ESPN to Televise 28-Hour Fantasy Football Marathon on Aug. 15-16

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ESPN to Televise 28-Hour Fantasy Football Marathon on Aug. 15-16

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Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter, Michelle Beadle, Kenny Mayne and Trey Wingo to be Featured
ESPN Fantasy Football Targets One Million Team Sign-Ups

ESPN will televise the 28-hour ESPN Fantasy Football Marathon presented by Draft Kings in preparation for the 2016 NFL season on Aug. 15-16. The first-time programming initiative – starting Monday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. ET through Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 11 p.m. – will feature Fantasy Football specials in primetime both nights, segments on multiple editions of SportsCenter, and Fantasy Football-themed editions of popular ESPN shows, including First Take, Mike & Mike, His & Hers, SportsNation and NFL Live. All programs during the marathon will be streamed live on WatchESPN.

Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst Matthew Berry and NFL Insider Adam Schefter will appear on ESPN shows throughout the entire 28 hours. Michelle Beadle and Trey Wingo will co-host the primetime shows on both nights – the five-hour SportsCenter Special: Fantasy Football Rankings (Aug. 15: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and the marathon-ending four-hour SportsCenter Special: Fantasy Football Celebrity Mock Draft (Aug. 16: 7 p.m., ESPN), which will include a live Fantasy Football draft with ESPN commentators and celebrities. Kenny Mayne will also be part of the primetime shows and other programs, sharing his football insights and his unique humor and wit.

ESPN Fantasy Football, the industry’s No. 1 fantasy game, returns for its 21st season this fall with new content and features across ESPN platforms. The game is free for all fans and is accompanied by the most comprehensive collection of expert analysis, news, tools and statistical information in fantasy sports, including industry’s top Fantasy Football mobile App.

“Fantasy Football is so enormously popular and with fans everywhere now joining leagues and drafting teams we will officially kick off the new season across ESPN platforms with this 28-hour marathon,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production. “This is among our most creative and collaborative ideas to date. We will utilize resources across our many television and radio shows, ESPN Stats & Information, ESPN Fantasy Sports, ESPN Social and more, while showcasing the ESPN Fantasy App, to make this a big, fun event for fans.”

Special guests and celebrities expected to participate in the Fantasy Football draft in primetime on Aug. 16 include: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of Mike & Mike; Michael Smith and Jemele Hill of His & Hers; former NFL wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson; comedian Frank Caliendo; popular music artist Darius Rucker; Food Network star and celebrity chef Bobby Flay; and actress Jamie Lynn-Sigler (The Sopranos and Entourage).

ESPN Fantasy Football Marathon commentators:

  • ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Jr. and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner will be paired together on “Fantasy Island” in Bristol. They will provide the latest fantasy updates while monitoring sign-ups and fan activity. During the two days, ESPN is targeting one million teams for the 2016 ESPN Fantasy Football game. Golic and Stugotz will track this with telethon-style updates and a digital tote board.
  • Caliendo, a regular contributor to ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, will share some of his famous voices while appearing on multiple shows – the opening night SportsCenter Special, Mike & Mike and SportsNation – in addition to being a celebrity team owner in the Mock Draft special.
  • The Mike & Mike: Fantasy Football Special, hosted by Greenberg and Golic, will air on ESPN and ESPN radio and will include Berry, Schefter, Caliendo and other guests throughout the four hours.
  • Sara Walsh will host a three-hour Fantasy Football Now (12 a.m. overnight, ESPN2) with Berry, Schefter, Tim Hasselbeck and Field Yates.
  • ESPN Fantasy Football experts and NFL analysts/insiders will be featured throughout the marathon, including Stephania Bell, Jerome Bettis, Matt Bowen, Ryan Clark, Mike Clay, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Dan Graziano, KC Joyner, Eric Karabell, Louis Riddick, Mark Schlereth and Tom Waddle.
  • In addition to the primetime shows, Beadle will host 3.5 hours of SportsNation: Fantasy Football on Aug. 16 (3:30 p.m. on ESPN, switching to ESPN2 at 4:30 p.m.) with Marcellus Wiley from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios. They will also reunite with Max Kellerman, who recently joined First Take.
  • Smith, the new Fantasy Football Now co-host, will be part of the opening night SportsCenter Special and he will draft a team with His and Hers co-host Jemele Hill. The duo will also anchor a special Fantasy Football edition of their weekday show.
  • Jalen Rose and David Jacoby, the popular Jalen and Jacoby duo, will host a special three-hour Fantasy Football-themed show during the overnight (3-6 a.m., ESPN) from Bristol.
  • Reese Waters will be live from an interactive kiosk in New York City where he will interview football fans and give them the opportunity to test the ESPN Fantasy App.
  • DJ Rob Swift (Aug. 15: 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. and Aug. 16: 1-7 p.m.) and DJ Blue (Aug. 15: 3-6 a.m. and Aug. 16: 7-11 p.m.) will be the in-house live DJs. Both will be spinning live music in-studio in Bristol.

Planned features/elements:

  • ESPN Fantasy Football lists (sleepers, busts, etc.), rankings, projections and mock drafts.
  • Deep-dive analysis of draft strategy and theory for different scoring systems.
  • In-depth analysis of every relevant fantasy player from ESPN’s deep roster of analysts and experts.
  • Injury updates and analysis.
  • Film study and advanced analytic metrics that will prepare all fans – beginners to the most advanced players – for the most important day of the year: Draft Day.
  • Berry and Smith will voice a special His & Hers-style whiteboard video on “How to Use the New ESPN App”.
  • EA Sports Madden 17 player video highlights.
  • ESPN video features from #SCFeatured, E:60, NFL shows, and more.
  • A Sport Science feature on sleep deprivation and how staying awake for 28 hours impacts the body.
  • An ESPN Fantasy Football fan contest featuring a First Prize, Grand Prize and Season-Long Prize.
  • On-air demos on how to use the new ESPN Fantasy App.

The NFL on ESPN Facebook page will also offer a companion platform to the Fantasy Football Marathon. A Facebook Live experience will be produced throughout the 28 hours with hosts and analysts participating and answering fans questions, among other surprises. Fans will also be encouraged to participate in multiple social activations on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The show will use the hashtag #FantasyMarathon and will ask fans to submit their best “fantasy football team name” throughout the marathon.

ESPN Audio

In addition to the Fantasy Football Marathon on television, ESPN Radio will offer 28 hours of coverage of its own featuring Fantasy Focus hosts Dave Rothenberg and Eric Karabell appearing on all ESPN Radio shows during that span. Golic Jr. and Stugotz will also contribute to shows from their “Fantasy Island” location. The simulcast of Mike & Mike will be on ESPN on Aug. 16 (6-10 a.m.), with Schefter, Berry and Caliendo all making guest appearances.

ESPN Fantasy Football Marathon Television Schedule:

Time (ET) Program Network
Mon, Aug 15    
7 p.m. – 12 a.m. SportsCenter Special: Fantasy Football Rankings

Michelle Beadle, Trey Wingo, Kenny Mayne, Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter, Michael Smith, Louis Riddick and Frank Caliendo

Tues, Aug 16  
12-3 a.m. SportsCenter (Fantasy Football Cut-Ins) ESPN
12-3 a.m. Fantasy Football Now

Sara Walsh, Berry, Hasselbeck, Schefter and Field Yates

3-6 a.m. Jalen and Jacoby: Fantasy Football Special

Jalen Rose and David Jacoby

6-10 a.m. SportsCenter (Fantasy Football Cut-Ins) ESPN2
6-10 a.m. Mike & Mike: Fantasy Football Special

Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic


ESPN Radio

10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. SportsCenter (Fantasy Football Cut-Ins) ESPN
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. First Take: Fantasy Football Special

Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, Molly Qerim, Ryan Clark and Tom Waddle

12-1 p.m. His and Hers: Fantasy Football Special

Michael Smith, Jemele Hill and Mark Schlereth

1-2 p.m. First Take: Fantasy Football Special

Stephen A. Smith, Kellerman and Qerim

1:30-2:30 p.m. Fantasy Football Kickoff

Wingo, Berry, Schefter and Hasselbeck

2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Live: Fantasy Football Special

Wingo, Berry, Schefter, Hasselbeck, Clark, Schlereth, Waddle and Jerome Bettis

3:30-4:30 p.m. SportsNation: Fantasy Football Special

Beadle, Marcellus Wiley, Kellerman, Clark, Bettis, Hasselbeck and Todd McShay

4:30-7 p.m. SportsNation: Fantasy Football Special

Beadle, Wiley, Kellerman, Clark, Bettis, Hasselbeck and McShay

6-7 p.m. SportsCenter (Fantasy Football segments with Berry and Schefter) ESPN
7-11 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Celebrity Fantasy Draft

Beadle, Wingo, Berry, Schefter, Mayne and Riddick


* Appearances subject to change           All programs will be streamed live on WatchESPN


Angela Yang

I am a Senior Publicist in ESPN Communications based in New York, focusing on affiliate and digital PR. I am a proud University of Georgia alum, graduating with a double major in Public Relations and Sociology. Prior to joining ESPN, I worked in entertainment publicity at NBCUniversal, FOX and Turner in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I am a die-hard Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs fan.
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