New ESPN president makes his introduction to advertisers at upfronts

ESPN's 2018 upfront presentation was ...

Posted: May 15, 2018 8:24 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 8:24 PM

ESPN's 2018 upfront presentation was all about the network's "firsts."

Organizers called it "ESPN F1rst," and took advertisers down memory lane with a tour of the network's historic achievements.

But no "first" was as important as the introduction of its new president, Jimmy Pitaro.

Pitaro took the stage at New York's Minskoff Theatre for the first time since taking the reigns of the company.

The former Disney executive took over as president in March following the departure of John Skipper, who resigned over a cocaine extortion plot.

The new president spoke about new content and initiatives the network is planning, but made it clear that while the network has new leadership, its mission will stay the same.

Related: ESPN president resigns, citing substance addiction

"The mission statement at ESPN is to serve the sports fan anytime, anywhere and so that in my opinion is just as relevant today as it's ever been," Pitaro told reporters following the presentation. "I think we're doing a fantastic job at serving the sports fanatic, but as we think about expanding our audience, what about the casual sports customer. Are we doing everything we can to serve him or her?"

Although he hasn't on the job for long, Pitaro -- who was confident, but clearly getting his bearings at the event -- also spoke about what he hopes will become his imprint.

"I'm not focused on my own personal legacy. I am very focused on the ESPN legacy," he said. That legacy includes a holistic sports experience that can capture fans wherever they are.

"As we think about what's important to the business, I'll start with direct-to-consumer," Pitaro said. "We have a fantastic app that is, in my opinion, the best sports experience on a digital platform anywhere. We now have the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer streaming service in the US that is doing very well."

ESPN has struggled as younger viewers ditch cable. It recently unveiled a new app, ESPN+, to attract that younger demo.

At the event, the network also introduced advertisers to its new "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcasting team. It includes former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, and its completely revamped "Monday Night Football" team that now includes former Dallas Cowboys tight end,Jason Witten.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was in attendance to share stories about Witten's playing days before sending him off to his new career in the booth.

The network also announced new content that's heavily focused on the NBA. That included "Basketball: A Love Story," a mosaic of more than 60 short stories featuring basketball stars from LeBron James to George "The Iceman" Gervin, which will debut in October.

Related: ESPN+ is the farm team to ESPN TV's major league. Is it worth your $5 per month?

The other big content announcement Tuesday morning was "The Last Dance."

The docu-series, which debuts on the network and streaming service in 2019, is a 10-hour documentary series from ESPN and Netflix that "chronicles one of the greatest icons and most successful dynasties in sports history, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls," according to the network.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296154

Reported Deaths: 6764
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19700230
Hinds18851392
Harrison16736281
Rankin12757265
Jackson12623228
Lee9694161
Madison9480203
Jones7990147
Forrest7234138
Lauderdale6837226
Lowndes6032140
Lamar589680
Lafayette5740113
Washington5220130
Bolivar4616124
Oktibbeha441593
Panola431995
Pearl River4178131
Warren4134115
Pontotoc410571
Marshall403592
Monroe3990127
Union396174
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3552104
Hancock348975
Leflore3380118
Sunflower318986
Tate303174
Pike301296
Scott294570
Alcorn292263
Yazoo290565
Itawamba290175
Coahoma281169
Tippah279265
Copiah278758
Simpson276280
Prentiss270258
Wayne254341
Leake252871
Marion252778
Covington249580
Grenada247878
Adams234678
George232145
Newton230852
Winston221877
Jasper213645
Tishomingo212665
Attala206669
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie171239
Clarke169371
Calhoun158028
Smith153033
Yalobusha145036
Greene127833
Walthall124340
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry122135
Lawrence120321
Carroll118625
Amite111734
Webster110832
Jefferson Davis102231
Tunica99323
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Benton93824
Humphreys92927
Kemper90323
Quitman77414
Franklin76119
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 497154

Reported Deaths: 10029
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson714001387
Mobile36252736
Madison32573462
Tuscaloosa24289414
Montgomery22708519
Shelby22112215
Baldwin19856285
Lee15021155
Calhoun13755288
Morgan13742252
Etowah13379320
Marshall11439210
Houston10110262
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Limestone9413136
St. Clair9003225
Cullman8979182
Lauderdale8610212
DeKalb8486175
Talladega7582165
Walker6571259
Jackson6542103
Autauga631391
Blount6229127
Colbert5998120
Coffee5259103
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Russell406433
Franklin399778
Covington3989106
Chilton3891100
Escambia378772
Tallapoosa3613143
Clarke343953
Chambers3423111
Dallas3419142
Pike293372
Marion288895
Lawrence284683
Winston258668
Bibb245960
Geneva240270
Marengo238357
Pickens225055
Barbour212951
Hale211969
Fayette201357
Butler201166
Henry182941
Cherokee177739
Monroe166639
Randolph164640
Washington156635
Macon147243
Crenshaw146254
Clay145554
Cleburne139741
Lamar133733
Lowndes132551
Wilcox122525
Bullock117236
Conecuh107024
Perry105927
Sumter99432
Coosa89624
Greene88532
Choctaw55123
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