ESPN will be produce shows outside of Bristol next year.
ESPN, cable TV's long-standing sports giant, is making a move to up to its broadcasting game that will take the brand to New York City.
According to the New York Post, the network will be debuting some expensive new production digs in Lower Manhattan in the Spring of 2018. Located at Pier 17, ESPN will produce a variety of projects out of a new 19,000 square-foot space that they've signed a multi-year lease for. The programming ventures will include multiple TV shows (including a beefed-up NBA coverage schedule) radio on TV, social segments and news hits from the location. The move was likely made in recognition of retaliation to Fox Sports 1 and Complex being able to attract big-name athletes to be a part of their recurring on-air material. There's no word on whether or not certain ESPN hosts will be moved to New York on a more permanent basis, but it's safe to say that the move represents a changing of the guard for the Mothership, who had previously done broadcasts almost exclusively from their existing home in Bristol, Connecticut.
David R. Weinreb, the Chief Executive of the company behind the real estate project that ESPN is now a part of, told the Post that "this is completely down the fairway of what we intended for the property. We’ve always talked about studios coming live from the Seaport." Further to that point, ESPN executive VP for content Connor Schell called the new studio a “state of-the-art content factory that will allow us to produced differentiated studio content for both television and digital.” The space, which will include one permanent studio for television production and two others for radio, will reportedly become operational next March or April. This development only adds to the excitement surrounding Pier 17 as a whole, the $731 million complex that will supposedly feature some attractive nightlife options as well, including a new restaurant from celebrity chef David Chang. The entire location is expected to be completed by next summer.
ESPN is renting just a portion of the 150,000 square feet of office space that Pier 17 will be offering businesses and merchants.