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#TBT: Midnight SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt launches

Bristol, CT - September 7, 2015 - Studio X: Scott Van Pelt (l) welcomes former SportsCenter anchor Dan Patrick to the set. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Scott Van Pelt (l) welcomes former SportsCenter anchor Dan Patrick to the set for the debut of SVP’s midnight show on Sept. 7, 2015. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Last year on this day, ESPN launched the new midnight ET SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. (While it was already September 8 in the Eastern time zone when the show began, it was still September 7 in the rest of the country.)

The program was designed to present the world of sports through the unique perspective of Van Pelt, showcasing his passion for sports with his self-deprecating wit and disposition toward celebrating stars and storylines. With elements brought over from his popular ESPN Radio show and transferred to television, the personality-driven program represented the newest evolution of SportsCenter with segments produced to resonate with TV viewers and to create content that could be more easily shared digitally and socially. And the show has delivered, with “double-digit [viewership] growth over the first eight months of the year and ratings among male viewers in the coveted 18-to-34 market [outperforming] those of the late-night talk shows that Van Pelt is running up against.”

For his first in-studio guest, Van Pelt welcomed back former SportsCenter anchor Dan Patrick, who comically wore his ESPN Visitor’s Badge during his segment on the set to indicate he was “just visiting.”

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