Baltimore Sun

ESPN and Court TV set to team up

Court TV and ESPN are teaming up in their coverage of the trial of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and plan to share expertise, talent and other resources, officials from the two networks announced yesterday,

Court TV, a cable network that broadcasts live trials by day and crime stories in the evening, will use ESPN reporters and anchors to examine sports-related issues such as how developments might affect next season. ESPN, the network dedicated to sports, will use Court TV's talent to explore legal issues. The networks also plan to exchange video, news segments and promos.

"We understand that while the audiences are interested in getting a comprehensive picture of what is transpiring, the focus of Court TV is quite different from that of ESPN," said Sheilagh D'Arcy McGee, senior vice president of programming at Court TV.

"Our mutual intention is to benefit the viewers, regardless of which network they watch."

In a separate announcement, Court TV also said that former NFL players Lynn Swann and Tim Green will join the network as commentators during the trial.

Swann, a former Pittsburgh Steeler and current ABC Sports commentator, will appear with anchor Rikki Klieman on a regular basis during daytime coverage, beginning Thursday, to examine the issues related to professional athletes involved in legal battles.

Lawyer, author, sports commentator and former All-Pro Green will appear on Court TV's news magazine, Pros & Cons, which airs weeknights from 6 to 6:30 p.m., beginning Monday. During the trial, the program will examine the day's testimony.