Categories
Television

ESPN Highlights 29 July – 2 August 2020

Long Gone Summer (ESPN DOCs 2018-2020)
Wednesday 29 July at 18:30 CAT on ESPN

Few seasons in recent memory captured the attention of baseball fans in America like 1998, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa embarked on a chase for the single-season home run record of 61 that was set by Roger Maris 37 years prior.

ESPN’s new 30 for 30 film “Long Gone Summer,” looks back at the twists and turns of the 1998 season – its exhilarating highlights, massive impact and lasting complications — including in-depth interviews with McGwire and Sosa talking at length for the first time in more than two decades.

Entering the season, the sport was still stinging from the labor battles that had cut the 1994 campaign short and forced the cancellation of the World Series. But when McGwire, who had hit 58 home runs in 1997, got off to a torrid start in ’98, and was joined on the home run leaderboard that June by the red-hot Sosa, the country became enthralled, desperate for updates. The race for 61 was on.

Both players would shatter the mark, with McGwire reaching 70 homers on the last weekend of the season. But when the rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout the game came to light in the years that followed, the thrill was gone. Or was it? The PEDs might have cheapened the accomplishment, but the excitement at the time of the chase was real and undeniable.

LANCE (part 1) (ESPN DOCs 2018-2020)
Thursday 30 July at 18:00 CAT on ESPN

The man on a bike in a yellow jersey became way more than that, more than just the very best athlete in his sport. Lance Armstrong was a symbol of inspiration to cancer patients in hospitals and oncology centers. Those patients saw him pedaling with ferocity, and he kindled in them a burning hope. He won the Tour de France seven times in a row before retiring at the age of 33. He was a force on the bike and a movement off it.

Eventually, however, the truth caught up to him. For a man who had little practice at defeat, it was all over. His confession that he cheated was a gut punch for fans who revered the athlete, the man, the symbol.

The Decision: Backstory (ESPN DOCs 2018-2020)
Friday 31 July at 18:00 CAT on ESPN

‘Backstory: The Decision’ will go behind-the-scenes of the television special, The Decision, during which LeBron James, now 34, announced he’d be leaving his hometown to play with the Miami Heat. It explores the background of sports controversies and looks at the “far-reaching consequences” of James’ TV stunt.

James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers — gave a televised interview in 2010 on ESPN, during which he announced he was leaving Cleveland and “taking [his] talents to South Beach” to join Dwyane Wade and the Heat. He would go on to win two consecutive championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.

ESPN Classic Boxing, Ringside – Ali King of the World (part 1)
Saturday 1 August at 18:00 CAT on ESPN

ESPN Classic’s Ringside is a 2-to-6-hour special that brings viewers original footage of classic fights, interspersed with added context, perspective, stories and analysis from some of the most notable personalities in boxing.

Hosted by ESPN’s Brian Kenny and venerable writer and historian Bert Randolph Sugar, the original Ringside segments are filmed on location from the legendary Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn where Muhammad Ali, Jake LaMotta, Roberto Duran and many others have trained.

NBA COUNTDOWN
Wednesday 29 July at 18:15 CAT on ESPN2

NBA Countdown which is led by host Maria Taylor features analysts Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams and ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, and will include special guest interviews and live reports from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla – home of the NBA season. The show will emanate from ESPN studios with Wojnarowski reporting from Lake Buena Vista.

The show will preview the restart of the season and the NBA seeding games, while also discussing news from around the league since the March 11 season stoppage. Additionally, the NBA Countdown team will examine the current climate in the sport amidst the social justice movement and how the NBA, NBPA and NBA player leadership is responding.

Categories
Television

Multichoice Adds ESPN To DStv Sports Offering

MultiChoice Group (MCG) and The Walt Disney Company Africa today announced that they have signed an exciting partnership, which will see a significant addition to the sports available to its customers across the continent. The agreement will result in two 24-hour ESPN channels being made available to DStv customers from 29 July, where they will be able to enjoy the very best of US sports.

Featuring every major US sport as well as European football, fans across the continent can now look forward to popular premier American leagues including the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), via ESPN & ESPN2. The channels will also feature live football from the English Football League (EFL), Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL), Dutch Eredivisie and Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as local sports including the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations and featured boxing tournaments and events.

DStv customers can look forward to the much anticipated return of the NBA from the bio-bubble from 31 July, where LeBron James and the LA Lakers renew their city rivalry with the LA Clippers and Orlando Magic take on the Brooklyn Nets. The Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season will also take prominence on ESPN, with fixtures between the Oakland Athletics and Colorado Rockies (29 July), and a stunning triple header for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees from 1-3 August.

During last month’s financial results announcement, MCG reaffirmed its commitment to continue providing the best available content to its customers. This deal allows the company to provide a larger sports offering than ever before, as the home of sports on the continent.

“As Africa’s leading video entertainment platform, we are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that we continue to find the best available content to delight our customers, both now and into the future. We endeavour to deliver both world-class international content as well as the very best in local content, giving our loyal customers a never-ending selection of outstanding entertainment,” says MultiChoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela.

“From reliving the greatest moments in sports history to seeing those moments being made, ESPN’s compelling content and unique personality will be a complementary addition to MultiChoice Group’s sports offering,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We are thrilled to be bringing the achievements and triumphs of both international and local athletes, our quality storytelling and innovative programming to a whole new audience of sports fans in Africa.”

Together with the live sports programming, viewers will also be able to catch up on the very latest films, series, news, talk shows and highlights from ESPN’s iconic sports documentary and studio programming.

“In addition to being the home of American sports, ESPN is equally well-known for its dedication to great storytelling, something we as Africa’s most-loved storyteller can identify with,” concludes Mawela.

For broadcast details go to africa.espn.com, follow @ESPNAfrica or local listings.

What is ESPN:

  • ESPN is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment entity featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets. In Africa, ESPN and ESPN2 feature the NBA (National Basketball Association), NFL (National Football League), NHL (National Hockey League), MLB (Major League Baseball), MLS (Major League Soccer) and the latest from live football leagues including the Dutch Eredivisie, the English Football League and the Scottish Premier League. In addition, a variety of premiere news, studio and documentary programming is available, such as SportsCenter, the award-winning 30 for 30 films and more. ESPN: To Serve Sports Fans. Anytime. Anywhere.
  • There are two channels that are launching on DStv this month

What is the difference between ESPN and ESPN2:

  • ESPN 2 will feature the very latest from America’s top sporting leagues such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and more
  • ESPN will feature live matches and programming from a number of European and African football leagues, matches, stars and athlete
  • Both channels will feature news, studio and documentary programming

What channels are launching:

  • ESPN
  • ESPN2

Where can I find ESPN:

  • DStv channel 218
  • 137 (Ghana)
  • 337 (Uganda)
  • 618 for Portuguese Markets
  • GOtv channel 38  

Where can I find ESPN2:

  • DStv channel 219
  • 618 for Portuguese Markets

Who can watch ESPN:

  • DStv viewers who have the following packages:
    • Premium
    • Compact Plus
    • Compact
    • Family/Familia (Mozambique)
  • GOtv Max

Who can watch ESPN2:

  • DStv viewers who have the following packages:
    • Premium
    • Compact Plus

When will these channels launch on DStv and GOtv?

  • Wednesday 29 July 2020
  • 18:00pm

Will matches, programmes and other ESPN content be available on catch up?

  • Select ESPN programming such as documentaries, films and magazine shows will be available on catch-up.
  • Repeats of matches will not be available on catch-up.

What programming highlights can I expect to see:

  • NFL’s Monday Night Football; MLB; NBA; college football from most of the major conferences as well as the College Football Playoff; men’s and women’s college basketball, including the women’s NCAA Tournament; WNBA; Little League World Series; more.
  • Studio shows including ESPN FC, Pardon the Interruption and more
  • Critically acclaimed and award-winning documentaries and original programming including the “30 for 30” films.

Will I be able to see local programming on ESPN?:

  • We are committed to developing and broadcasting local and regional sports events and intellectual property, including the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations and featured boxing tournaments and events.
  • Stay tuned for updates.

What language(s) will ESPN be broadcast in:

  • English

Categories
Television

ESPN Acquires The RIghts To The NBA In Africa

Multiyear-year deal brings NBA to fans across Africa on ESPN and ESPN 2

The Walt Disney Company Africa is pleased to announce that it has acquired the multiyear rights to broadcast the National Basketball League (NBA) across the continent, starting 14 February 2020, exclusively on paid TV in English on ESPN and ESPN 2.

Considered the top basketball league in the world and featuring the world’s most talented players, the NBA is the latest to be added to ESPN’s already iconic and popular league and sporting event lineup from the United States and across the globe.

Viewers can look forward to regular-season games, the NBA Playoffs and the Conference Finals, as well as the peak of the basketball calendar, The Finals, the NBA’s annual championship series. For the remainder of the season, fans will be able to watch live games per week on Fridays and Sundays, including Friday ESPN double-headers and the NBA Sunday games.

Tipping things off will be the NBA All-Star 2020 from 14-16 February 2020. Consisting of a variety of special events and performances, including NBA Rising Stars and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, the weekend culminates with the 69th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday 16 February 2020*, the annual exhibition game featuring Team LeBron and Team Giannis. The teams will be playing for a chance to donate U.S. $500,000 to charity.

Additional programing will include the broadcast of the NBA Draft in June, where each NBA team can select eligible players from across the U.S. and the globe to play in the league. With more games, specials and events being lined up – including exciting programming created especially for fans in Africa – viewers have one destination to watch all the NBA action.

“By securing these rights for Africa, ESPN is able to further its commitment to bringing premier content to audiences and growing the diversity of programming on the channels,” says Evert van der Veer, Vice President of Media Networks for The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We are thrilled to share in the passion and excitement of this league with fans across the continent.”

Viewers will be able to follow the action on ESPN and ESPN 2 from 14 February 2020, as well as follow the NBA on africa.espn.com, and @espnafrica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.