Yahoo Sports Builds Out Quick-Hitting Digital Morning Show ‘The Rush’

Yahoo Sports wants fans’ first morning destination to be its new two-minute digital show, The Rush. The media company doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time, according to programming executive Sarah Crennan, as it highlights the must-see sports moments from the prior 24 hours, sprinkles in pop culture references and discusses what’s trending across social.

“We are taking the…format very seriously,” wrote the Senior Director of Programming to Sports Business Chronicle via email. “So, what that leads to is some strong debates amongst our production team on what stories get included that a sports fan must know, and what stories hit the cutting-room floor.

“We believe this is a big differentiator; if you think about morning habits, we won’t make you wait for the sports segment of a morning show, and we aren’t going to build in lots of host banter.”

The Rush is hosted by stand-up comedian and former football player Jared Quay, whose “enthusiasm for sports and…range of talents were undeniable,” Crennan said. It debuted last Monday and airs weekday mornings at 3 a.m. ET on the Yahoo Sports app and dot com. A rotating eight-person team produces the late night show from the Oath Studios in Los Angeles, with story topics being assembled among the Yahoo Sports social, newsroom and video staff.

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Crennan explained that Yahoo conducted “extensive pilot testing” with The Rush and received indications that it was on the right path with the 18 to 49 audience, saying that sports fans enjoyed the fun and entertaining nature of the show and also its format. Early feedback included slowing down its pace and continuing to refine the product for a mobile-first experience. Last year, mobile accounted for 76 percent of total video views for Yahoo Sports.

Crennan continued and said that Yahoo saw The Rush as complementary to its existing editorial coverage, fantasy sports offerings and live programming, which will now include the upcoming football season. NFL games will be accessible to fans on Yahoo Sports following Verizon’s multi-year partnership with the league this past December.

While the show is just a week into its run, Crennan and her team are monitoring video views and completion rate in addition to where people are watching The Rush to determine overall success. So far, there isn’t a formal sponsorship tied to the show, but Yahoo is currently in the midst of “several conversations” with potential partners. Crennan also said to expect more future programming that further complements The Rush through deeper insights and analysis.

In upcoming shows, Quay will be joined by guests such as Bill Nye the Science Guy, ex-L.A. Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan and two-time NBA Champion Ray Allen, among others.

About Mark J. Burns

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