"Stadium" Unveils Programming
24/7 multiplatform sports network "Stadium" to debut this summer
- by Mark J. Burns
- Published: June 12, 2017
One of Stadium's broadcasting booths. (Photo courtesy: "Stadium")
(Editor's note: This story first appeared in SportTechie.com)
A first-of-its-kind 24/7 multiplatform sports network around live and original programming is officially hitting the airwaves later this summer.
Stadium, which is a joint venture from Sinclair Broadcast Group (American Sports Network), Silver Chalice (Campus Insiders) and 120 Sports, was unveiled at Twitter’s Digital Content NewFronts presentation as part of the social platform’s new live- streaming initiatives. This week in Chicago, the companies provided more context around Stadium, which will include studio programming, classic games and on-demand highlights along with live collegiate events, thanks to Campus Insiders, all distributed across linear courtesy of Sinclair. Additionally, the 24/7 platform will appear live on Twitter as well.
The digital launch of Stadium is scheduled for late July while the linear broadcast will be sometime in August. It’s not only Silver Chalice and Sinclair that have an ownership stake in Stadium. So do the National Football League (NHL), Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Time, Inc.
“We’ve been spending our resources and spending our years building the next generation of sports media, relentlessly innovating but meticulously testing, planning, adjusting, chartering our course forward…Under the Stadium banner, we will continue to produce and launch world-class programming every single day of the year,” said Jason Coyle, President of Stadium.
“Stadium is smashing the limitations of the traditional distribution paradigm.”
Added Laura Britt, host of 120 Sports’ daily show The Rally, “When you think about traditional programming, we’re really going to break the boundaries of traditional programming with Stadium. We’re going to build off of companies that we’ve built in the past. We’re going to take aspects of those brands into the future with what Stadium will be. We’ve proven that we’re the landing spot for over-the-top sports content, and Stadium’s going to continue to be the landing spot for over-the-top sports content in the future.”
According to Tyler Jacobs, one of the hosts of Stadium’s NewFront, The Rally will be Stadium’s “signature show,” a three-hour live daily program separated into hour-long segments (6pm, 11pm and 1am EST). A mixture of highlights packages, live look-ins and viral videos combined with discussing the social conversation on Twitter will be focal points of the re-invited The Rally. As Britt and Jacobs explained, Twitter will play a key role in the show as fans’ Tweets could potentially create stand-alone segments to help drive the sports conversation. The show previously fell under 120 Sports, but going forward, will be rolled under the Stadium brand as the 120 Sports name will no longer be utilized.
Opinionated segments will be part of Stadium and The Rally, but as Britt suggested, it won’t be an Embrace Debate format viewers have grown accustomed to on other sports networks like ESPN and FOX Sports 1.
“When you think about the direction that our business is going, you see all of these opinion shows,” she said. “Everybody is screaming at each other and yelling at each other, which sometimes you just got to mute that. We’re going to have that, some of the time, but we’re also going to provide all of this other content so you’re not just watching people scream at each other and muting the television or your device, whatever that may be.”
A Monday through Friday 30-minute live NFL show will also be part of Stadium. The show, which currently doesn’t have an official name, will feature contributors from Monday Morning Quarterback/Sports Illustrated in addition to interviews with current and former players, among other elements.
Through Campus Insiders, a 30-minute live daily program (Monday-Friday) around college and high school sports will air on Stadium, too. Sinclair has access to hundreds of sports desks around the nation, and as a result, will provide Stadium additional layers of recruiting news, local coverage and deeper behind-the-scenes information, according to Britt.
Included will be 3,000-plus live college events such as football (100-plus), basketball (400-plus), lacrosse and volleyball from the Mountain West, Conference USA, Patriot League and others.
- by Mark J. Burns
- Published: June 12, 2017