The ubiquity of smartphones has revolutionized how we (particularly millennials) consume media. Gone are the days of everyone crowding around a television set. Instead, more and more people are using their mobile devices to watch their favorite shows, often on-demand instead of set time slots.
A 2017 study done by comScore revealed that mobile devices "now account for 69 percent of digital media time spent" and that seven out of 10 minutes spent on YouTube is now on mobile devices.
Additionally, many content providers such as CNN are looking to create original programs for social media outlets such as Facebook and Snapchat. ESPN is looking to capture the attention of the younger generation by launching SportsCenter for Snapchat.
SportsCenter for Snapchat is a show specifically tailored to be viewed on a smartphone screen (portrait mode, to be exact). It will be aired twice a day and consist of three to five-minute episodes focusing on a "fast-paced mix of the latest, most engaging stories in sports."
ESPN's senior coordinating producer for SportCenter and News, Glenn Jacobs, told Engadget that although most of the content will be early recordings, the team can re-record portions to reflect breaking sports news.
The new show will launch today at 5 p.m. EST with new episodes coming at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and once at 5 a.m. on the weekends. ESPN is turning to several sports personalities including Emmy award-winning Katie Nolan, Elle Duncan, Cassidy Hubbarth, Jason Fitz and Cy Amundson.
"SportsCenter on Snapchat provides a creative new format and platform for our flagship franchise to continue to evolve," said Connor Schell, ESPN executive vice president, content. "Katie, Elle, Cassidy, Jason and Cy collectively bring a new style, energy and substance that I believe will connect with Snapchat's audience in a real way. I'm thrilled to bring this level of talent and personality to a new and innovative daily touchpoint for ESPN."
This is an exclusive deal with Snapchat meaning content won't be seen on any other social media outlet. It is a curious decision considering Snap's poor earnings report. Regardless, it seems like ESPN is trying to capture the millennial market who just aren't into traditional cable programming.