by STEVE HAN
It seemed like a step down for sportscaster Michael Kim when he announced his decision to leave ESPN to become a lead host for 120 Sports, an Internet start-up that provides a 24/7 live-streaming sports network.
But that’s not until you look at the legion of those behind 120 Sports, which launched its first broadcast last night. The network is backed by Time, Inc. and Silver Chalice, a digital sports media company which has the MLB.com, NHL and NBA as its content partners. Programming will be available on mobile, tablet devices and on the web, 120Sports.com.
“I had no intention of leaving ESPN,” Kim told Streamdaily.tv in March. “After more than 17 years, I figured I was a lifer there. Then came 120 Sports out of nowhere. The timing was right, I liked what they were telling me and I knew this was an opportunity that I had to take. Let me be clear that if 120 Sports had never approached me, I would still be at ESPN today.”
In addition to Kim who will be 120 Sports’ lead host, the on-air team includes two-time Super Bowl champion Bryant McFadden, former Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli, former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker and former MLB All-Star pitcher Danny Graves. Sports Illustrated, published by Time, Inc., will also provide contributors to the network’s programming.
“I can’t remember the last time I watched a sporting event without having my phone, tablet or laptop next to me,” Kim said. “The beauty about the 120 Sports app is that you can get all of that on a single screen–whether you’re on your sofa at home, standing in line at the bank or post office or trying to kill time while waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant.”
A trailblazing Korean American sportscaster, Kim joined ESPN as one of the first anchors on ESPNEWS in 1996. He contributed as an anchor and host to SportsCenter, First Take and NHL 2Night.