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The Story of ESPN

ESPN is the acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, which is THE sports TV network that has also branched out into websites and even a magazine. They offer live and taped sporting events, talk shows, and also other types of original programming. Their website is the best online today when it comes to sports and sports information and they even post betting odds when they do game previews. The next best Sports Website is well you guessed it Coopers Pick – The worlds biggest Sports Handicapping Service (watch the video below).

 

The network covers all of the big sports as well as, pretty much, any sport from around the world. As they have grown immensely in the past 2 decades they now show the biggest college football games, college basketball games, MLB games, and NFL games. Golf, NASCAR and Tennis are also very popular on the site and ESPN is very popular with golf fans, as the network will show the first 3 rounds, any times all 4 rounds, before the final round is picked up by ABC, NBC, or CBS.

 

The Beginning of ESPN

The ESPN network was launched in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen, his son Scott Rasmussen and Aetna insurance agent Ed Eagan and at the beginning the President and CEO was Chet Simmons, who would go on to be the first commissioner of the United States Football League (USFL) which is no longer active and ESPN did a 30 on 30 called “Who Killed the USFL”. ESPN is 80% owned by the Walt Disney Company and 20% by the Hearst Corporation.

ESPN airs Sportscenter, which is THE sports show with analysis and recaps of sporting events. 2009 saw the 35,000 episode of the popular show, which is shown several times daily. The main center of operation for ESPN is in Bristol, Connecticut, but there are also network offices located in Miami, New York, L.A., Seattle, and Charlotte.

In 1979 ESPN signed on with 625 cable systems around the nation and in the beginning only reached 1 million households out of 20 million households that had cable. At that time the network did not have agreements with the bigger spots and showed many events such as Australian Rules football, Canadian football, and many tennis and bowling events. Oh how things have changed, as now they host some of the biggest American sporting events.

In the beginning of the 1980’s ESPN struck a deal to start showing live NCAA football and basketball games and at this time the network began airing programming 24 hours a day. In the next 10 years the network really exploded coming to more households and in the 80’s they started showing boxing events, the NFL draft, and the college World Series. 1987 was a big year, as ESPN began their Sunday Night football broadcast and 3 years later in 1990 the network started showing MLB games.

In 1984 ESPN was bought by ABC/Capital Cities and later by the Disney Corporation. The network was the only legitimate place to get sports and sports information before the advent of the Internet. In the 1990’s with ESPN still growing in popularity the network began to expand with other channels such as ESPN2, and ESPN Classic.

 

ESPN and their Growing Empire

As the network grew more stations were added and now there are 36 ESPN media outlets and to see what a wide array they are here is the list: ESPN on ABC, ESPN Soccernet, ESPN Deportes, ESPN, ESPN (UK), ESPN in the United Kingdom, ESPN America, ESPN Australia, ESPN Brasil, ESPN Broadband, ESPN Classic, ESPN Classic (Canada), ESPN Classic (Italy), ESPN Classic (UK), ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN Dos, ESPN U (For college sports and lesser promoted sports like lacrosse), ESPN Goal Line, ESPN International, ESPN Latin America, ESPN MVP, ESPN Online Games, ESPN Plus, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Xtra, ESPN's Sports Heaven, ESPN+, ESPN.com, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNews, ESPNU, ESPN Integration, Jayski's Silly Season Site, Longhorn Network, and ESPN Star Sports. As you can see there are a ton of media outlets with ESPN from all around the globe.

 

ESPN.com

ESPN.com is the website of ESPN and there is no better website that has the latest sports news, stats, articles, interviews, contests, betting lines, fantasy sports, and game previews. The website covers most sports with the bigger ones of NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA Football and Basketball, and Soccer having the most coverage. The website is simple to navigate and very well put together and there are many stories by ESPN writers, as well as many guest writers. The most popular one that covers the sports handicapping industry is Chad Millman.

All of the aforementioned sports have a section on the site and most of the big games will have game previews with the most up-to date stats and injury reports. ESPN.com is not only great for the rabid and casual sports fans, but is a great tool for sports bettors with all the stats and trends.

There are not only many stories on ESPN, but also many videos from sports experts talking about games and events, sports highlights, interviews, and in depth reporting on the world of sports. There is also a ton of information on the website about fantasy sports and any fantasy sports fan who has participated in fantasy football or any of the other sports offered certainly knows this all too well. There are sections on ESPN.com such as Video: Have You Seen?, Hot Read, Olympic Spotlight, and ESPN Fantasy Games to just name a few.

ESPN.com offers an Insider, which is even more in-depth stories and stats and if you subscribe to ESPN The Magazine you get the Insider for free. You can purchase your favorite team’s gear on the site as well. Basically, ESPN.com is the preeminent website for anything dealing with sports, especially game previews and highlights, but there is so much more.

 

ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine made its debut in 1998 and it has quickly become very popular and the bi-weekly magazine is the 2nd most popular sports mag in America, but not far behind Sports Illustrated. The magazine covers all sports, but they have the main focus on the big sports of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA football and basketball. ESPN uses a little more humor in their magazine than Sports Illustrated does and often they cover athletes after they have retired and what they are up to these days.

Some of the more popular departments in ESPN The Magazine are:

  • Two Way – Stuart Scott gives his opinions on the world of sports and he answers questions from the magazine’s readers.
  • The Post – Looks as past editions of the magazine and how readers have commented on the past stories that they have published.
  • The Biz – Peter Keating writes not only about sports, but the business side of sports, which is so big these days.
  • Zoom – One big picture, covering 2 pages, of the image of the week.
  • Outtakes – Kenny Mayne, who is hilarious by the way, conducting interviews from people in the world of sports and may times the sports’ people talk about issues not dealing with the world of sports.
  • The Jump – A mix of various features often showing the funny side of sports.
  • Life of Reilly – the former writer for Sports Illustrated musing on his opinions on the sporting world and often covers interesting stories in the world of sports.

 

Sportscenter

What ESPN may be best known for is the show Sportscenter and originally it only aired once a day and now it airs 12 times a day. There is commentary, previews, and special features story dealing with the world of sports. Sportscenter has the record having been shown more times than any other program in American TV history. In 2004 with the show being shown for the first time in the new “Digital Studio” ESPN broadcast the top 100 spots moments in American history and it is no shock that #1 was USA’s massive upset over the USSR during the 1980 Winter Olympics.

ESPN has always hired people to host Sportscenter that not only know sports, but also are humorous and give candid opinions. Just a few of the more popular people that have hosted Sportscenter include Chris Berman, Linda Cohn, Kenny Mayne, Stuart Scott, Scott Van Pelt, Craig Kilborn, Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, and Charley Steiner.

One of the reasons that Sportscenter as well as many of the programs on the network are so popular, as they not only have sports experts with a sense of humor, but they also hire many retired athletes to give just that much more insight into the world of sports. Pro athletes can really tell it how it is since they lived the life. Many of the retired professional athletes that give analysis do so for Sportscenter in smaller segments, but are main anchors of various shows on the network. Just a few of the athletes that have worked for and/or currently work for ESPN doing analysis are Mike Ditka (NFL), Hubert Davis (NCAA Basketball), John Kruk (MLB), Trent Dilfer (NFL), Jalen Rose (NBA), Herm Edwards (NFL), Nomar Garciaparra (MLB), Desmond Howard (NCAA Football), Ron Jaworski (NFL), Digger Phelps (NCAA Basketball), and Andy North (Golf).

Sportscenter commercials are also a very popular segment that airs in between shows. Their comical attitude showcasing satire with real life sports stars and mascots are a big hit. Unfortunately due to ESPN copyright claims they have taken down a lot of the popular videos that are showcased on Youtube.com.

ESPN

 

Other Popular ESPN Programs

Besides Sportscenter and the many live, as well as taped in the early morning hours, games ESPN airs may other popular regular scheduled programs conflict with airing times. Here are just a few of them:

  • Around the Horn – Tony Reli leads the debate from 4 leading sports reporters from around the nation where he gives points for good comments and out of the 4 there is always a winner, who gets to vent their “Last Word.”
  • Baseball Tonight – a daily recap of the games in MLB and previews of upcoming games. Web Gems (great defensive plays) and the highlights of the home runs are always shown.
  • NCAA Football College Gameday – Weekly NCAA football show that airs live from the site of a big college game.
  • NBA Action - A weekly show with news and highlights of the NBA
  • NCAA Basketball College Gameday – Weekly NCAA hoops show that airs on Saturday showing highlights from the previous weeks as well and previous for big upcoming games.
  • Rome is Burning – a talk show with a sports theme hosted by Jim Rome where he airs his opinions on the world of sports and he always has a special guest, which is typically a pro athlete.
  • E:60 – Investigative sports show on a gripping story in the world of sports.
  • Outside the Lines – Program that shows critical issues in the world of sports.
  • Pardon the Interruption (PTI) - Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon debate many of the current sports topics in a rapid fire arena and they also answer fans’ sports questions in the “Mail Bag” part of the show.
  • Monday Night Countdown – Program that recaps all of the previous weekend’s games in the NFL as well as previous the upcoming Monday Night Football game.
  • Sunday NFL Countdown – Program that is aired on Sunday morning and previews all of the Sunday games as well as the one on Monday night.
  • SportsNation - Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd debate various topics and get the feedback from the crowd.

 

Chris Berman

Perhaps no one person is associated with ESPN like Chris Berman. He has been at ESPN since the beginning in 1979 and is still there to this day mainly working on football and baseball programming. His nickname is “Boomer” and he is known for giving athletes funny nicknames such as Roberto Remember the Alomar, Jerome You Better You Bettis, Rollie Chicken Fingers, and John I Am Not a Kruk to just name a few. His alter Ego is the "The Swami”, which makes predictions on the NFL games of the weekend.

ESPN has grown from a small cable channel into “THE” channel for sports, not only in American, from around the world. As you can see there are many media outlets that the network is affiliated with and ESPN has grown along with the global world of sports. The network continues to grow and it will continue to do so since the world of sports is one that many want to keep abreast on and watch.

Today we find that a lot of individuals are searching for espn expert picks, espn odds & predictions as well as a plethora of other sports betting related material for all of the major sports. We want you to know Coopers Pick is proud to offer you all of the information and data that you are looking to find on ESPN right here free of charge.

 

References and Competitors to ESPN.GO.COM:

Sports Illustrated

Sporting News

New York Times Sports Database

Walt Disney

NCAA

Hearst Corporation

ESPN

RLD Investments - Sports analysis and predictions for the NFL, NBA and College football

 


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