BRISTOL, Conn. -- The show looks and feels pretty much the same, but the day starts pretty early for the crew of ESPN's new daytime "SportsCenter."
Monday was the first day of the new live "SportsCenter," a six-hour block beginning at 9 a.m. ET that on weekdays replaces the "SportsCenter" repeats that had run there for years. It's part of a new effort for the network to shore up its live programming during the day and jump on sport stories that break before the 6 p.m. "SportsCenter."
That means ESPN and its franchise program starts its day even earlier. The first employees roll into the network's sprawling suburban Connecticut campus around midnight, as the finishing touches are being put on the preparations for the night's final "SportsCenter" beginning at 2 a.m. The late crew gives way to the morning shift that each day will provide six hours of live sports news.
It's the first time that "SportsCenter" has ever been produced that long for that regular a period of time. But they're not reinventing the wheel, said Mark Gross, managing editor of studio production.
"Is it going to be different? Yes. Is it going to be dramatically different? No. It's still going to be scores and highlights," he said.