An Increasingly Desperate ESPN Is Now Devoting Friday Nights To Airing Disney Sports Movies

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It’s been over 40 years since a whopping 30,000 people tuned in to the inaugural episode of SportsCenter that marked the official launch of ESPN, and while it took a little while for the network to gain a foothold, it would eventually become the Worldwide Leader we know and love (or hate-watch) today.

Certain months on the sports calendar are historically busier than others but ESPN has done a solid job ensuring there’s always something to watch during the doldrums of the year. However, a couple of weeks ago, it was confronted with a truly unprecedented situation when the world it’s devoted to covering essentially came to a standstill.

There’s only so much you can do to turn NFL free agency news into riveting television, and when suddenly faced with a dearth of games and topics for its overpaid talking heads to scream about, ESPN was forced to scramble to come up with a solution.

The network initially filled some airtime by dipping into the 30 for 30 archives and rebroadcasting old NBA games and it’s gradually begun to roll out some alternative programming—including reruns of classic WrestleMania shows that Sunday nights are currently reserved for.

Now, ESPN has decided to take advantage of some good, old-fashioned synergy by getting some help from Disney to play the hand it’s been dealt, as Deadline reports a chunk of its Friday nights will now be devoted to airing sports movies in the House of Mouse’s portfolio.

Things will officially kick off on March 27 with 2002’s The Rookie, and in the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to catch Glory Road, Miracle, Invincible, Secretariat, and The Greatest Game Ever Played.

I get what ESPN is going for here but is that lineup honestly the best they can do? You’ve got Air Bud, The Sandlot, Cool Runnings, The Mighty Ducks, and Remember the Titans at your disposal and that’s the slate you chose to go with?

Be better, ESPN. Be better.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.