ESPN, CBS Will Feature Athletes Unlimited Summer Softball
July 1, 2020
All 30 games of Athletes Unlimited’s new professional softball league will be broadcast live via CBS Sports Network and ESPN this summer. Games are due to begin on Aug. 30 at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Ill. Because of COVID-19, fans will likely not be allowed to watch in-person.
CBS Sports Network will televise seven games in the U.S. and Canada, including the weekly matchup between the teams whose captains top the player leaderboard. ESPN will distribute the remaining 23 games across its platforms in the U.S. as well as in Latin America. A broadcast schedule has yet to be finalized. Most games will livestream on ESPN3, though some games may be televised. ESPN partner TSN will broadcast games to viewers in Canada.
Athletes Unlimited will rank the league’s 56 players according to their team and individual performances each week. The top four players on the leaderboard will become the captains of the teams for the following week, and will be able to draft their own teammates, meaning team rosters will change throughout the season.
“We are thrilled to be working with CBS and ESPN. It was extremely important to us to offer our games to a broad audience and not require an additional paid subscription. We look forward to highlighting our players through compelling storytelling and incorporating new technologies that will cover every angle of play and integrate content from both players and our fans,” said Jon Patricof, Athletes Unlimited co-founder and CEO, in a press release.
Ross Mobile Productions will overlay stat graphics and integrate social media posts into on-air broadcasts for ESPN and CBS. Ross Mobile will also provide slow motion cameras to capture on-field movement, as well as mic all players and umpires.
“Having all 30 games available to our fans with enhanced technology is an amazing opportunity to showcase our talents and increase awareness for professional softball around the world,” said Cat Osterman, who pitches for the USA National Team and will play in the league this season.