ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ to revert to weekly format in December, expand across platforms

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
'Outside the Lines,' the iconic investigative sports news show, will switch to a weekly format in December, ending a more than 15-year run as a daily show on ESPN. (Mike Windle/Getty Images)
'Outside the Lines,' the iconic investigative sports news show, will switch to a weekly format in December, ending a more than 15-year run as a daily show on ESPN. (Mike Windle/Getty Images)

ESPN’s iconic investigative program “Outside the Lines” is getting a new look.

The longstanding sports news show will switch to a weekly format starting in December and will expand its segments across ESPN’s platforms, the network announced on Tuesday.

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“‘Outside the Lines’ remains the quintessential journalism brand of ESPN and this approach better positions it for deeper dives into important topics during the Saturday edition; daily, in-the-moment perspective of breaking news; and more seamless inclusion into ‘SportsCenter,’” ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson said in a statement. “OTL’s team will continue to do what it has always done – create exceptional content, tackle important issues and make a difference in the world of sports. These changes are being made to maximize the impact and resonance of OTL’s journalism with sports fans.”

“Outside the Lines,” which was first launched in 1990, will switch to an hour-long show on Saturdays starting on Dec. 20, instead of its current 30-minute daily format. It will be hosted by Jeremy Schapp.

Per the release, other ‘Outside the Lines’ segments will start appearing across ESPN platforms, including on ‘SportsCenter,’ on Jan. 20.

The show — which was anchored by Bob Ley for years before he retired earlier this summer — has covered a number of important issues in the sports world. Most recently it reported on former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who died of a drug overdose earlier this year after a history of drug use with another member of the Angels organization. It has won 15 Sports Emmy Awards, four Edward R. Murrow Awards, three Peabody Awards and a DuPont Award, per the release.

While the new weekly show will be a change of pace — the show first switched to a daily format in 2003 — Williamson thinks the new format will only benefit the program.

“We’re getting back to what we used to do,” Williamson said, via Sports Business Daily. “This is the next iteration of ‘OTL.’ … I believe in this strategy. I know it will be good for the show, and I know it will be good for ESPN.”

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