While I do not spend a whole lot of time watching television now, when I am watching television I find myself watching ESPN, and in particular SportsCenter. This has been a show that I have watched ever since I was a kid. I grew up always loving sports, whether that was playing or watching. Naturally, discovering SportsCenter amazed me in ways that I could never imagine. Prior, I would check the newspaper for the night before’s scores, or read about what happened in other games. With SportsCenter I was able to get scores, hgihlights and analysis all in one spot. SportsCenter made it okay to miss the game. And it also brought me closer to the players and teams because they would discuss the latest rumors, injuries, hirings, firings and playoff races. When I read the newspaper they only covered had articles for the local sports teams, and headline news. SportsCenter had all of that and more and fit it in an hour or two.
When digital media started advancing, SportsCenter took advantage of this by allowing the fans to vote online which play they believed was the best play from that particular night in sports. Later that night after the polling was closed they would put the play that was voted the best play as number one. This allowed the viewer to get that much closer to the making of the show and feel a part of it. Similar to what shows like American Idol did with voting for which contestant they believed was the best. A few years later when Twitter began to blow up SportsCenter brought the public even closer to the teams and show once again. They would use a hashtag for a game, people would tweet in and allow the audience to discuss what was going on. People from all over the world were now interacting as they watched the sporting event at the same time thousands of miles apart. Here, Mashable talks about the impact of SportsCenter bringing in tweet polling. Next they brought the hashtag to show related topics. Fans could tweet in their question using a specific hashtag and during the segment one of ESPN’s analysts would answer your question. Before, your question was only heard around the neighborhood, with your friends or others that you talked to. SportsCenter allowed for the whole viewing audience to hear your voice and then to have one of the professionals answer your question.
The final thing SportsCenter has done is allow the fan to be a star of the show. By tweeting in, or sending in your own home video of you or a friend performing an incredible athletic act. You have a chance of landing on SportsCenter’s famous Top 10 Plays. Letting the world see what you did. Now it is not only professional athletes getting all the fame for making great plays but everyone can have the fame for that.