ESPN is aiming to deepen fan engagement with plans to air 500 live shows across all its social and digital platforms in 2020.

Omar Raja, ESPN’s Digital and Social Content Commentator and founder of House of Highlights, will be the one tasked to expand the company’s digital community.

Senior vice-president of digital and social media content at ESPN, Ryan Spoon, told Digiday: “These shows are different than the shows we do on TV.

“If you think about what we did leading into college football, the social shows are often very relaxed. I put capital ‘fun’ in front of the tone we want to see. They’re about driving interest and enjoyment around it.”

In order to execute the 2020’s target, ESPN has renovated a 2,750-square-foot studio to prove the sports nework’s digital programming team a new base of operations. 

Last year ESPN delivered 400 shows with NBA’s pregame show “hoop streams” garnering a lot of the platform’s recent following. The Basketball programme is expected to continue through 2020 and will be included in ESPN’s 500 bracket. 

The news of ESPN’s social media expansion comes as no surprise considering the company has grown immensely in terms of social media following. Last year, across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, ESPN received 2.2 billion video views in December 2019, more than double 2018’s viewership.

Insider Insight: ESPN’s target emphasises how the consumption of media has changed over the years. Instagram, Youtube and Twitter have become prominent sources of sporting news and videos so the firm’s decision to lead the campaign with an industry expert will only enhance its multiple brands this year.