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Upfronts 2014: ESPN to Debut New ‘SportsCenter’ Studio During World Cup

Upfront Central

New York – A little more than a year after announcing that SportsCenter would move to a new studio, ESPN will finally pull the curtain on its flagship program’s new 10,000 sq. ft. digs.

During its upfront presentation Tuesday morning, SportsCenter’s senior VP Rob King said the new studio would debut at the end of June during ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup from Brazil. The network showed a few test shots of the new Bristol, Conn. studio during the event.

While ESPN’s upfront was light on news – they announced a pair of initiatives including one with corporate sibling ABC – it was heavy on talent, athletes and samba dancing. Athletes Carmelo Anthony, Matt Harvey and Adrian Peterson joined ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, Kenny Mayne and Tim Tebow. Mike & Mike In the Morning’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic served as the emcees for the morning.

ESPN brought out Brazilian Carnivale and Capoeira dancers to kick off its World Cup portion of the event. The Washington Nationals’ “Racing Presidents” also scampered across the stage during one bit.

ESPN’s initiative with ABC, called “Fan for Live,” will launch next Mother’s Day and run through Father’s Day to celebrate parents and the role they play in their kids’ participation in sports. ESPN also is launching a new research intiative, Convergence Effectiveness Modeling (CEM), to measure ad effectiveness across TV, digital, print and radio.

ESPN signed PTI cohosts Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser to multi-year extensions.