Weekly Updates

ESPN ThisWeek — May 29, 2012

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French Open Live on ESPN2 & ESPN3
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The French Open is underway with a new schedule on ESPN2 and ESPN3 with live daily action. This week, ESPN2 is live 5-10 a.m. ET and again Monday, June 4. The network will air live quarterfinal action Tuesday, June 5, at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, June 6 at 8 a.m., plus the women’s semifinals live Thursday, June 7 at 8 a.m.  All the action on ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Chris Fowler and Chris McKendry share host duties on ESPN2, with Fowler also calling matches. They are joined by Darren Cahill, Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver.

Date Time (ET) Event  
Wed, May 30 – Fri, June 1 5 – 10 a.m. Early Round Action Live
Mon, June 4 5 – 10 a.m. Round of 16 Live
Tue, June 5 1 – 7 p.m. Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action
Wed, June 6 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Quarterfinals Live
Thur, June 7 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Women’s Semifinals Live


NBA Eastern Conference Finals Continue on ESPN
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ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Miami Heat leading the Boston Celtics 1-0 – will continue Wednesday, May 30, with Game Two at 8:30 p.m., with Mike Breen and analyst Jeff Van Gundy providing commentary and Doris Burke reporting. For the complete schedule, including coverage plans across platforms, visit ESPN Media Zone.

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird Voice the NBA Finals Promo Campaign
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Continuing with ESPN’s “A Champion Will Rise” thematic campaign for the NBA, the legendary Magic Johnson and Larry Bird will narrate new spots to promote ABC’s coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals. Johnson and Bird added their personal perspectives to footage-based spots that highlight their shared legacy as rival NBA champions. “A Champion Will Rise” is part of an ongoing, integrated digital, print, social and television campaign capturing the powerful imagery of a rising championship banner. Wieden + Kennedy served as the creative agency for this campaign. The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin exclusively on ABC on June 12.

NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN before Wednesday’s ECF Game Two
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ESPN will televise the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery – held for the first time at ABC’s Times Square Studios – on Wednesday, May 30, at 7 p.m. as part of a special extended edition of Kia NBA Countdown at 7 p.m.  The 90-minute show will lead into Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and Celtics at 8:30 p.m.  The lottery for the 14 teams which did not make the playoffs will be held at 8 p.m., hosted by Mark Jones with analyst Jay Bilas and reporter Heather Cox.

Jeter/Yankees at Pujols/Angels on Wednesday Night Baseball
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Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees will visit Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday Night Baseball, May 30, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2. Dave O’Brien and analyst Nomar Garciaparra will provide commentary with Pedro Gomez reporting. The game is also available on ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV and the WatchESPN app.

NCAA Softball: Final Eight Teams Set for Women’s College World Series
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For the 12th consecutive year the ESPN networks are airing every matchup during the Women’s College World Series (WCWS), beginning Thursday, May 31, with South Florida vs. No. 4 Oklahoma on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. The remaining teams are highlighted by defending champions, No.3 Arizona State, along with two other Pac-12 teams and three SEC teams. The Pac-12 has won 23 of the last 29 NCAA Division I Softball Championship titles.

Other WCWS highlights include:

  • After back-to-back wins against Hofstra last Saturday, South Florida earned its first appearance in the WCWS
  • The Oregon Ducks are making their first appearance in the WCWS since 1989
  • No. 7 Tennessee has successfully advanced in all five of its visits to the Super Regionals
  • California is making its 12th appearance in the WCWS

Studio coverage begins on ESPNU on Wednesday, May 30, with previews and live look-ins on the advancing eight teams’ player and head coach press conferences, which include: No.1 California, No.2 Alabama, No.3 Arizona State, No.4 Oklahoma, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 11 Oregon, LSU and South Florida.

All 17 WCWS games feature ESPN’s Sports Emmy Award-winning “K Zone” technology, which identifies the speed and location of a pitch in replays, in addition to tracking the path of the ball from the pitcher’s hand through the strike zone.  The NCAA Division I Softball Championship concludes Tuesday, June 6, or Wednesday June 7. Full WCWS schedule

Date Time Event/Announcers Network
Wed, May 30 2 p.m. WCWS Press Conferences ESPNU
  4 p.m. WCWS Press Conferences ESPNU
Thu, May 31 Noon WCWS Pre-Game Show ESPNU
1 p.m. South Florida vs. #4 Oklahoma
Pam Ward and Michele Smith
3:30 p.m. LSU vs. #1 California
Pam Ward and Michele Smith
  7 p.m. #7 Tennessee vs. #2 Alabama
Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza
  9:30 p.m. #11 Oregon vs. #3 Arizona State
Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza
  11:30 p.m. WCWS Post-Game Show ESPNU

ESPN and ESPN3 Present the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee
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SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele returns to Washington, D.C., for the third straight year as host of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, May 31, beginning at 10 a.m. with the semifinals on ESPN2 and ESPN3, and the final at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.  Preceding the live telecast, ESPN3 will carry all preliminary rounds Wednesday, May 30

Date Time (ET) Round Network(s)
Wed, May 30 8:00 a.m. Preliminary Round Two and Play-Along Version ESPN3
  1:15 p.m. Preliminary Round Three and Play-Along Version ESPN3
Thu, May 31 10:00 a.m. Semifinals and Play-Along Version ESPN2ESPN3
  8:00 p.m. Final and Play-Along Version ESPNESPN3

ESPN2 Soccer Doubleheader on Wednesday: Spain vs. South Korea and USA vs. Brazil
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ESPN2 will televise two soccer matches, each featuring past FIFA World Cup champions, on Wednesday, May 30, beginning at 1:55 p.m. with 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008 champion Spain vs. South Korea (also on ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes), and at 8 p.m. with USA vs. five-time FIFA World Cup winner Brazil.

The U.S. Men’s National Team match at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., is one of the last matches before the team begins its 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying series for the CONCACAF region.  Last Saturday, the U.S. team beat Scotland 5-1 in Jacksonville, Fla.  ESPN’s lead play-by-play commentator Ian Darke will call the match alongside analyst Taylor Twellman and sideline reporter Mónica González.  The studio team will be on-site with host Bob Ley and analysts Alexi Lalas and Kasey Keller.  All matches are also available via WatchESPN. ESPN’s soccer schedule this week:

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network(s)
Wed, May 30 1:55 p.m. Spain vs. South Korea ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes
  2:15 p.m. Sweden vs. Iceland ESPN3
  7:50 p.m. United States vs. Brazil ESPN2 / ESPN3
Thu, May 31 2:25 p.m. Germany vs. Israel ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes
  3:00 p.m. France vs. Serbia ESPN3
Fri, June 1 2:30 p.m. Austria vs. Ukraine ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes
Sat, June 2 1 p.m. Norway vs. Croatia ESPN3
Sun, June 3 4 p.m. Spain vs. China ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes

All matches and times subject to change

This Week on espnW:  Martina Navratilova on In the Game; Eticket: Where are They Now?
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On Thursday, May 31, tennis great Martina Navratilova will be the latest sports legend to sit in the hot seat with Robin Roberts on In the Game with Robin Roberts. The nine-time Wimbledon champion follows softball gold medalist Jennie Finch and track and field star Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the third of eight installments in the series, which debuted May 17 on ESPN’s SportsCenter, espnW.com and ABCNews.com. In the Game features in-depth, exclusive interviews with high-profile female athletes and airs every Thursday between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. during ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter.

The series boasts a robust digital and social media execution across espnW.com and ABCNews.com to drive tune in and viewer interaction. This marks the first dual-network, cross-platform project between ABC News and espnW. Full Details

Also on Thursday, espnW.com’s Graham Hays visits with Mallory Holtman, a former Central Washington University softball first baseman who made headlines in 2008 when she and teammate Liz Wallace displayed the ultimate act of sportsmanship by assisting an injured opponent round the bases after she hit a homerun. In this installment of Eticket, Hays chats with Holtman about the game that garnered the group a 2008 Best Moment ESPY, and about her post-college career as a softball coach with her alma mater.

IndyCar Series Returns to Detroit Live on ABC
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After an absence of several years, the IZOD IndyCar Series returns to Detroit’s Belle Isle circuit Sunday, June 3. ABC will broadcast the race presented by ShopAutoweek.com live at 3:30 p.m. with the race’s green flag at 3:45 p.m. Marty Reid will anchor with analyst Scott Goodyear.

NHRA Englishtown Action on ESPN2, ESPN3
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The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will compete in Englishtown, N.J., this weekend in the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals and drag racing fans can watch action on both ESPN2 and ESPN3. Paul Page and Mike Dunn will describe the action.

Date Time Event Network
Fri, June 1 6 p.m. Qualifying (live) ESPN3
Sat, June 2 4:30 p.m. Qualifying ESPN, ESPN3
Sun, June 3 11 a.m. Eliminations (live) ESPN3
4:30 p.m. Eliminations ESPN2, ESPN3

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Dover on ESPN
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The NASCAR Nationwide Series races this weekend at Dover International Speedway, and the 200-mile race airs live on ESPN on Saturday, June 2. NASCAR Countdown is at 1:30 p.m. with the green flag at 2:15 p.m.  Also from Dover, ESPN2 airs NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Allen Bestwick and analysts Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree will call the action.

ESPN The Magazine: Women in Sports; “Defining Danica” Patrick
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After a successful run in IndyCar, Danica Patrick began transitioning to NASCAR in 2010 and had a rocky start. She wants to win, but she’s also out to gain some credibility. A lot of haters think she’s only where she is because of how she looks. Is that unfair? Or is it part of racing—perhaps the only sport where connections and money can get you a spot in the competition?

In ESPN The Magazine’s first-ever “Women in Sports” issue, on newsstands Friday, Patrick discusses her switch to NASCAR, her fatigue with the “women driver” storyline and why she does those risqué ads. Video

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