Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ESPN Provides 9 Days of Coverage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ESPN Provides 9 Days of Coverage

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT, The Times-Union

"First to come here, last to leave town."

The words of ESPN senior coordinating producer Bob Rauscher aptly describe the way the national cable network covers a major sporting event.

In this case, Rauscher was referring to ESPN's arrival in Jacksonville last week to begin preparation for its nine days of Super Bowl coverage. Even on Monday, the day after the game when most everyone else is leaving town, ESPN will be planning for its live one-hour special (7-8 p.m.) from Friendship Park.

With ESPN now seen in 89 million homes throughout the country, and with ESPN2 not far behind with accessibility in 88 million homes, the cable network has taken its place right alongside ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox with regards to pre-event coverage of major sporting events. And while ESPN yearns to have live coverage of the events themselves, financially it is still a step behind the big four networks.

But not when it comes to covering events with the magnitude that ESPN does. It's not just coverage on ESPN or the deuce that puts the Bristol, Conn., company ahead of the others. It's the variety in which the network provides information to viewers.

Those other areas of coverage -- all of which have spent the week in Jacksonville -- include the following:

ESPN Radio: Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m.), Colin Cowherd's The Herd (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and The Dan Patrick Show (1-4 p.m.) were all done live on location this week in the Adam's Mark hotel, often in front of a large gathering of fans, along with several of the station's evening shows.

ESPN Deportes: ESPN's Spanish-language NFL news and analysis program with also is providing coverage with daily reports from various sites.

ESPN The Magazine: The magazine is hosting The NEXT Big Weekend Thursday through Sunday at the historic Merrill House & St. Andrews Church to celebrate the magazine's annual NEXT issue, which hit the newsstands this week. The company's online service with feature writers such as Len Pasquarelli, John Clayton, Michael Smith and others contributing columns, analysis and commentary from Jacksonville. …

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