Any fan of the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is well-aware of “ESPN 8: The Ocho” in the film. The obscure faux sports network televises the big-time dodgeball event that highlights the movie.
Since that movie debuted in 2004, it’s long been curious to see other types of sporting events on the more prominent sports networks. But now, at least for one day, “ESPN 8” is going to be a real thing.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) August 3, 2017
Yes, it’s really happening. Come Tuesday August 8, the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” will transform its ‘ESPNU’ channel into ‘ESPN 8’ and televise, as their public relations department lays out, “a line-up of unconventional sporting events ranging from Disc Golf to Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball and Firefighters World Challenge.”
The “Worldwide Leader in Sports” for one day will be “Bringing you the Finest in Seldom Seen Sports”.
Looking at the TV lineup scheduled for August 8, they will begin televising all of these ‘unconventional sporting events’ right at midnight, starting with a disc golf championship. Their final telecast will be the U.S. Open Championship… of ultimate disc. Sprinkled in the lineup of events is the “2017 Championship of Bags” or as people commonly know as cornhole.
ESPN recently televised a cornhole tournament on its airwaves back on July 22. Taking advantage of what is typically a ‘dead’ month for showing sports, they decided to televise a “championship of bags” and the rating results were quite astounding.
In A18-49, Saturday's Cornhole on ESPN2 earned a larger audience than weekend's MLB on FS1 and TBS, WNBA ASG, final stage of Tour de France.
— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) July 26, 2017
This decision by ESPN to re-create “The Ocho” for a day shouldn’t come as a supreme surprise. They have been slowly easing their way into televising eSports and even more recently, drone racing… yep, that’s not a typo, Nation. The video gaming blend, which as been a debate of interest from the average sports fans, comes in when the network will air “EVO 2017 World Championship – Street Fighter” at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The network also did announce some additional news regarding the commentating for “The Ocho” next week. The personalities from the Dodgeball film, Cotton McKnight (Gary Cole) and Pepper Brooks (Jason Bateman) will not be providing any commentary that day.
It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see how it pays off for them. Here’s the promo intro for the dodgeball tournament in the film.