As social distancing and isolation continue in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that is already ravaging places like New York and Louisiana in the United States, sports leagues are on hiatus to help prevent large gatherings of people. As such, television stations are trying to figure out ways to fill the time that’s typically dedicated to showing live sports or talking about the previous night’s events.
ESPN has already cut down on the number of studio shows it is running, both due to a lack of topics and also to keep more of its employees at home and from spreading the virus internally at the company. They’ve also dug into the archives for older things they already hold rights to, such as their ESPN 8 “The Ocho” lineup of weird, old broadcasts of things like death diving and lawnmower racing.
With the hiatus showing little sign of going away anytime soon, they’re now tapping into their parent company, Disney, and its vast resources for programming. The worldwide leader announced on Thursday that beginning tomorrow they will add classic Disney sports movies to their Friday night programming lineup, starting with The Rookie at 8 p.m. ET on March 27.
The rest of the movies they’ll be showing over the coming weeks are Glory Road (April 3, 8:30 p.m. ET), Miracle, Invincible, Secretariat, and The Greatest Game Ever Played.