November 16, 2016 7:00pm — November 16, 2016 9:00pm
Our 11th-annual Shirley Povich Symposium will be on November 16 in the Colony Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union at 7:00 p.m.
On November 16th, a highly accomplished panel will meet in the Colony Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union on campus to examine the rapidly changing world of sports and television.
The panel will include: ESPN President John Skipper, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Maryland graduate and NBC Sports broadcaster Jimmy Roberts, NFL Network Chief Correspondent Andrea Kremer, Turner Sports Reporter David Aldridge and Maryland’s own Scott Van Pelt, who hosts ESPN’s midnight SportsCenter. The panel will be moderated by Maury Povich, who is not only the host of talk show Maury, but is also the son of longtime Washington Post sports writer Shirley Povich. The symposium will begin at 7pm.
With the growth of other major sports networks and new platforms to watch the same content, including Sling TV and watching content on social media, Skipper is not concerned for the future of ESPN. “For the foreseeable future the predominance of content that people consume on television or video will be in a pay TV bundle,” said Skipper in an interview with CNBC earlier this year. “All our content is available on any device.”
Despite the decline of viewership on SportsCenter, Van Pelt said that ESPN is far from dying in a Washington Post article in September. “ ‘SportsCenter,’ on its worst day, gets 300,000 people.” He acknowledged that Fox Sports 1 may be on the rise with their talent additions, but they are still far removed from ESPN’s ratings.
Earlier this year, ESPN consolidated their iPhone and Android app so its TV and radio content would all be found on the main ESPN app. This made it easier for those who had the ESPN App to check scoreboards and read stories online could watch ESPN as long as they signed in to their cable provider.
“[The Symposium] is an important topic because the future of sports on TV might not be on…TV,” said Roberts in an email.
The NFL introduced a new way of watching games this season, specifically with Thursday night games. In addition to watching the game on the NFL Network, the NFL streams games live on Twitter.
The NFL started the streaming during Week 2, and saw 2.3 million viewers watching the game from their social media accounts of the total 48.1 million, according to Venture Beat. In the second week of Twitter streaming, the NFL gained 2.6 million users and a 34 percent spike in average viewing audience, according to Venture Beat. Between the successes of the TNF stream and Yahoo Sports’ streamed coverage of the NBA Draft and last season’s success of streaming the Jaguars/Bills game held in London, social media streaming of sports coverage is clearly on the rise.
The Symposium will tackle how the industry will keep up with the increasing demand for sports on different platforms and how this affects jobs for those working in television jobs.
This is the first time television has been at the forefront of a Povich Symposium. Last year the Symposium had it’s tenth anniversary and celebrated the history of sportswriting.
The event is free of admission and is open to the public. The doors will open at 6pm.
The Future of Sports & TV
Moderated by Maury Povich
John Skipper; President, ESPN
Jimmy Roberts ’79; Broadcaster, NBC Sports
Andrea Kremer; Chief Correspondent, NFL Network
Jim Delany; Commissioner, Big Ten
Scott Van Pelt, Host, ESPN’s SportsCenter
David Aldridge, Reporter, Turner Sports