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Why ESPN didn't call its sports update app "SportsCenter" in the first place is beyond me. They seem to have rectified this with version 4.0 of the app, now named after the ubiquitous sports show. (Da-na-na, da-na-na.) The app was also updated with a new all-white interface and a standard slide-out menu.

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Oh, and ads. Lots of ads. While the previous version had in-network advertising at the bottom of the screen like a lot of free apps, this new one gets interstitial ads that pop up two or three times while scrolling through scores or updates, plus random pop-up ads. Thanks, ESPN, I don't see enough diamond commercials on Monday Night Football.

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Naturally you can add your favorite teams, and there's a pretty impressive selection of sports and conferences, including all the major pro and college sports from the US and more soccer leagues than any God-fearing American should recognize. A nifty alert function lets you select notifications for news, starting games, final stores, and even a "close game" so you'll know when to run to the nearest bar.

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In addition to the usual scores you also get general news and videos, plus a "Now" tab, because ESPN would really like you to follow their sportscasters on Twitter. All in all it's an impressive update, but the intrusive advertising is a bummer that's quickly driving me back to Google Now. I wish there was a $1-5 paid option that offered the same experience without the interruptions.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • turdbogls

    ads...what ads? (thanks ad free android) :)

    • lucke1310

      I see the ads in the screenshots... but with AdAway, they're not there... ingenious :)

    • Jeremiah Rice

      As someone who gets 100% of his income from advertising revenue, apps like this actually make me sympathize with people who block them.

      • turdbogls

        I am happy to pay for an ad free experience in an application...but when the app forces me to look at ads, with no way to turn them off, i block them.

      • mgamerz

        I like how this is getting downvoted. Apparently people don't like you sympathizing with ad blockers.

  • Arthur Dent

    This app is a real piece of shit. The ads are far too many, and much too intrusive, repeatedly popping as you scroll past News. Shame on ESPN. I understand that companies need to make money somehow on 'free' apps, but this is the WRONG way to go about it. Go use the Score or another, better app.


    • turdbogls

      I am OK with ads on android apps for smaller businesses or just a lone developer.
      but this is SportsCenter...probably the most watched show on one of the most watched networks. they dont need any money from this app to stay alive. its a real shame.

      • a3uge

        They don't "need" to create the app in the first place.

    • Navitron

      I don't know anything about sports, I installed this just to test out my AdAway hosts file blocking. Works great the app is well build, lots of information that sports people would love. Oh yeah and no ads :P

  • PiLoT .
  • skitchbeatz

    the inline ads are one thing and can be dealt with but the pop-up ads need to die a horrible death.

    • ReturnOfTheMack

      Today's update supposedly reduces the number of ads.

  • anti

    Yeah, I've been using ESPN's app for a long while now, but after the update it started playing that stupid noise with every notification again, and I can't find a way to disable the noise without disabling the notifications, and the ads are unbearable... and it's now uninstalled. There are other options out there, I simply won't deal with that junk. Hello Yahoo Sports! (or theScore... still trying both out)

  • MatthewDiluzio

    I emailed them telling me that I would soon uninstall based on the amount of ads. I also tried ad free android and it works but it also slowed the app down when scrolling. Either way, I hope they fix it

    • Jaime Kerr

      ooooo way to show them!

      • Jesse

        hah, I guess something got through to them or they didn't realize how many ads were actually popping up because they've already pushed an update "Reduced the number of ads".

  • Andy Stetson

    I'll stick with my inverted version of the old sportscenter, that doesn't show up in the play store as needing an update ;)
    Thanks Team Blackout for helping Scorecenter (since that's what I still have) not suck!

  • fillyo75

    I am so sick of ads on everything, unfortunately, this is the way of the computing world.

  • Matt Tithof

    Is it just me or is the new app horrendously slow? N4 running the lastest build of KitKat

    • turdbogls

      its just you. quick and smooth over here (nexus 5 with ART enabled)

  • Gnex

    Almost as many ads as Droid Life, amirite?

  • Daldain

    If anyone from ESPN is reading, letting you know that I have uninstalled due to poor ad placements and frequency. Using Yahoo Sports now.

    • wicketr

      The Yahoo app is very polished and the ads aren't too intrusive. However, I'd be willing to pay for an ad-free version. ESPN has been lagging waaaay behind Yahoo's offering for awhile now.

  • Ryan Callihan

    I don't know why developers don't include ad removal options in apps like this. I know I'd be willing to pay

  • TopXKiller

    Video ads within ads that are misplaced, u are forced to use Ad Blocking just to make it usable


    theScore and Yahoo Sports are way better

  • CerealFTW

    well... looks like I'll use lucky patcher or find apk online with ads removed. Your turn, ESPN


    i kind of like it


    Tells me when Dallas wins and on my iphone i just turned off sound for espn sports center


    Dallas beat the fucking raiders to. YEAH! ROMO= best QB on thanksgiving