As we may have all heard by now, ESPN is set to cover WWE SummerSlam this Sunday. The television network will be covering live from outside the Brooklyn venue twice on Sunday, once in the morning before the event and once again later on that night once it concludes. Former WWE talent turned ESPN reporter and anchor Jonathan Coachman will be doing the coverage for ESPN SportsCenter. It was actually Coach’s idea to do the coverage, which ESPN bit on big time.
ESPN has been getting a lot of praise from WWE fans regarding the move to cover the event for, and this has been noticed quite well. ESPN houses several reporters and anchors who are fans of the WWE and actually use pro-wrestling terms on the network during broadcasts. Todd Grisham and The Coach worked with WWE for years before ESPN hired them, and they have both been significant parts of ESPN since their arrival.
ESPN sees the draw of WWE and they have promoted the company a lot in 2015. Now it looks like ESPN and WWE may have developed a bit of a working relationship. According to Cageside Seats, the use of Brock Lesnar this past week was the start of ESPN’s working relationship with WWE. WWE SummerSlam will be ESPN’s first live event coverage of pro-wrestling which will sort of be the official kick-off of it. That said, if it were to turn out well for them….one can imagine that ESPN will cover more events.
What is interesting is that America is really one of the only countries that is a hotbed for pro-wrestling that does not normally cover pro-wrestling like a sport. Mexico and Japan cover it like it is as real as soccer or basketball. While everyone is in on the secret, the term “sports entertainment” still has “sport” involved.
ESPN has also branched itself out to be an entertainment company inside it’s sport appeal.
They also were the home of the AWA pro-wrestling company years ago, and they have even shown those wrestling events from the past on the network at random hours throughout the years.
It makes total sense for ESPN to cover WWE and use them like they would the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.
Clearly ESPN would only do this for big events, seeing as covering everything wouldn’t make much sense. ESPN even picks and chooses what to cover from the sporting world. They will not cover every single baseball game on the network for example. which is why they have a ticker tape at the bottom of their screen to show scores and news that they may have already gone over or will not go over due to time.
If WWE SummerSlam goes well for ESPN, one can imagine that ESPN will start to take WWE seriously. If they draw as much interest as any sport they cover, this will obviously be a big thing for ESPN to consider covering a lot more of. Regardless, having a working relationship with ESPN could be huge for WWE and even for ESPN.
[IMG Credits: Insidepulse.com, newsday.com]