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Posted by bender 03/30/2009 @ 16:09

Tags : espn, sports

News headlines
Rockets-Lakers Dunks New ESPN Hoops Audience Record - Multichannel News
The Houston Rockets' Game 6 win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night became the most-watched basketball game in ESPN history. The total sports network's coverage of the May 14 contest that sent the teams to Staples Center Sunday for the decisive...
Report: Favre talked healing strategy with doctor - The Associated Press
Citing an anonymous source, reported that Favre consulted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews about options for healing the partially torn biceps tendon that has caused pain in his right shoulder. Andrews is one of the most consulted surgeons...
Special to - ESPN
Versus was up 30 percent for its conference semifinals coverage, although it still draws significantly less than what ESPN was garnering back in 2004, the last year ESPN had NHL television rights. Locally, Pittsburgh and Chicago reported significant...
ESPN picks MSU 4th in Big Ten, praises defense - Detroit Free Press
By SHANNON SHELTON • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • May 16, 2009's Adam Rittenberg kept Michigan State fourth in his Big Ten preseason power rankings posted Friday on his blog. Rittenberg had MSU at No. 4 before spring practice, basing his overall...
Clemens issues clarification of comments -
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner appeared on "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio and ESPN2 on Tuesday, where, among other things, he addressed the book written by New York Daily News reporters entitled "American Icon: The Fall of Roger...
ESPN columnist names UM's Smith as 'recruiter to watch' - Detroit Free Press
In his column today,'s JC Shurburtt named Michigan quarterbacks coach Rod Smith as a "recruiter to watch." Here's his writeup on Smith: The Wolverines recruit nationally, and Smith is a true national recruiter. He is in on multiple prospects...
Kobe Bryant film by Spike Lee brings different perspective to ESPN - New York Daily News
"Kobe Doin' Work" debuts Saturday night at 8 on ESPN. "Kobe was my first choice, my only choice really," says Lee, who has just finished talking to an appreciative crowd at a 1050 ESPN Radio "Lunch With a Legend." "I know him well enough to call him,...
Top 10 Video Highlights for May 13th, 2009 - ESPN - ESPN
By Michael Cupo 6. Dwight Howard Wants The Ball - Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy talk about what went wrong in Game 5. 7. Step Up, Superman! - Jalen Rose thinks Dwight Howard and the Magic should share some of the blame for the Game 5 loss to the...
Special to - ESPN
Usually, the best way to pick a Preakness winner is to go back to the Kentucky Derby, figure out what happened, why it happened and who's ready to come up big in the second round. This time? After the strangest, most confusing outcome in the history of...
Two Tisdale-era OU basketball games on ESPN Classic tonight - Tulsa World
By BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer ESPN will honor the late Wayman Tisdale by replaying two Tisdale-era Oklahoma basketball telecasts. Both games will be presented tonight on ESPN Classic. Set for 7 is the OU-Louisiana Tech contest, an NCAA Midwest...


ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a American cable television network dedicated to broadcasting and producing sports-related programming 24 hours a day.

It was founded by Scott Rasmussen and his father Bill Rasmussen and launched on September 7, 1979, under the direction of Chet Simmons, who was the network's first President and CEO (and later became the United States Football League's first commissioner). Getty Oil Company provided the funding to begin the new venture. George Bodenheimer is ESPN's current president, a position he has held since November 19, 1998; since March 3, 2003, he has been the head of ABC Sports as well, which has since been rebranded as ESPN on ABC (though ABC Sports still legally has a separate existence).

ESPN's signature telecast, SportsCenter, debuted with the network and aired its 30,000th episode on February 11, 2007. ESPN broadcasts primarily out of its studios in Bristol, Connecticut; it also operates offices out of New York City; Seattle, Washington; Charlotte, North Carolina and Los Angeles, California; the Los Angeles office is scheduled to open at L.A. Live in 2009. The name of the sport company was lengthened to "ESPN Inc." in February 1985.

ESPN markets itself as "The Worldwide Leader in Sports," a slogan that appears on nearly all company media but whose origin is unknown.

Most programming on ESPN and its affiliated networks is composed of live or tape-delayed sporting events and sports-related news programming (such as SportsCenter) with the remainder filled by sports-related talk shows (such as Around the Horn, Jim Rome is Burning, Outside the Lines, and PTI) and sports-related documentaries.

ESPN was originally thought up by Bill Rasmussen, a television sports reporter for WWLP, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the mid-1970s, Rasmussen worked for the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers, selling commercial time for their broadcasts. His son Scott, a former high school goaltender, was the team's public-address announcer. Both were fired in 1977 and Rasmussen sought a new business venture. His original idea was a cable television network (then a fairly new medium) that focused on covering sports events in the state of Connecticut (for example, the Hartford Whalers, Bristol Red Sox, and the Connecticut Huskies). When Rasmussen was told that buying a continuous 24-hour satellite feed was less expensive than buying several blocks of only a few hours a night, he expanded to a 24-hour nationwide network. The channel's original name was ESP, for Entertainment and Sports Programming, but it was changed prior to launch.

ESPN started with the debut of SportsCenter hosted by Lee Leonard and George Grande on September 7, 1979. Afterwards was a pro slow pitch softball game. The first score on SportsCenter was from women's tennis on the final weekend of the US Open.

To help fill 24 hours a day of air time, ESPN aired a wide variety of sports events that broadcast networks did not show on weekends, including Australian Rules Football, Davis Cup tennis, professional wrestling, boxing, and additional college football and basketball games. The U.S. Olympic Festival, the now-defunct competition that was organized as a training tool by the United States Olympic Committee, was also an ESPN staple during this time. ESPN also aired business shows and exercise videos.

ESPN (along with the USA Network) was among the earliest cable-based broadcast partners for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Lasting from 1982–84, the network's relationship with the association marked its initial foray into the American professional sports sector. After an eighteen-year hiatus, ESPN (by then, under the auspices of the ABC network), secured a $2.4 billion/six-year broadcast contract with the NBA, thereby revitalizing its historic compact with U.S. professional basketball.

In 1983, The United States Football League (USFL) made its debut on ESPN and ABC. The league (which lasted for three seasons) enjoyed ephemeral success, some portion of which was a byproduct of the exposure afforded through ESPN's coverage.

In 1990, ESPN added Major League Baseball to its lineup with a $400 million contract.; the contract has been renewed and will continue through at least 2011. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are the longtime voices of the network's centerpiece Sunday Night Baseball.

ESPN broadcast each of the four major professional sports leagues in North America from 2002 until 2004, when it cut ties with the National Hockey League; the network had aired NHL games from 1983-86 and again since 1993.

ESPN has been broadcasting Major League Soccer games about once a week on ESPN2 since that league's inception in 1996. In most years, the annual All-Star Game and MLS Cup championship game, and in some years the Opening Night game, are shown on ABC broadcast stations.

ESPN broadcasts 65 sports, 24 hours a day in 15 languages in more than 150 countries.

What set ESPN apart from the rest of the competition is that they got the top reporters for each of their respective sports by the early 1990's. Some examples included: Peter Gammons (baseball), Chris Mortensen (football), Al Morganti (hockey), and David Aldridge (basketball), and Mel Kiper Jr. (NFL Draft). They later added top-notch reporters including Andrea Kremer, Ed Werder, Mark Schwartz, and Greg Garber.

The 1990s and early 2000s saw considerable growth within the company. In 1993, ESPN2 was founded, with Keith Olbermann and Suzy Kolber launching the network with SportsNite. Three years later, ESPNEWS was born, with Mike Tirico as the first anchor. In 1997, ESPN purchased Classic Sports Network and renamed it ESPN Classic. The latest ESPN network in the U.S., ESPNU, began on March 4, 2005.

ESPN International began in the early 1990s to take advantage of the growing satellite markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In Canada, ESPN, Inc. purchased a minority share of TSN and RDS (in fact, the current corporate logo of both looks similar to that of ESPN). In 2004, ESPN finally entered the European market by launching a version of ESPN Classic, and in December 2006, it agreed to purchase North American Sports Network. On February 1st 2009, NASN was re-branded as ESPN America. SportsCenter's primary three broadcasts each day are at 1 a.m. ET (which re-airs usually until 9 AM ET), 6 p.m. ET, and 11 p.m. ET.

In 1994, ESPN set the standard for understanding the role of sports in America with the creation of The ESPN Sports Poll by Dr. Richard Luker. The Sports Poll was the first ongoing national daily study of sports fan activities and interests in the United States. Sporting News acknowledged the accomplishments of The ESPN Sports Poll and Dr. Luker in 1996.

With the increasing costs of live sports entertainment, such as the U.S.$8.8 billion costs for NFL football broadcasts rights for eight years, "scripted entertainment has become a luxury item for ESPN," said David Carter, director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California.

From 1996 onward, ESPN was closely integrated with ABC Sports. That year, Steve Bornstein, president of ESPN since 1990, was made president of ABC Sports as well. This integration culminated in the 2006 decision to merge ABC Sports' operations with ESPN. As a result, all of ABC's sports programming now uses ESPN on ABC. However, ABC Sports is still legally separate from ESPN (see below).

ESPN is currently building a full-fledged broadcast production facility in downtown Los Angeles, as a part of the L.A. Live complex across from the Staples Center. The five-story facility will house an ESPN Zone restaurant on the first two floors and two television production studios with digital control rooms on upper floors. It is scheduled to open in spring 2009. One of the studios will host late-night editions of SportsCenter.

In 2007, ESPN signed an agreement with the Arena Football League to broadcast at least one game every weekend, usually on Monday nights.

As of January 15, 2008, ESPN has signed a multi-million dollar contract with professional gaming circuit Major League Gaming or MLG for short. Although some have argued that professional gaming is not a physical sport, ESPN has gone ahead with this collaboration.

As mentioned,William Rasmussen founded the show. Just before ESPN launched, Getty Oil Company (later purchased by Texaco, which in turn was acquired by Chevron) agreed to buy a majority stake in the network.

ESPNHD, launched March 30, 2003, is a 720p high-definition simulcast of ESPN. ESPNHD along with sister network ABC HD use the 720p HD line standard because the ABC executives proposed a progressive 'p' signal resolves fluid and high speed motion in sports better, particularly during slow motion replays.

All Bristol studio shows and most live events on ESPN are produced high definition. ESPN is one of the few networks with an all-digital infrastructure. Shows that are recorded elsewhere − such as Jim Rome Is Burning (Los Angeles); Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn (Washington, D.C.) are presented in a standard definition, 4:3 format with stylized stylized pillarboxes ESPN, however maintains a policy that any video that originates in high definition must remain in HD when aired on ESPNHD. Unlike all other sports programming networks, ESPN charges for its HD channel.

Recently the network has come under considerable scrutiny from industry technicians and early adopters of HD due to a recent noticeable degradation in picture quality, specifically during live events. It is unclear whether this is the result of over-compression, rate shaping or bit starving from cable and satellite providers or something amiss in the ESPN distribution chain.

Advertising on ESPN is sold out for months in advance. Major advertisers such as Apple Inc., FedEx, and United Parcel Service are continually buying advertisements to reach the 15-35 year old male audience. ESPN's ad revenue averages $441.8 million with an ad rate of $9,446 per 30 second slot.

ESPN also broadcasts a range of horse racing and tennis events. It may sometimes acquire the rights to programming in other sports which airs only on ESPN 360, usually because another broadcaster holds the TV rights.

ESPN has become a part of popular culture since its inception. Many movies with a general sports theme will include ESPN announcers and programming into their storylines (such as in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which gently lampoons the channel's multiple outlets by referencing the as-yet-nonexistent ESPN8, "The Ocho", a reference to a nickname sometimes used for ESPN2, "the Deuce"). In the theatrical hit "Waterboy", Adam Sandler's character Bobby Boucher has his college football accomplishments tracked through several fictional "SportsCenter" newscasts including the "Bourbon Bowl." Also, Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons often jokes that he is looking forward to running a future network in any given column; SportsCenter anchors appeared as themselves in music videos by Brad Paisley ("I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)") and Hootie and the Blowfish ("Only Wanna Be With You"); and the short-lived 1998 TV series Sports Night (by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin) was based around an ESPN-style network and its titular, SportsCenter-analogue flagship sports results program.

There are at least 22 children named after the network.

ESPN Now was a former rolling digital cable barker channel which aired from 2001-2004 and featured a scoring ticker, along with ESPN and promotional advertising. It mainly was used to promote ESPN's college sports pay per view packages to viewers. The channel was eventually discontinued with the rise of video on demand.

Several times ESPN programing has been drastically altered because of coverage of world events.

Both ESPN and ESPN2 carried ABC News coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The only original program produced after the preemption was a shortened 6pm edition of Sportscenter which focused on covering the cancellations of sporting events in reaction to the terror attacks.

ESPN carried the first day of the 2003 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament due to CBS's coverage of the Invasion of Iraq. The games were still produced by CBS and distributed to the correct markets through cable companies. The only identifiers of ESPN was the bottomline graphic which ran throughout the entire telecast.

ESPN is also widely known as the Evil Four Letter in the sport talk radio circuit.

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ESPN Star Sports

Screenshot from ESPN Asia with the new Station ID

ESPN STAR Sports (or ESS) is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (through ESPN Inc., which it directly owns) and News Corp. The venture operates 17 ESPN and STAR Sports branded networks throughout Asia, transmitting in 5 languages (English, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean and Mandarin). The networks broadcast various local and international sporting events, and also local editions of SportsCenter for China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Malaysia and Southeast Asia. ESPN STAR Sports also operates a 24-hour Cricket channel, STAR Cricket. STAR Sports launched STAR Sports Thailand on Monday August 4, 2008 exclusively for Thai viewers.

ESPN STAR Sports also has Asia's leading Event Management team that has been successfully staging large-scale sporting events across Asia. The Event Management team is a completely integrated events group that manages concept creation, sponsorship, marketing, PR, TV broadcast, operations, and logistics for clients. Events currently in their portfolio include the X Games Asia, 9 Ball Tour, KL World 5's Futsal, Cartier Polo, Formula Drift Singapore, Nations Cup Netball, Indian Hockey League, and the World Pool Championship.

One of the biggest successes for the Event Management team was the creation of the Premier Hockey League (PHL) in India. PHL is a professional league competition for field Hockey clubs in the top division of the Indian hockey system, though there has always been strong foreign representation among the players. PHL is a joint venture between ESPN STAR Sports and the erstwhile Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) but with the suspension of the IHF on April 28 2008, the future of PHL remains uncertain.

It is important to note that broadcast rights for various sports properties contain territorial limitations and in a lot of instances, the rights indicated below may not pertain to all territories in which ESPN STAR Sports operates.

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ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine is a bi-weekly sports magazine published by the ESPN sports network in Bristol, CT in the United States. The first issue was published on March 11, 1998.

The main sports covered include Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL, NHL, college basketball and college football. The magazine typically takes a more light-hearted and humorous approach to sporting news compared to competitors such as Sports Illustrated and Sporting News. It often covers players whose careers have suffered as a result of incidents off the field.

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Source : Wikipedia