“Entertainment and Sports Programming Network,” or shortly the ESPN, is a cable and satellite network channel that reaches millions of homes in the United States.
The first and the only 24-hour sports cable channel, ESPN seems to have a monopoly on the cable sports network field. It’s the go-to destination for millions of American sports followers. Its international version, ESPN International, is also very popular, operating in seven global regions.
Things look not so promising for the network when it was launched in the late 1970s by Bill Rasmussen and Ed Eagan. It was envisioned to cover regional sports events, and would initially be named ESP Network.
Despite cable operators’ unsatisfying predictions, the founders went on with their pursuit, incorporating ESP Network during the summer of 1978. They moved its headquarters to Bristol, Connecticut, which still stands today. ESP Network was among the first in the country to employ a form of television distribution called “satellite communication,” which later enabled ESPN to continuously broadcast its programs on a 24-hour basis through a satellite feed world widely.
Wanting to distinguish itself from the “big three-letter networks” (ABC, CBS, and NBC), ESP Network renamed itself ESPN. It was September 7th, 1979, when ESPN was officially launched, and SportsCenter was its flagship program.
Initially broadcasting on a limited-time schedule, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network began conducting their programming 24/7 the following year.
In 1984, ABC Network acquired the sports channel from Getty Oil Company. ABC retained an 80% share of the network, while the remaining 20% went to the biscuits company – Nabisco – which in turn sold its stake to Hearst Corporation in 1990, making it the new co-owner of the network.
THE SCOPE OF SPORTS COVERAGE FOR ESPN WAS CONTINUOUSLY EXPANDING, AND ITS ASCENT WAS VIRTUALLY UNSTOPPABLE. IT STARTED BROADCASTING NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (NFL) GAMES. TWO YEARS LATER, THEY BEGAN TO COVER & AIR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SERIES.
ESPN branched out into radio in partnership with the ABC Radio Network in 1991. ESPN2 was formed in 1993 to cover alternative sports episodes such as billiards, poker, and extreme games as part of the network’s essential programming.
The network went even bigger as ESPN International was created. It is now serving Latin America, Europe, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, Oceania, and the Middle East.
In 1996, ESPN was acquired from ABC/Capital Cities by Walt Disney Company, who remains the network’s parent company up to this day.
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network launched ESPN Classic in 1995 to feature and broadcast reruns past sporting events, short movies as well as documentaries with sports as the central theme.
ESPN has continued to expand, launching other networks such as ESPNews, ESPNU (for collegiate sporting events), ESPN Plus, ESPN UK, ESPN on ABC, and ESPN America. It also branched out into the world of publishing as it launched ESPN: The Magazine.
For all its triumph and prominence, ESPN and its array of sister networks have been the recipient of several flaks from many of their viewers, citing reasons such as conflict of interest, biased coverage/reporting, moving away from “real” sports (for covering events like poker and the National Spelling Bee), too much corporate sponsorships, and spotlighting some of their broadcasters other than focusing on the sporting event itself, among other several grievances.
Nevertheless, there’s no way to criticize ESPN’s tremendous success and popularity. Its initial struggles have long ago paid off, and have enabled the network to become the premier sports cable and satellite network worldwide. That alone is the greatest victory that ESPN has scored.
This program is a daily news television segment that serves as the flagship program of ESPN. It covers various sports teams and athletes globally. It often shows highlights of sports from the day.
Primarily broadcast only once a day, SportsCenter now has up to twelve airings a day, excluding the overnight telecasts.
SportsCenter has been the host for major sports in the U.S. including football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. It remains to be the flagship show for its network and leads the way in sports broadcasting and entertainment.
Monday Night Football:
ESPN Monday Night Football, or shortly the MNF, is a live television broadcast of weekly National Football League (NFL) games on Entertainment and Sports Programming Network in the United States.
This program was, along with the Walt Disney anthology television series and Hallmark Hall of Fame, one of the longest-broadcasted primetime programs ever on commercial network television. It was one of the highest-rated sports television shows among male viewers.
Major League Baseball:
ESPN Major League Baseball is a broadcast of Major League Baseball on ESPN and ESPN2. Started to broadcast in 1990, this program has the right to any potential tiebreaker games (Game 163) and one of the two wild-card games, with Turner Sports receiving the other game.
|1.||Stuart Scott||sportscaster and anchor|
|2.||Chris Fowler||sports broadcaster|
|3.||Scott Van Pelt||sportscaster and sports talk show host|
|4.||Tim Kurkjian||Major League Baseball analyst|
|5.||Michael Wilbon||commentator and former sportswriter|
|6.||Suzy Kolber||football sideline reporter, co-producer, and sportscaster|
|7.||Adam Schefter||sports writer and television analyst|
|8.||Jay Bilas||college basketball analyst|
|9.||Lee Corso||sports broadcaster and football analyst|
|10.||Kirk Herbstreit||analyst for ESPN’s College GameDay|