm ET on ESPN
From acclaimed director Marina Zenovich, LANCE is a fascinating, revealing, comprehensive, chronicle of one of the most inspirational – and then infamous – athletes of all time. Based around extensive interviews and conversations with Lance Armstrong, the two-part, four-hour film tells the story of the cyclist’s rise out of Texas as a young superstar cyclist; his harrowing battle with testicular cancer; his recovery and emergence as a global icon with his seven consecutive Tour de France titles; and then his massive fall after he was exposed in one of the largest doping scandals in history.
Armstrong, along with a collection of family, teammates, friends, rivals, and journalists, all reflect on his story, creating a fascinating character study, capturing a unique chapter of sports history, and insisting the audience make its own interpretations about the many different sides of a complex saga.

“Be Water” directed by Bao Nguyen
Sun., June 7, 9pm ET on ESPN
In 1971, after being rejected by Hollywood, Bruce Lee returned to his parents’ homeland, Hong Kong. Over the next two years, he’d complete four iconic films that would define his legacy, a legacy cut short when he died, stunningly, in the summer of 1973. He was 32 years old.
“Be Water” is a gripping, fascinating, intimate look at not just those final, defining years of Lee’s life, but the complex, often difficult, and seismic journey that led to Lee’s ultimate emergence as a singular icon in the histories of film, martial arts, and even the connection between the eastern and western worlds.

The film chronicles Lee’s earliest days, as the son of a Chinese opera star born while his father was on tour in San Francisco, and then raised in Hong Kong over what became an at times troubled childhood. Sent to live in America at the age of 18, he began teaching Kung Fu in Seattle, and established a following that included his future wife, Linda. His ambition ever rising, Lee eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he strove to break into American film and television. There, despite some success as a fight choreographer and actor, it was clear Hollywood wasn’t ready for an Asian leading man – and so he returned to Hong Kong to make the films that would in fact make him a legend, his international star skyrocketing just as his life was cut short.

“Be Water” is told entirely by the family, friends, and collaborators who knew Bruce Lee best, with an extraordinary trove of archive film providing an evocative, immersive visual tapestry that captures Lee’s charisma, his passion, his philosophy, and the eternal beauty and wonder of his art.
“Long Gone Summer” directed by AJ Schnack

Sun., June 14, 9pm ET on ESPN
It was one of the most memorable and significant seasons in the history of baseball. In the summer of 1998, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Mark McGwire and the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa embarked on a chase of one of the game’s most hallowed records, igniting the passion and imagination of fans and non-fans everywhere. The drama, excitement, and results would be remembered for generations. If we only knew then just how complex our feelings about it all would eventually become.
In ESPN’s new 30 for 30 film “Long Gone Summer,” director AJ Schnack takes viewers back to the landmark 1998 baseball season – its tremendous highlights, massive impact, and undeniable complications. Featuring in-depth interviews with both McGwire and Sosa, talking at length for the first time in over two decades, the intimate portrait carries viewers through every twist and turn of the sluggers’ historic chase of Roger Maris’s iconic record of 61 home runs in a single season. With a musical score composed by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, a St. Louis-area native and current Chicago resident, the film is a journey back through time that recalls how seismic and emotional the story was – even as the legitimacy of the accomplishments at its center would later be called into question.

About ESPN Films
ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports. The high quality of storytelling, highlighted by the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 series and the Academy-Award winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” has led to record viewership as well as multiple honors and critical acclaim. Additional projects from ESPN Films over the years have included 30 for 30 Shorts, Nine for IX and the SEC Storied series.



“The Last Dance” Continues Impressive Run, Averages 5.8 Million Viewers





“The Last Dance” Continues Impressive Run, Averages 5.8 Million Viewers Across First 6 Episode Premieres
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, May 3.

[via press release from ESPN]
“The Last Dance” Continues Impressive Run, Averages 5.8 Million Viewers Across First 6 Episode Premieres
Episodes 5 and 6 Average 5.5 Million Viewers
“The Last Dance” continues to reach massive audiences, averaging 5.8 million viewers across premieres of its first six episodes, which is 62% more viewers than the next-closest documentary debut on ESPN (“You Don’t Know Bo” in 2012). On Sunday, May 3rd, Episodes 5 and 6 averaged 5.5 million viewers across ESPN & ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, with episode 5 (9-10 p.m.) averaging 5.8 million viewers and episode 6 (10-11 p.m.) averaging 5.2 million viewers, based on initial Nielsen reporting.

As part of its overall audience, the documentary continues to be consumed by the 18-49 demo in a significant manner. Among adults 18-49, episodes 5 and 6 averaged 2.9 million viewers, with episode 5 averaging 3.1 million viewers and episode 6 averaging 2.8 million viewers.

The audiences for the premieres only tell part of the story; a larger overall audience continues to consume the documentary through re-airs and on-demand viewing. After a record-setting initial audience, including all viewing, Episodes 1 and 2 now have an average minute audience of 13 million and 13.1 million, respectively, figures which represent more than a 100% increase from initial Nielsen reporting. In less than one week, Episodes 3 and 4 have seen their audiences increase by 84% and 94%, respectively, from initial Nielsen reporting, now coming in at 11.3 million (Episode 3) and 10.9 million (Episode 4) viewers, both of which are higher figures than Episodes 1 and 2 reported a week after their initial airings. Additional reporting for episodes 5 and 6 will be available this week.
The top five metered markets for episodes 5 and 6 included: Chicago (11.4 rating), Greensboro (5.7), Raleigh-Durham (5.5 rating), Charlotte (4.7 rating) and San Diego (4.5 rating). As a result of content featuring the New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Kobe Bryant, the New York (+11%) and LA (+12%) markets were both up double digits compared to episodes 1 through 4.

“The Last Dance” on social:
“The Last Dance” was the #1 most social Primetime program on all of television for the week with 3.9M interactions across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Episodes 5 and 6 also drove more social video views than the prior four episodes in the linear window, with 8 million total views, per Nielson Social Intelligence.