– Gregg Morriss
With NFL free agency overlapping with college basketball’s Championship Week, ESPN senior manager of NFL programming Gregg Morriss and his team took a new and innovative approach to covering this major event on the pro football calendar.
ESPN’s programming and production groups worked together to create Free Agency Countdown (Thursday at 2 p.m. ET) – a two-plus hour special that will stream live on ESPN3. Suzy Kolber and Trey Wingo will co-host the show, which will feature many of ESPN’s top experts and lead into the official start of free agency. A 90-minute block of NFL Insiders and NFL Live airing on ESPN (approx. 4:30-6 p.m.) will follow the ESPN3 special.
“The concept of a digital show counting down to the pivotal 4 p.m. ET free agent signing period aligns perfectly with the notion of serving fans anywhere, anytime,” said Morriss, an 11-year programming veteran and Guilford, Conn., native. “In fact, this is really just amplifying what we’re already delivering across ESPN digital and social, not to mention Adam Schefter’s immense Twitter following.”
At ESPN, the NFL programming team is responsible for so much more than Monday Night Football. In fact, Morriss and team oversee the scheduling of two dozen show brands spanning more than 1,300 hours annually, including the likes of Gruden’s QB Camp, Hey Rookie, Welcome to the NFL and SportsCenter Special: NFL Nation Mock Draft.
“We are just one side of the coin,” Morriss notes. “Kudos to our colleagues in NFL studio and event production who work tirelessly to pull it all off from a content standpoint.”
The constant collaboration with other departments allows Morriss and the programming team to develop strategic cross-platform plans that deliver compelling NFL content to fans year-round.
“To quote the great football philosopher [New England Patriots head coach] Bill Belichick, our mindset is ‘no days off’ when it comes to the NFL on ESPN,” says Morriss.