ESPN unveils new music push
EmptyNEW YORK -- ESPN has teamed up with numerous record labels to preview new music during its "Monday Night Football" and "Monday Night Countdown" broadcasts. The network's promotional initiative started Monday night, when snippets from Kanye West were featured prior to commercial breaks and during the halftime show.
"Last year on Oct. 23, a month before the release of Jay-Z's 'Kingdom Come' album, we showed the video for his single 'Show Me What You Got' during halftime. Soon after, we decided to start an initiative where we would promote new music before album releases during 'MNF'," explains ESPN director of communications Bill Hofheimer. "Our idea was to get fresh new music out there whether hip-hop, pop or country," adds ESPN music director Kevin Wilson.
Slated for the coming weeks are Foo Fighters "The Pretenders" and "Come Alive" (Sept. 24, Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints); Matchbox Twenty's "How Far We've Come" and "I'll Believe You When" (Oct. 1, New England Patriots vs. Cincinnati Bengals); and Kid Rock's "So Hot" and "Rock N Roll Jesus" (Oct. 8, Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills).
Two songs from Eddie Vedder's new solo record and soundtrack to the Sean Penn-directed movie of the same name, "Into The Wild," titled "Rise" and "Hard Sun," have recently been confirmed (Sept. 17 Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles game) as have "Just Can't Get New Orleans Out Of My Mind" by Irma Thomas and Marcia Ball, and "When The Saints Go Marching In" by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The latter tracks, from "Goin' Hoe: A Tribute To Fats Domino" (Vanguard Records), benefiting the Tipitina Foundation, will be included in the Sept. 24 game.
Last year, Monday Night Football on ESPN averaged more than 12 million viewers per game and became cable's most viewed series in TV history according to ESPN reps.