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2020 ESPYS: Where to watch, when its airing, and changes amid COVID-19

The 2018 ESPYS - Show Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The 2020 ESPYS (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) are taking place tonight, June 21st. Here’s the rundown for everything you need to know about one of sports’ biggest nights.

When to watch: Sunday, June 21st at 9:00pm ET

Where to watch: ESPN

Who’s hosting: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. OL Reign winger Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird

What’s changed amid COVID-19

First things first. The awards being given out themselves are not the same as in years past. The only awards that will be bestowed are what, Jeff Smith, the vice president of entertainment at MaggieVision Productions, the company behind the ESPY Awards, calls the “narrative awards.” These include the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, the Pat Tillman Award for Service, and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which are always given out during the ESPYs, as well as the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award and the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award. Per Good Morning America, , Smith, explained, “We can’t really give out a best team award when the teams haven’t finished their seasons, and you can’t have a best moment when there was no Masters or Wimbledon. It wouldn’t be fair of us to anoint winners for things when everybody didn’t exist on a level playing field.”

Smith also said that this year, audiences will have access to winners’ reactions. He explained, “[b]eing able to capture that moment where we tell them worked out amazingly well. We have a couple of these really incredibly emotional moments.”

With regards to moments specific to this year, there will be a tribute to Kobe Bryant. There will not be a full-fledged memoriam segment, but there will be a piece paying respects to Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Smith called the segment “a love letter to Kobe from the streets and the people of Los Angeles. It’s a celebration of what he brought to that city.”

As usual, there will be celebrity appearances aplenty. Specifically, Smith noted that, “[w]e’ve got Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and Steph Curry in the show. We also have Halle Berry and Matthew McConaughey and Sterling K. Brown involved in the show...[w]e have still a great mix of the biggest names in sports the biggest names in entertainment.”