ESPN looking to extend programming franchise with second film

Los Angeles: In the US ESPN is making a serious endeavour to extend its brand to more than just sports broadcasts and related events. The broadcaster has announced that its second original, made-for-television movie, The Junction Boys an ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) production is set to begin production on 16 September in Australia. It will premiere on ESPN on 14 December 9 pm ET.

An official release informs that EOE, the newest ESPN programming franchise, is developing a wide-variety of branded programming outside of the network's traditional event and sports news genres. Using vehicles including reality-based shows, documentaries and game shows ESPN is looking at broadening its audience by appealing to younger and casual sports fans. In addition, the company is exploring new ways to connect with consumers by applying these projects across all platforms of the ESPN family -- television, Internet, radio, etc.

The release says that ESPN's first original made-for-television motion picture A Season on the Brink was seen by an average of 3,419,000 households and earned a 4.0 rating, when adding the simultaneous audiences on ESPN and ESPN2. The movie earned a 3.45 rating on ESPN (representing 2,964,000 households in the average minute) and a 0.55 rating for the ESPN2 version (455,000 households).

Actor Tom Berenger will play the role of coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in the new film. Based on the best-selling book by Jim Dent The Junction Boys is inspired by the true story of 35 players who survived Coach Bryant's harrowing Texas A&M pre-season college football training camp in desolate, drought-ridden Junction, Texas in 1954.

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