Seen on Screen: ESPN Unveils New Slate of 30 for 30 Shorts, ESPN and NBA Digital Layout All-Star Coverage

by Alicia Montanaro, Editorial Assistant 

ESPN Films’ award-winning 30 for 30 Shorts documentary series has returned with a winter slate of five new short films debuting every Tuesday ever the next five weeks.

30for30shorts-1The first documentary short titled “Friedman’s Shoes”, premiered on February 8 and explored the popular Atlanta shoe store that was the preferred destination of the biggest athletes in the country in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Other films in the winter run will include, “Slick, Nancy, and the Telethon”, the story of how the Indiana Pacers avoided financial ruin by holding a telethon in the summer of 1977 and “I am Yupik”, which follows a 16-year-old Yupik eskimo who is determined to lead his village to the All-Native District Basketball Tournament championship on Alaska’s Bering Sea Coast. The films will premiere digitally on the 30 for 30 Shorts page (espn.com/30for30/shorts) at 10:00 a.m. ET each Tuesday, and then will air later that week on Friday Night Move Night, during the 6:00 p.m. ET hour of SportsCenter. After their digital premieres, the shorts will also be available on WatchESPN, the ESPN app, and espn.com…

…For the 12th consecutive year, ESPN will televise the NBA All-Star 2016 Celebrity Game presented by Mountain Dew on Friday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The event at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, will be the first NBA All-Star weekend to be held outside of the United States. Play by play commentator Mark Jones, analyst Jon Barry and sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth of NBA Tonight, will return to provide commentary for the telecast. Grammy Award-winning artist Drake will coach a Canadian-studded team full of celebrities such as two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, Toronto Blue Jays All-Star right fielder José Bautista, and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler. The USA team, coached by four-time NBA All-Star Celebrity Game MVP and actor Kevin Hart, will feature America’s Got Talent’s Nick Cannon, Race’s Jason Sudeikis, and five-time NBA All-Star and ESPN analyst Chauncey Billips…

…NBA Digital will provide robust coverage of NBA All-Star 2016, the first NBA All-Star to be held outside of the U.S, including NBA TV’s most expansive lineup ever of live and original programming. NBA TV, NBA.com and the NBA App combined to deliver a fully immersive experience featuring inside access to practices, interviews with players and coaches, highlights from all of the weekend’s top events, and coverage of the leading storylines, including Kobe Bryant’s final NBA All-Star Game appearance. NBA TV’s All-Star coverage from Toronto tipped off Monday, February 8 when The Starters including J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas returned to their hometown of Toronto with a special weeklong series. The network’s live coverage included NBA All-Star Media Day, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s All-Star Press Conference and NBA All-Star Practice, and so on…

…On Feb. 5, NBC Sports Digital Shorts launched its third series, Ever Wonder?. Broadcast weekly on NBCSports.com and across other NBC Sports Digital platforms, Ever Wonder? takes some of the most compelling, odd facts about different aspects of the sports world and breaks them down for fans in 1-2 minute videos. In addition, the weekly episode of “Sports..the Musical?”, a short-form original digital video partnership between NBC Sports Group and Above Average’s sports comedy website, The Kicker, is now live on NBCSports.com and across other NBC Sports Digital platforms…

…The Arena Football League announced that coverage will return to ESPN networks in 2016. Eight regular-season games will be televised on ESPN2, while nearly 40 games will be streamed live on ESPN3. This season, ESPN will present each round of the AFL postseason, including ArenaBowl XXIX, which will air Friday, August 26, at 8:00 p.m. ET, live on ESPN. The regular season schedule kicks off on Saturday, April 2, with a Week 1 matchup between the Jacksonville Sharks and LA Kiss on ESPN2. All games on ESPN television networks will also be available on WatchESPN.com on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through connected devices…

…On Feb. 4, Campus Insiders launched on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox 360, allowing millions of college sports fans to consume that latest college news and information, winning series like The Seth Davis Show, and access to some of the biggest NCAA events year round. With this launch, Campus Insiders is now offering live events on Xbox and other streaming media players including AppleTV, Roku, and Amazon Fire for the first time. The network also will feature a “Game of the Day” for these streaming media players, including baseball, lacrosse, wrestling, and more from schools around the country…

…Campus Insiders also revealed its live stream lacrosse game schedule on Friday, February 5. In partnership with the Patriot League Network, Campus Insiders will bring over 125 lacrosse games to fans everywhere, including a Navy vs. Loyola Maryland Men’s and Women’s doubleheader on Saturday, March 19th. The live games will be available to fans through the Campus Insiders website, mobile app, and various streaming media players…

… Nickelodeon has green lighted a second season of Soccer Superstar, a NickSports reality sports competition series that follows the search across the U.S. for best teen female soccer player. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts will return as host, along with a highly celebrated panel of judges including National Soccer Hall of Famer Marcelo Balboa, two-time Olympic gold medalist Angela Hucles, and youth development expert Dan Metcalfe. Soccer Superstar held its first showcase on February 8, at FC Dallas GOAL Week in Dallas, Texas. The next showcases will be in Tampa Florida on February 20, Denver, Colorado on February 27, and San Diego, California on March 5. The top three players selected from each showcase will join the top 12 roster in Los Angeles and compete for the title of Soccer Superstar. Soccer Superstar will premiere this summer in Nicktoons’ NickSports TV block every Friday from 9:00—11:00 p.m. ET…

…FOX is set to air ”Jeff Gordon’s Daytona 500 Kickoff Celebration” at 9:00 p.m. ET on Saturday February 20. In partnership with Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon will host a private party at the Hallfax River Yacht Club in Daytona Beach, Florida to celebrate the start of his FOX NASCAR broadcast career, the commencement of FOX NASCAR’s 16th season, the DAYTONA 500, and the release of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016. Broadcast in primetime, Gordon’s private party will include NASCAR drivers, Hollywood celebrities and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 models. Also, the hour-long special will offer in-depth features on the newly renovated Daytona Rising and 2016 NASCAR season. Gordon will host the kickoff celebration, alongside FOX Sports’ reporter Molly McGrath and FOX NASCAR reporter Jamie Little, who will conduct driver/celebrity interviews. Coverage of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 launch week will be featured within “Jeff Gordon’s Daytona 500 Kickoff Celebration” as well…

…Comcast SportsNet will televise the outdoor 2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, February 20 at 4:00 p.m. CT. Co-produced by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and FOX Sports North, the Blackhawks vs. North Stars/Wild broadcast will feature play-by-play announcer Anthony LaPanta and analyst Mike Greenlay. Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks Pre/Postgame Live host Pat Boyle will provide in-game rink reports/player interviews from the Blackhawks bench and Kevin Gorg of FOX Sports North for the North Stars/Wild bench. Fans can look forward to a unique viewing experience with numerous players mic’d up during the game, including Blackhawks legend Jeremy Roenick, and historical Blackhawks vs. North Stars/Wild “flashbacks” integrated throughout the telecast. Legendary alumni, such as Denis Savard and Troy Murray for the Blackhawks, as well as Mike Modana and Dino Ciccarelli for the Minnesota Wild/North Stars will be participating in the game. The 2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game will be rebroadcast later the same evening at 10:00 p.m. on CSN+ and again at 12:30 a.m. (CT?) on the main Comcast SportsNet channel location…

… “AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Million Dollar Hole in One for Charity” aired February 10 on CBS. The closest to the pin contest featured players from around the worlds of sports and entertainment, each competing for a charity of their choice. The contestants included Clint Eastwood, Larry Fitzgerald, Wayne Gretzky, Billy Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Ray Romano, Alex Smith, Justin Timberlake, and Mark Wahlberg. CBS Sports’ lead play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz hosted, along with CBS Sports Golf Analyst Gary McCord, from the seventh hole of Pebble beach…

…Featuring his first national television interview since suffering a major heart attack last September, Hall of Famer Rod Carew opens up to host Bob Costas in Rod Carew: The Fight of His Life, a new episode of MLB Network Presents, premiering Tuesday, February 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Filmed from Carew’s home in Southern California and Minnesota’s Target Field, the one-hour program presents Carew reflecting upon his legendary playing days, discussing his near-death experience and explaining his commitment to raise awareness for heart health in the years to come. Former California Angels pitcher Clyde Wright, Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, and Twins General Manager Terry Ryan are all featured in the program…

…FS1 will offer wall-to-wall coverage of the FIFA Presidential Election in Zurich, beginning Thursday, February 25 with a one-hour pre-election special at 6:00 p.m. ET. The program, hosted by Rob Stone, will feature exclusive sit-down interviews with each of the five candidates: Prince Ali Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale. Then, on Friday, February 26 from 3:00-9:00 a.m. ET, Stone anchors more than six hours of live coverage as the process to elect a new FIFA President plays out. Analyst Alexi Lalas and contributor Mark Young join Stone in-studio, while Sky Sports’ Kate Abdo and FOX Sports soccer insider Grant Wahl provide the channel’s live coverage from the Hallenstadion in Zurich. Expanded reports will continue post 9:00 a.m. on FS2. All of this coverage will also be live streamed via FOX Sports, FOX Soccer 2GO and online at FOXSportsGO.com…

…ESPN’s Monday Night Football will televise the NFL’s return to Mexico City when the Houston Texans face the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca on November 21. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced this 2016 NFL International Series game on Friday, February 5 during his Super Bowl 50 press conference in San Francisco. This year’s NFL International Series matchup during week 11 of the season, will be the first Monday Night Football game played outside the U.S. in the 46-year history of the iconic sports series. ESPN will televise the game in Mexico and distribute the game to other parts of Spanish-speaking Latin America. ESPN Deportes will offer the Spanish-language production…