ESPN2 will turn Friday nights this summer into a night more aimed at
audiences of color.
For 10 weeks starting June 20, the network will turn its 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
EST schedule into a "block party," with programs connected by host wraparounds
from New York. First on the block will be new episodes of The Life,
ESPN2's ongoing on/off-field view of athletes, followed by Street Ball,
covering street-basketball-tournament action around the country.
A show in development from ESPN's original-entertainment unit will premiere
at either 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., with Friday Night Fights occupying 9 p.m.
to 11 p.m.
Wraparounds will offer athlete interviews, celebrity visits and music
performances, ESPN senior vice president of research and sales development Artie
The format will be geared toward urban youth, particularly African-American,
Latino and Asian men.
Separately, work continues on getting ESPN Deportes launched around-the-clock
this fall, Bulgrin said. The Spanish-language service has been running as a
separate Sunday-night simulcast for two years, available in about 13 million
ESPN's operator-carriage appeals for Deportes are under way, concentrating on
the top 40 Hispanic markets. NFL Sunday Night Football will get a
Deportes run, as will the X Games, boxing, pro basketball, tennis and golf.
Original nonevent programming is coming together, led by a Spanish-language
SportsCenter with its own anchor and production talent.
In the works is Perfiles (Profiles), looking at Latin-American
sport stars, and a set of weekly single-sport highlight