ESPN Exploring Ways to Rebroadcast Classic Games to Help Fill Live Sports Void

ESPN-logoWhen a huge portion of your daily programming is focused on broadcasting live sports and there are suddenly few live sports to broadcast, you need to get creative. And with college basketball, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball and more changing plans in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many have wondered if rebroadcasting classic games and matches could help fill the void. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as digging old recordings out from the archives, but a recent blog post from ESPN suggests the sports entertainment network is working on it.

Burke Magnus, an executive vice president at ESPN, described the challenges media companies are facing during the current pandemic and added securing the rights to classic games is more complicated than it may seem.

“Re-airing full-game presentations is not a right that we or other media companies typically have at our disposal at all times. Each one of these circumstances requires individual conversations with the specific league or property to determine what’s possible,” Magnus said in the interview.

He added that the company is currently in talks with various leagues to make it easier to show encore presentations of past sports moments. Magnus also spoke about upcoming original content, including the network’s anticipated miniseries documentary The Last Dance, which chronicles Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during their 1997-’98 season, aka the second threepeat.

While the documentary had been previously scheduled for a June release, fans have recently been asking and/or hoping ESPN would debut the series early, similar to how Disney moved up its streaming release of Frozen 2. Unfortunately, Magnus said production work on The Last Dance isn’t yet complete, and it’s unclear what impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on that work.

Still, for fans looking to relive some historic moments in sports, it should be encouraging to hear media companies are working to make that happen.

In the meantime, what classic games would you love to see again?

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