Following the success of its inaugural Kids' Choice Sports awards show this summer, Nickelodeon is launching a new primetime programming block today on Nicktoons devoted to sports.
NickSports will feature content from the National Football League, Major League Soccer and NASCAR, as well as new episodes of the animated series "Wild Grinders" from professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and "NFL Rush Zone."
The two-hour weekly block will feature a mix of original and acquired long- and short-form content, documentary programming including the world TV premiere of Little Ballers and acquired theatrical movies.
"More than 70 percent of kids ages 7-14 in the U.S. play two-to-three organized sports a year, so the interest and enthusiasm is already there," says Keith Dawkins, senior vice president and general manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. "Our NickSports block will bring kids and families into the huddle by giving them an all-access pass to their favorite athletes, teams and leagues."
The block will launch with a wide array of original short-form content that shows off the personalities of professional athletes including NBA player Charlie Villanueva, NFL players Jason and Devin McCourty and Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen.
NickSports will also feature a rotating lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials and documentaries from leagues and key athletes.
At launch, league contributions for the NickSports block will include:
- NFL: "NFL Rush," a brand-new half-hour magazine-format show featuring NFL highlights, bloopers, trivia, the science of football, players off the field and throwback moments in NFL history; "NFL Rush Follies" and "NFL Rush Top 10s" half-hour countdown shows featuring follies and other great NFL moments; the third season of the animated series "NFL Rush Zone."
- MLS: A variety of acquired short-form segments including: "Mike Magee's Day Off," a movie-trailer-esque nod to the classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off; MLS Insider episode "Thierry Henry: A Legend," a tribute to the career of the soccer superstar; exclusive sit-down interviews and trivia challenges with stars from MLS and the 2014 World Cup U.S. Men's National Team; and "Anatomy of a Goal," "GoalKeeper Trick Shots" and "MLS Top 5."
- NASCAR: "Hammer Down," a brand-new docu-series profiling the next generation of NASCAR drivers; and new, short-form vignettes covering NASCAR initiatives such as exploring the principles of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as they relate to racing.