Numbers never lie…or do they? That’s the premise of ESPN2’s Numbers Never* Lie, the weekday show set to debut Monday, Sept. 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET. Co-hosted by Michael Smith and Charissa Thompson, the show will offer lively debate based on sports analytics. Each episode will feature roundtable discussion pitting the wisdom of professional athletes against the pragmatism of statisticians.
Fantasy games – such as ESPN.com’s Streak for the Cash, Pigskin Pick ’Em and Gridiron Challenge – were contributing influences in the creation of the show and will frequently surface in Numbers Never* Lie. A variety of ESPN analysts and statistical experts, including commentators providing the fantasy sports take, will contribute to each show.
“Numbers Never* Lie was developed for the fan craving statistics, whether it is the traditional box score or in-depth fantasy analysis,” said Marcia Keegan, ESPN vice president, production. “Like all sports fans, we actively engage in lively, stat-driven sports discussion around the water cooler. This show will capture some of the most debated topics.”
Numbers Never* Lie show elements will include:
§ an opening segment offering key stats and opinion tied to the day’s top storylines
o e.g. six, the number of games Jim Tressel will miss to start the NFL season; right or wrong?
§ numbers-based trivia tied to daily sports headlines
o e.g. with Peyton Manning out, who holds the second longest consecutive starts streak among active quarterbacks?
§ an over/under segment in which commentators share perspective on the likelihood of a number being met
o e.g. DeSean Jackson reaching 1,200 yards this season
§ a “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” segment with a guest commentator sharing three opinions based on stats associated with some of the day’s most-discussed sports topics
o e.g. the Colts will be fine Week 1 against Houston because the Texans surrendered 32 touchdowns through the air last year
§ a closing segment with some of the numbers viewers need to know
§ an on-screen graphic with statistics relevant to the subject being discussed
Numbers Never* Lie via Social Media
“We only have 30 minutes to entertain our fans with smart sports debate on TV, leaving us 23.5 hours to stay connected with them through social media,” said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN coordinating producer. “Most shows look to start the sports discussion using social media, but we’re hoping Numbers Never* Lie will be the show to end those debates.
“If a Patriots fan tweets, ‘The Jets don’t throw the ball,’ a Jets fan following us on Twitter can say, ‘Actually, Mark Sanchez threw 15 more times than Tom Brady last season,’ settling that debate pretty quickly.”