With the sports world all but shut down right now due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a question for many sports fans has been what will the major sports networks do to fill all the time that was once reserved for live sports broadcasts. League-run entities, such as NBA TV, have dipped into the archives for classic games during the hiatus, while, for now, ESPN has leaned on its flagship shows like SportsCenter as it continues to figure out a longer term plan.
Reports indicate ESPN is looking at a variety of options for what to do with its programming across all its various networks, although the hope of an early release of The Last Dance, their highly anticipated Chicago Bulls documentary, is unlikely to happen soon as it remains in production. However, there are some alternative programming options for ESPN that they already own the rights to and on Thursday they announced one such plan.
This coming Sunday, March 22, ESPN will bring back “The Ocho.” For those unfamiliar, “The Ocho” is the fake ESPN 8 channel from Dodgeball: The Movie come to life in the form of ESPN2 broadcasting extremely weird sporting events for 24 straight hours. This latest edition will feature, yes, dodgeball, marble runs (the new, hottest sport on the internet), Slippery Stairs, and all manner of other actual, real competitions from years past that wouldn’t typically land on the networks of the worldwide leader.
It is quite the lineup of events and, for at least a day, we’ll have some sports programming on television again, even if it comes in the form of Golden Tee, Cherry Pit Spitting, and Death Diving.