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Seen on Screen: ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, Others Forge on With Taped, Live Studio Programming

20/03/2020

Seen on Screen: ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, Others Forge on With Taped, Live Studio Programming By Kristian Hernandez, Associate Editor

Friday, March 20, 2020 - 1:19 pm

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Story Highlights

Seen on Screen provides a roundup of the current sports programming landscape as networks deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In this week's edition, major networks like NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and ESPN are combating the silence of no live sports with previously-released, taped, or archival content. Many networks have also continued producing live studio content - often with on-air talent located remotely.

Live Events

Fox Sports, teaming with NASCAR and iRacing, delivers the first-ever eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event Sunday, March 22, at 1:30 PM ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app. Titled Fox NASCAR iRacing, the 90-minute, simulation-style esports program includes a cross-section of competitors from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY SERIES, NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES and a group of NASCAR dignitaries.

Fox NASCAR broadcasters Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Larry McReynolds call the action from the iRacing virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Labonte headline a high-powered lineup, including two-time and defending NASCAR CUP SERIES champion Kyle Busch, 2012 NASCAR CUP SERIES champion Brad Keselowski, 2018 NASCAR CUP Series champion Joey Logano, three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, 2016 NASCAR CUP SERIES Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott, 2008 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES champion Clint Bowyer, 2014 NASCAR CUP SERIES Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and 2017 NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES champion Christopher Bell.

Additional NASCAR CUP SERIES drivers competing on Sunday include Bubba Wallace, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Timmy Hill, Michael McDowell, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Preece, Garrett Smithley, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman, Landon Cassill and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. A full 35-car lineup, including racers from the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES and NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES, will be announced Sunday.

Bowyer, who expanded his role with FOX Sports earlier this year, serves as the in-car analyst, competing in an iRacing simulator in the FOX NASCAR Charlotte studio

NBC Sports will partner with TVG to bring more horse racing to more fans beginning this weekend as NBCSN simulcasts TVG's Trackside Live on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 from 4-8 p.m. ET.

Anchored by TVG host and NBC Sports reporter Britney Eurton, TVG's Trackside Live provides fans with live horse racing from various tracks across the country.

The biggest race of the weekend - the $1 million Louisiana Derby from Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans - will air on NBCSN as previously scheduled on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, and will be part of the Trackside Live coverage.

NBCSN will also simulcast Trackside Live the following weekend - Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29 from 4-8 p.m. ET on all three days, including the Florida Derby on NBCSN on Saturday, March 28 at 6 p.m. ET - if horse races continue to be held.

The winner of the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby will receive qualifying points towards the 146th Kentucky Derby, which will be run on Saturday, Sept. 5. Previously run over nine furlongs on dirt, the Louisiana Derby will be 1 3/16ths miles on Saturday.

Enforceable, the 2020 Lecomte Stakes winner and runner-up in the first division of the 2020 Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford, will break from the #10 post in the 14-horse field as the 7-2 morning-line favorite. 2020 Lecomte Stakes runner-up Silver State and winner of the second division of the 2020 Risen Star Stakes, Modernist, will break from #13 and #14 posts, respectively. They are both 6-1 on the morning line.

Coverage of the Louisiana Derby will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs

Along with NBC Sport's TVG Trackside Live simulcast, Fox Sports is broadcasting live coverage of America's Day at the Races. Coverage includes weekend stakes action and live racing from tracks across the country, with fifteen hours of content across FS1 and FS2

Major League Rugby (MLR) launches MLR 2020: Virtual, a gaming competition between teams on Rugby20 during the suspension hiatus, to be live streamed to fans on Twitch. In addition, MLR has partnered with the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund to allow fans to donate in support of food banks during the live streams.

While fans can be sure MLR will return #ToPlayAnotherDay, the MLR and its clubs respond to the suspension as an opportunity to showcase rugby's dedication to supporting local communities and keeping the spirit of competition alive. All MLR teams will raise money for Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund that is built to help food banks across the country during this challenging time. Fans who donate will be entered into Fan of the Match prize giveaways

The Race All-Star Esports Battle returns this week with the world's greatest sim racers set a huge challenge against leading drivers from Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula E, and more.

The inaugural event had a combined total of 12.1 million minutes watched on The Race YouTube channel - that's a combined total of 23 years of total content consumed. The massive fan engagement featured nearly 30,000 combined comments and millions of impressions on social media.

Sunday's event was created following the cancellation of the opening round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Australia. Other major motorsports championships including the NASCAR, Formula E, IndyCar, and the World E
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