College basketball fans and insomniacs aren’t going to have their annual evening of overlap this fall.
ESPN’s 24-hour tip-off marathon of hoops is going away this year after nine seasons on the college basketball landscape, The Associated Press reported Monday.
The network said the event, which featured a dozen games spread over a full day, “ presented programming challenges and won’t be part of this year’s schedule,” according to the AP.
While certainly a logistical challenge, the event did provide college basketball with something of a television and marketing foothold early in the season when interest, beyond other made-for-TV matchups like the Champion’s Classic, can be hard to garner for the sport when college football and the NFL are in their home stretches.
It is, though, easy to see why schools may be reluctant to be part of the marathon in those wee-hours when television viewership is low and their fans – not to mention their players, coaches and administrators – would rather be in bed.
The 24-hour-hoops marathon was always a gimmicky concept, but it was a fun one, at least for those who were willing to trade shuteye for low- and mid-major basketball at 3 a.m.
ESPN did though, say they “explore a return of the marathon concept at some point in the future,” per the AP, so maybe it won’t be going away forever.
This year, at least, you can get some sleep.