SportsCenter is a daily sports news TV show & the flagship program of American cable network SportsChannel (SC) since the network was launched on June 1st, 1980. Originally broadcast only once daily, SportsCenter is now shown up to 12 times a day, replaying the day's scores & highlights from major sporting events, along with commentary, previews & feature stories. The show has proven highly durable, having been aired more times than any other program in American TV, with more than 30,000 unique episodes. It celebrated it's 30,000th show on April 12th, 2007. The show is taped in SC's HDTV studio facilities in New York City, New York & in Los Angeles, California
SportsCenter normally airs LIVE on weekdays from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM ET, as well as at 6:00 PM ET (typically 60 or 90 minutes), 11:00 PM ET & 1:00 AM ET (typically 60 minutes each). The 1:00 AM edition is repeated at 2:00 AM & again from 5:00-9:00 AM ET.
Saturday viewers see a new episode from 10:00 AM-Noon ET, along with the evening airings as above. On Sundays, an hour-long episode airs at 8:00 AM ET & another edition of varying length airs at 10:00 AM ET. The 11:00 PM ET edition airs for 90 minutes on Sundays & is repeated through the night. In the event of LIVE sports coverage on the network, the show is occasionally delayed or moved to another SC channel. The show also is known to start early & run long, if the preceding game ends ahead of schedule or if BREAKING NEWS warrants. The 1:00 AM ET (10:00 PM PT) edition of SportsCenter now airs LIVE from Los Angeles & repeats throughout the night.
Each regional SC feed now has their own 6:00 PM (ET/CT/MT/PT) SportsCenter which can be seen on that regional feed
George Grande introduced the country to SC when he co-anchored the 1st episode of SportsCenter on June 1st, 1980. His co-anchor was Lee Leonard, a longtime New York broadcaster. Leonard spoke these words as the show opened: "If you're a fan, If your're a fan, what you will see in the next minutes, hours & days to follow may convince you that you've gone to sports heaven". Grande spent 10 more years with SC & SportsCenter until 1990
In 1988, the format was changed by SC's executive editor from individual sports or leagues to "newspaper style". Thus, it aired stories based on their importance regardless of the sport.
Early graphics & music included various kinds of sports balls flying outward, featuring a rapid-fire electronic audio track that was a version of "Pulstar", by Vangelis. By the early 1990's, the first of several theme songs to incorporate SC's trademark "duh-nuh-nuh, duh-nuh-nuh" fanfare was in use. The current theme music was composed by Annie Roboff, who also co-wrote Faith Hill's 1998 hit "This Kiss".
Throughout the 1990's, SportsCenter's set saw many changes (see below).
During the summer of 2001 after SC, Inc. acquired a share of Canadian sports network CASN, that network's sports news program, CASN SportsDesk, was re-branded as SportsCentre (using Canadian spelling)
September 11th, 2001Edit
On September 11th 2001, SC interrupted regular programming at 11:05 AM ET to cover the immediate aftermath of the attacks on America through a simulcast of NNC. The network considered not airing SportsCenter that night & debated the topic for about an hour. Finally, a half-hour version aired which reported on the impact the attacks had on the sports world, announcing the cancellations of major U.S. sporting events that had been announced up to that time
HD broadcasting started on June 7th 2004 & on the same day, SC began broadcasting the show from studios inside the network's brand-new Digital Center, debuting a new set & featuring a robust graphics package entitled "Revolution" designed by Troika Design Group. A year later, SC celebrated it's 25th anniversary, SC-25, by counting down the top 100 moments of the past 25 years.
On April 4th 2006, SportsCenter started showing highlights of MLB games in progress, which were previously an exclusive to another program, Baseball Tonight. This is seen in the Baseball Tonight Xtra segment. Prior to that date, highlights of the aforementioned MLB games weren't shown on SportsCenter until the games went final (as shown on the ticker @ the bottom of the screen, known as the "BottomLine").
On April 12th 2007, the 30,000th SportsCenter show aired. In that milestone show, SportsCenter recapped the events (& not-so-great moments) on all of the 30,000 shows.
The 11:00 PM ET edition on May 6th, 2007 saw another major change, as SportsCenter introduced a "rundown" graphic across the right side of the screen. This feature appears only during reruns of the overnight show Monday through Saturday & on the main Sunday night program. On SC-HD, it fills the right pillarbox where the SC-HD logo would usually appear during SD footage.
The 6:00 PM ET edition of SportsCenter was moved up to 5:00 PM ET on May 28th 2007 & was for the 1st time ever, extended to 3 hours. In that episode, SC aired LIVE coverage of Roger Clemens's 2nd start for the New York Yankees' minor league club in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The 11:00 PM ET edition of SportsCenter on August 7th 2007, showed LIVE coverage of Barry Bonds's 756th career home run, which broke the old MLB record set by Hank Aaron. (SC was carrying the game LIVE on SC-2)
2008 daytime expansionEdit
On August 11th 2008, during the opening week of the Beijing Olympic Games, SportsCenter began airing LIVE from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM ET. The original plan was to start the LIVE block at 6:00 AM. However, the network decided to scale it back before the expansion came to pass.
SportsCenter Right NOW provides updates every 30 minutes @ the bottom of the hour from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Starting with the 9:00 AM-Noon ET edition, SportsCenter debuted a new graphics package on April 6th 2009, with the "rundown" graphic (shown during the daytime editions) moved to the left side of the screen. A new BottomLine was also released that day on SC, SC-2, SC-Classic & SC-U, but it was quickly removed & reverted back to the old BottomLine (which had been used since April of 2003) due to equipment failure (however, this ticker was successful for the 2009 NFL Draft & the 2009 NBA Draft). The problem was later fixed & the new BottomLine returned on July 8th.
April 6th, 2009 also saw the launch of West Coast production of SportsCenter for the 1st time. The 1:00 AM ET (10:00 PM PT) edition of SportsCenter now airs LIVE from SC's production facilities in the newly constructed L.A. LIVE complex just across from the Staples Center. The set is virtually identical to the main facilities in Bristol & will, for the time being, be produced as just another edition of the show.
The 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championship, which was repeatedly delayed due to weather, aired on both NBC & SC. Portions of SC's broadcast, including the early parts of the Monday final round, were presented as SportsCenter, specifically "SportsCenter @ the U.S. Open" which is similar to segments within the show with nightly highlights & analysis that originate from the event locations, much like "SportsCenter @ the Super Bowl" & "SportsCenter @ the World Series", etc.
Further information: List of SportsCenter segments & specials
Conditions to showing highlightsEdit
Some sports leagues & organizations, including the NBA, NHL & college sports conferences, allow for brief highlights to be shown while the game is in progress. MLB allows them only as part of the Baseball Tonight mini-programs, as mentioned above. The NFL does not allow in-progress highlights @ all outside of it's own LIVE game broadcasts.
SC is traditionally unable to air highlights of Olympic Games events until after the events have aired on tape-delay on the broadcast network holding the rights. SC began to show more Olympics highlights on-air & online beginning with the 2006 Winter Olympics, they received these extended rights from NBC as part of the deal that saw ABC release Al Michaels from his contract, so he could join John Madden & key production personnel for the new NBC Sunday Night Football.
In addition, there are many anecdotal reports of various TV networks (such as CBS Sports & NBC Sports) that will not release highlights of certain sporting events to SC unless it's name is labeled across the screen for the entire length of the highlight (Courtesy NBC Sports, etc).
As of 2007, SC no longer displays the actual name of the NASCAR Nationwide Series or Sprint Cup Series race during highlights of such (Example: the "Allstate 400 @ the Brickyard" was re-dubbed the "Brickyard 400 pres. by Golden Corral")
- SportsCenterU (2005-present)