ESPN Cancels Linear Form Of “Outside The Lines,” Moves Brand to Digital Format

ESPN is reportedly canceling their weekly Saturday morning news program, Outside the Lines, but it will continue on as a digital series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

What’s Happening:

  • ESPN has reportedly canceled the linear edition of their weekly news program, Outside The Lines, planning to continue the Saturday morning news program as a digital series, and with segments under the brand on SportsCenter.
  • Jeremy Schaap, the anchor of Outside The Lines since 2020, will continue to lead the segments. No other jobs are expected to be lost with the change.
  • Originally launched as a monthly program back in 1990, Outside the Lines later shifted to a daily format. In 2020, the show returned to a weekly broadcast on Saturday mornings, with Schaap taking over the show from Bob Ley in 2019.
  • Outside The Lines was also known for its tough reporting on sports related topics, not so much reporting the daily scores, etc, instead reporting on issues like the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal, and NFL’s concussion crisis. It also served as a home for investigations and interviews that touched on sports, now moving the reportings to daily editions online on YouTube, or segments on SportsCenter.
  • ESPN made this change as part of its continuing effort to emphasize live sports and debate programming, as those remain the most-watched on their traditional, linear networks. The original report of the cancellation of the linear version of Outside The Lines indicated that SportsCenter on Saturdays attracted nearly twice as many viewers as the journalism-based program.

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