"Right Now" on SportsCenter: ESPN officials report there will be more SportsCenter at month's end.
ESPN's flagship news show will expand by seven hours each weekday, beginning Aug. 30, when ESPNEWS will offer live versions of the program from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (ET) and then again from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Cindy Brunson and Robert Flores will generally co-host the new afternoon SportsCenter block on ESPNEWS, while the anchor team from ESPN's 6 p.m. show will also work the 7 p.m. hour on ESPNEWS. The 8 p.m-11 p.m. SportsCenter window on ESPNEWS will primarily be co-hosted by Linda Cohn and Kevin Negandhi.
The new ESPNEWS editions will supplement SportsCenter on ESPN, which airs live on weekdays typically from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at 6 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. (encored from 2 a.m-9 a.m.), and on weekends.
As part of the expansion, during SportsCenter on ESPNEWS, there will be an increased emphasis on integrated elements to and from ESPN.com, particularly in the afternoon. block. Examples will include TV segments integrating information from ESPN's local.com sites, ESPNBoston.com, ESPNNewYork.com, ESPNLosAngeles.com, ESPNChicago.com and ESPNDallas.com. Further, there will be interactive polls, fan videos and photos, social media content from fans and athletes, and viewer Q&As with ESPN commentators.
Potential SportsCenter-branded videos produced for ESPN.com each day may include extended interviews, the most memorable video of the day, most talked about stories and best highlights and star performances.
The upcoming SportsCenter presentations on ESPNEWS also will provide more flexibility to create new advertising elements, which may include integrated packages with ESPN.com and sponsorable, commercial-free hours within the new blocks, according to officials at the sports programmer.
"SportsCenter is our flagship franchise and we're always looking for new and effective ways to strengthen it," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production, in announcing the expansion. "These steps will increase the show's live TV presence, connect with sports fans in the digital space and provide dynamic new sales opportunities. We're showcasing SportsCenter within primetime television hours and during an active time for online traffic."
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