Published on May 4th, 20210
Ad or Not? ESPN’s Star Wars-Themed Baseball Telecast
So it’s strange that ESPN would want to distract from the game itself by turning its broadcast booth into a Comic-Con panel as part of a nationally televised Star Wars-themed telecast. According to a press release:
The Star Wars-themed telecast is in celebration of “May the fourth” and will feature ESPN commentators dressed in full costume as Star Wars characters, plus custom on-screen animations. Karl Ravech, dressed as Luke Skywalker, will provide commentary with analysts Tim Kurkjian (as Yoda) and Eduardo Perez (as a Jawa).
But wait, there’s more:
Kurkjian and ESPN commentator and resident Star Wars expert Clinton Yates will share MLB names with Star Wars ties, and Kurkjian will highlight his favorite FORCE plays of all-time. Host Steve Levy (dressed as Darth Vader) will anchor studio highlights during the game.
It’s a strange move – until you realize both ESPN and Star Wars (or, more precisely, Lucasfilm) are Disney properties, and that tonight’s telecast has more to do with “corporate synergy” than trying to get more people interested in watching baseball.
Though for those who tune in tonight, will the connection between ESPN, Star Wars and Disney be obvious or disclosed to viewers? We’ll have to wait until the ump says “play ball.”
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