ESPN, Inc. Fact Sheet

Winter 2016-17                    

  • ESPN, Inc. is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities.
  • Based in Bristol, Conn., with approximately 4,000 employees (approximately 8,000 worldwide) ESPN Plaza includes nearly 1.2 million square feet in 18 buildings on 123 acres (additional 500,000 sq. ft. rented nearby).
  • The company is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
  • In 2016, ESPN produced more than 64,000 hours of live event/studio programming across platforms. The year in review:  http://es.pn/2hnkiAQ

President:  John Skipper became President, ESPN, Inc. and Co-Chairman Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012.  He previously was ESPN’s Executive Vice President, Content.  He joined ESPN in 1997 from the Disney Publishing Group.

PRIMARY BUSINESS ENTITIES
Television Networks – ESPN on ABC (Broadcast), eight U.S. Cable Networks (five with high-definition simulcast services), Regional, Syndicated, Pay Subscription Packages, 26 International Networks reaching all seven continents
Audio – ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, owned or operated stations in three major markets, podcasts, syndicated radio in 11 international countries
Digital – ESPN.com;  ESPNDeportes.com; FiveThirtyEight.com; TheUndefeated.com; ESPN3; WatchESPN; podcasts; apps; market-, college- and sport-specific sites; games and more
Publishing ESPN The Magazine and other periodicals in the U.S. and abroad
Event Management – X Games, ESPYs, college bowls & basketball games
Multiplatform Business – espnW, a digital and content-driven business
Location-Based Businesses – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, ESPN Club at Walt Disney World
Corporate Citizenship – Team ESPN, The V Foundation for Cancer Research

 

Television

  • ESPN on ABC (Broadcast)
  • Eight Domestic Cable Networks: ESPN (launched in 1979, ESPN HD launched in 2003); ESPN2 (1993, ESPN2 HD launched in 2005); ESPNEWS (1996, ESPNEWS HD launched in 2008); ESPNU (2005, ESPNU HD launched in 2008); ESPN Classic (purchased in 1997); Spanish-language ESPN Deportes (2004, ESPN Deportes HD launched in 2011), the regionally focused Longhorn Network (2011) and the SEC Network (August 2014).

Key U.S. Programming

  • SportsCenter — Debuting on ESPN’s launch day (September 7, 1979), ESPN’s first and flagship show defines the sports news genre. It offers breaking news, highlights, features and in-depth analysis from award-winning journalists.  Viewership: averages up to 115 million viewers a month.
  • NFL’s Monday Night Football; MLB; NBA (The Finals on ABC); IndyCar, including the Indy 500 on ABC; college football including the playoff; men’s and women’s college basketball, including the women’s NCAA Tournament; tennis’ Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open, all start to finish; The Masters; WNBA; Little League World Series; and more.
  • Daily and weekly sport-specific studio shows for NFL, MLB, NBA and college football and basketball.
  • Critically acclaimed and award-winning documentaries and original programming including the “30 for 30” films.

Audio

ESPN Radio, the country’s largest sports radio network; ESPN Deportes Radio; ESPNRadio.com; and ESPN Podcasts comprise ESPN Audio.

  • ESPN Radio, which launched January 1, 1992, provides more than 9,000 hours of talk and event content annually, reaching 20 million listeners a week on nearly 500 affiliates, including more than 375 full-time. ESPN owns and/or operates stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  ESPN Radio programming is also available on Sirius XM and via digital distributors Slacker Radio and Tune In.
  • In 2016, ESPN Chicago inked a deal for all Notre Dame football and men’s basketball games while ESPN LA added the Rams to a roster than includes the Lakers, USC football and basketball and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. ESPN Podcasts set usage records almost every month, paced by FiveThirtyEight and Fantasy Focus Football.

ESPN International

  • ESPN International includes ownership — in whole or in part — of 24 television networks in four languages (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish), as well as additional businesses that allow ESPN to reach sports fans in 61 countries and territories across all seven continents . Business entities include TV, radio, print, internet, broadband, wireless, consumer products, and event management.
  • In addition to marquee U.S. (NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, IRL, all of golf’s and tennis’ Grand Slam events) and major international (UEFA Champions League and other top soccer, cricket and more) sports, there are eight local versions of SportsCenter in three languages — Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
  • Business expanded in 2016 with ground-breaking new collaborations throughout the world with other innovative media and technology companies: long term-collaborations with Tencent in China for ESPN content production, localization, distribution and promotion; with Sony Pictures Networks in India for thousands of hours of programming and the launch of SONY ESPN-branded channels and digital properties; and with Econet in sub-Saharan Africa for the launch of an ESPN channel, localized SportsCenter updates and an African edition of ESPN.com and the ESPN app.
  • Offices or production facilities include Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Miami, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto and Bristol, Conn.

Digital

  • Web sites ESPN.com (1995), ESPNRadio.com and digital audio, fantasy games, ESPNDeportes.com, espnW.com, ESPNFC.com, ESPNCricinfo.com, ESPNScrum.com, XGames.com, ESPNF1.com, SECSports.com, FiveThirtyEight.com, TheUndefeated.com (new in 2016) plus sites in major U.S. markets.
  • For the 12 months ending October 2016, ESPN Digital Media remained no. 1 in sports in average minute audience, total minutes of usage and total visits, and accounted for 29% of all sports usage across digital platforms and more than the Nos. 2 and 3 sports properties.  ESPN digital properties averaged 85.8 million unique visitors (up 4%).
  • In that year, an average of 69.3 million unique users spent 4.4 billion minutes with ESPN mobile content, up 7% and equal compared to 2015, hitting a high in September with 85.4 million unique users. ESPN across the mobile Web and apps also captured a 32% share of minutes in the sports category.
  • Streaming through WatchESPN and the ESPN app – available nationwide through every major video distributor across platforms including computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices – averaged 8.2 million unique devices and 1.8 billion minutes per month, up 31% and 52%, respectively.
  • com averaged 64.3 million unique visitors/month, up 3%, and video starts averaged nearly 404.4 million/month, up 10%.

Publishing

ESPN The Magazine – the leading magazine brand in America, according to MPA, with a combined digital and print reach of more than 105 million – aims for nothing less than the most illuminating sports journalism in the world, delivered through ESPN’s unmatched array of platforms. Through its biweekly publication, weekly long-form digital presentations, original digital videos, podcasts, radio segments, TV specials and the top social footprint of any print title, ESPN The Magazine continues to expand the impact of its storytelling by finding sports fans wherever they are. The Mag is the leading publication in reaching men 18-34, and editor in chief, Alison Overholt, who assumed the role in February 2016, is the first woman to lead a major national sports publication. Launched in 1998, The Mag received more than 100 awards in 2016 and it is a three-time winner of one of the industry’s highest honors, most recently with the 2017 ASME’s General Excellence Award.

espnW

espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style.  espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, now in its seventh year, brings together top athletes and industry leaders for meaningful conversations around women and sports.  Localized digital presence debuted in 2016 in Australia and Brazil, espnW’s first initiatives off U.S. shores.

Event Management

  • ESPYs (launched in 1993), X Games (1995), Winter X Games (1997)
  • ESPN Events owns and operates college football and basketball events worldwide, a portfolio of three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows.

ESPN Consumer Products

  • ESPN Consumer Products enriches ESPN’s connection with fans of all ages through innovative and high-quality products.  It oversees the development of product lines under the ESPN family, designed for sports fans and by sports fans. Product collections include lifestyle and collegiate co-branded soft lines, indoor and outdoor recreation and novelties available at a wide variety of retailers, including the ESPN Fan Shop (ESPNShop.com).

Location-Based Businesses

In Orlando, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a leading multi-sport venue for amateur and pro sports, hosting 300 events yearly.  There is an ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney in Anaheim and the ESPN Club at Walt Disney World.

Corporate Citizenship

Team ESPN, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, ESPN Play Your Way fitness initiative, Cable in the Classroom.

ESPN MILESTONES

Sept. 7, 1979 ESPN launches at 7 p.m. ET.
April 1983 ESPN begins distributing programming internationally.
April 30, 1984 ABC completes acquisition of ESPN from Getty.  Later, 20% is sold to Nabisco and later to Hearst.
January 1987 ESPN airs the America’s Cup live from Australia; overwhelming response proves impact of cable.
March 15, 1987 ESPN awarded NFL’s first cable contract; begins fall ‘87.
January 5, 1989 ESPN and Major League Baseball reach a four-year agreement to begin in 1990.
March 31, 1989 ESPN International launches its first network, ESPN in Latin America.
January 1, 1992 ESPN Radio launches.
March 4, 1993 The first-ever ESPY Awards and the birth of The V Foundation.
October 1, 1993 ESPN2 launches in 10 million homes.
May 9, 1994 ESPN acquires Creative Sports (later combined with OCC, purchased in 1993, to form ESPN Regional Television).
April 1, 1995 ESPNET SportsZone (now ESPN.com) launches.
February 9, 1996 The Walt Disney Company completes acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. (which owns ESPN).
November 1, 1996 ESPNEWS launches.
October 9, 1997 ESPN, Inc. acquires Classic Sports Network (now ESPN Classic).
March 11, 1998 ESPN The Magazine launches.
July 11, 1998 First ESPN Zone, in Baltimore, opens.
March 14, 2001 ESPN2 reaches 75 million homes faster than any other network — 89 months.
October 22, 2001 ESPN secures an 11-year agreement to show the entire NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
January 22, 2002 ESPN reaches agreement for multimedia NBA coverage, becoming the first network to televise all four major professional sports-NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA.
March 30, 2003 ESPN HD, a high-definition simulcast service of ESPN, launches.  ESPN2 HD follows in Jan. 2005.
January 7, 2004 ESPN Deportes, a 24-hour, Spanish language sports network, launches.
June 7, 2004 ESPN’s state-of-the-art Digital Center opens.
March 4, 2005 ESPNU, a 24-hour network devoted to college sports, launches.
April 18, 2005 ESPN acquires Monday Night Football for eight years, beginning in 2006.
June 1, 2005 ESPN, along with the Discovery Channel, becomes the first network in cable television history to pass the 90-million subscriber mark in the U.S.
Sept. 14, 2005 ESPN reaches agreement with Major League Baseball for eight years, through 2013.
December 7, 2005 ESPN announces eight-year agreement with NASCAR, 2007 – 2014.
June 21, 2006 ESPN and the Big Ten Conference announce 10-year agreement.
April 26, 2007 ESPN announces eight-year, multi-platform agreement with the Big 12.
May 15, 2007 ESPN launches its first free, downloadable video podcast.
May 23, 2007 The 13th international version of SportsCenter launches, serving Africa/Middle East.
June 27, 2007 ESPN and NBA announce eight-year, multi-platform deal, the first for platforms yet to be invented.
Sept. 1, 2007 ESPN360.com relaunches, focusing on live events, offering more than 3000 in 12 months.
May 12, 2008 ESPN announces six-year, multiplatform agreement with USTA for US Open, bringing all four of tennis’ Grand Slam events to ESPN2 and ESPN360.com.
August 25, 2008 ESPN announces unprecedented 15-year agreement the SEC, providing content for 16 outlets.
November 13, 2008 ESPN reaches a wide-ranging, eight-year agreement for all four rounds of the British Open.
November 18, 2008 ESPN announces a four-year, multiplatform agreement to televise 15 BCS games, including the national championship game in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
December 29, 2008 In the fourth quarter, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS & ESPN Deportes, combine to reach a record 220 million Americans (76% of population, 92% of cable homes).  Including ESPN on ABC, the number rises to a record 250 million Americans – 86% of the population.
April 6, 2009 The Los Angeles Production Center debuts as the home of the weekday 1 a.m. ET SportsCenter.
April 13, 2009 ESPNChicago.com launches, followed later in the year by Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles, and New York in April 2010.
May 19, 2009 Two announcements greatly expand ESPNU distribution – joining DIRECTV’s CHOICE package July 1, and Comcast’s Digital Classic service by fall – and ESPN360.com’s, joining Comcast.net.
Aug.31-Sep. 14, 2009 ESPN’s first US Open – completing a “Grand Slam” – includes ESPN2’s two most-watched tennis telecasts.  A men’s semifinal and the Women’s Final are postponed a day by rain and air on ESPN2.
October 9, 2009 ESPN The Magazine’s first annual “Body Issue” goes on sale as a celebration of athletes of diverse shapes, sizes, genders and races within ESPN’s boundaries of taste, and frontiers of creativity.
October 20, 2009 Monday Night Football, celebrating its 40th year, becomes the first sports franchise recognized by the Broadcast & Cable Hall of Fame.
November 12, 2009 ESPN International acquires TV and radio rights in Argentina for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the London 2012 Olympic Games, plus pay television rights in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay and satellite-only television rights in Venezuela.
December 27, 2009 The Nielsen year concludes with ESPN and ESPN2 setting new marks for average total-day audience for the year.  Fourth quarter was ESPN’s most-watched quarter ever.  The year’s combined audience for ESPN networks (with ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN Deportes) is also a record.
February 25, 2010 ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is officially the new name of the re-imagined sports facilities at Walt Disney World, opened in 1997.
April 4, 2010 ESPN3.com is the new name of broadband ESPN360.com, with enhanced video and functions for video, news, stats interactivity and social networking. 
July 8, 2010 ESPN and the ACC announce a 12-year agreement for rights to all conference football and men’s basketball games, plus all other sports and conference championships across virtually all ESPN platforms in the U.S. and abroad.
September 2, 2010 In an extensive agreement with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, new offerings include viewing ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU via Broadband; ESPN Goal Line, a network taking fans to top college football games every Saturday; and ESPN Buzzer Beater, a similar college basketball service.
September 30, 2010 espnW is announced to launch Spring 2011 (later moved to Dec. 6) – primarily a digital product suite including pc web, mobile web, mobile applications and social media to serve, inspire and inform the female athlete and fan.
December 26, 2010 ESPN and ESPN2 each top 2009 for its most-watched year (Nielsen calendar).  For ESPN, the fourth quarter was its most watched quarter ever. The year’s combined audience for ESPN networks (adding ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic and ESPN Deportes) is also a new high.
December 27, 2010 Monday Night Football ends its best season yet on ESPN with the third-most watched show in cable history (New Orleans-Atlanta), excluding breaking news and again is cable’s most-watched series.
January 2, 2011 ESPN’s ends its highest-rated week ever (2.2) (first week of Nielsen’s 2011 calendar).
January 10, 2011 BCS National Championship: cable’s biggest audience (avg.: 27.3M viewers), ESPN’s highest rating (17.8) and ESPN3.com’s fourth most popular event (after three FIFA World Cup matches).
April 7, 2011 WatchESPN App for iPad, iPhone and iPod launches, allowing mobile access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com for subscribers to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS, the first live, streaming cable channels available in the U.S. on mobile devices.
May 4, 2011 ESPN and the Pac-12 announce a 12-year agreement for more than 80 events a year across ESPN platforms starting in 2012-13, highlighted by football (including the conference championship every other year), men’s and women’s basketball (including conference tournament action) and Olympic sports.
August 10, 2011 ABC and the Indianapolis 500 extend one of sport TV’s longest relationships (1965), keeping the race on ABC, plus four other IndyCar races 2013-18.  The deal also includes expanded use of in-car camera angles on ESPN3.com and international rights for the entire series.
August 26, 2011 Longhorn Network launches.
August 31, 2011 WatchESPN.com is the new name for ESPNNetworks.com, and ESPN3.com is shortened to ESPN3.
September 8, 2011 ESPN and the NFL announce an eight-year extension (2014-21) for Monday Night Football plus expanded NFL studio programming, the Pro Bowl and NFL Draft, 3D rights, and enhanced international and highlight rights, both on TV and online.
September 25, 2011 ESPN – and the family of networks collectively — posted its most-watched fiscal year for the fourth consecutive year and tied its record fiscal year rating, set in 1990 and tied last year.
November 22, 2011 Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company announces ESPN President George Bodenheimer will become Executive Chairman of ESPN, and John Skipper ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, effective January 1, 2012.
December 15, 2011 ESPN and the NCAA announce a multiyear agreement through 2023-24 for worldwide, multi-media rights to 24 NCAA championships and exclusive multi-media rights outside the United States, its territories and Bermuda for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
December 30, 2011 ESPN and Comcast sign an historic, wide-ranging and long-term distribution agreement for Disney Media Networks, including multiple products and platforms.
January 9, 2012 BCS National Championship:  cable’s second-biggest audience (avg.: 24.2M viewers) and ESPN’s second-highest rating (16.2) for Alabama’s 21-0 victory over LSU.
May 8, 2012 WatchESPN is made available to Comcast’s more than 22 million Xfinity subscribers via iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices, as well as online.  WatchESPN now reaches 40 million homes.
June 24, 2012 ESPN Deportes concludes its highest-rated month and most-watched quarter ever (up 43% from 2011), boosted by Euro 2012.
June 28, 2012 ESPN reaches a 12-year extension to televise the Rose Bowl Game (2015-2026).
July 1, 2012 The UEFA Euro 2012 championship match (Spain 4, Italy 0) is the most-watched game ever for the tournament on U.S. television (more than four million viewers).  On ESPN Deportes, it posted a 12.9 Hispanic rating, the network’s highest rating ever.  For the 31-game tournament, the ESPN/ESPN2 audience is 51% higher than 2008 (ESPN/ESPN2/ABC).
 July 8, 2012 ESPN’s first exclusive Wimbledon concludes with the network’s highest tennis rating (2.9) for the Gentlemen’s Championship, an overall increase in audience over the split coverage of 2011 with strong growth among the key male demos, plus nearly triple the digital usage.
 August 28, 2012 ESPN finalizes an eight-year MLB multiplatform rights extension which significantly enhances TV (with additional games and studio programing), digital, radio and international rights 2014-2021, including a Wild Card game.
September 7, 2012 ESPN and the Big 12 announce an agreement through 2024-25 with additional football and basketball games across ESPN’s television networks in the U.S. and abroad and ESPN3.
September 13, 2012 SportsCenter airs its 50,000th episode, the most of any television show in U.S. history, at 6 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS.
October 4, 2012 ESPN and Cablevision announce a comprehensive agreement to deliver Disney’s sports, news and entertainment content across TV, internet, tablets and handheld devices, including several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, ESPN3 and ESPN 3D.
November 14, 2012 ESPN announces a 12-year agreement for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans beginning January 2015.
November 15, 2012 ESPN reaches a 12-year agreement with the ACC for the Orange Bowl beginning in January 2015 to be played either December 31 or January 1 with the conference champion against an opponent from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame.
November 21, 2012 ESPN finalizes a 12-year agreement to present the new college football playoff – two semifinals and the championship, plus the other bowl games part of the semifinal rotation – each January from 2015 – 2026.
December 8, 2012 You Don’t Know Bo, one of the new “30 for 30” films as the critically acclaimed series was revived this year, earns a 2.6 rating, ESPN’s highest ever for a documentary.
December 13, 2012 ESPN and Cox Communications finalize a comprehensive agreement to deliver Disney’s sports, news and entertainment content across TV, internet, tablets and handheld devices, including several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, ESPN3 and ESPN 3D.
January 15, 2013 ESPN and AT&T U-verse announce a comprehensive agreement to deliver Disney’s sports, news and entertainment content across TV, internet, tablets and handheld devices, including several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, ESPN3 and ESPN 3D.
March 19, 2013 ESPN and the Big East Conference (soon renamed the American Athletic Conference)  announce a multimedia, worldwide rights agreement for football, basketball and more through 2019-20, continuing a relationship of more than three decades.
May 2, 2013 ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announce a 20-year agreement to create and operate a TV and digital platforms to launch in August 2014 with 1,000 events annually. The existing media rights agreement is extended through 2034.
November 21, 2013 SportsCenter app debuts (replacing ScoreCenter, the most popular free sports app with 43 million downloads), with a comprehensive, personalized mix of scores, news, video and more.
August 14, 2014 SEC Network launches in more than 60 million homes, including nine of the top 10 distributors, and a schedule of more than 1,000 live events in the first year including 45 football games, more than 100 men’s and 60 women’s basketball games, and 75 baseball games with hundreds more online.
September 7, 2014 ESPN’s 35th birthday is ESPN Digital’s best day ever – for the first, time averaging more than one million users at any time (previous best was 866,000 on September 15, 2013).
October 6, 2014 ESPN and the NBA announce a nine-year (through 2024-25 season) agreement to significantly enhance NBA rights and content offerings, including additional games, other content across platforms, expanded rights for ESPN Audio and ESPN International, and the WNBA.
December 23, 2014 The Walt Disney Company and DirecTV finalize a comprehensive agreement to deliver Disney and ESPN Media Networks’ content across TV, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other connected devices.  The deal adds several services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products as well as ESPN3 and the Longhorn Network.
December 29, 2014 ESPN closes the year as the most-watched cable network in prime time for the first time in its history. ESPN averaged 2,300,000 viewers, up five percent from 2013.
December 31, 2014 ESPN Digital Media finishes the best year ever in the sports category, with 9.97 billion visits, 82.8 billion minutes of content consumed, 12.9 billion minutes of WatchESPN streamed and 4.8 billion views of video clips.
January 1, 2015 ESPN celebrates the New Year with its most-viewed day ever (a 6.5 rating); buoyed by College GameDay, the Cotton Bowl Classic, The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl; ESPN averaged 11,680,000 viewers.  The Sugar and Rose Bowls rank as cable’s biggest two audiences in history.

The Outback Bowl is ESPN2’s biggest audience ever, an average of 6,400,000 viewers, based on a record 3.8 rating for Wisconsin’s overtime victory over Auburn.

January 12, 2015 The first-ever College Football Playoff Championship – Ohio State 42-20 over Oregon – is the largest audience and highest rating in cable television history – an average of 33,395,000 viewers, based on an 18.2 rating.
May 5, 2015 In a night both historic and poignant, ESPN claimed 11 Sports Emmy Awards – tying its highest total ever – while former president George Bodenheimer received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, Stuart Scott was honored posthumously and cancer survivor Shelley Smith took the stage – to a standing ovation – fresh off her return to reporting duties.
Aug. 31 –Sept. 13, 2015 ESPN’s first exclusive US Open is the most-viewed in four years and the best tennis event ever for WatchESPN.
October 6, 2015 Multi Screen Media and ESPN announce a collaboration in India and the region to create SONY ESPN sports channels, a multisport website and app utilizing a powerful portfolio of sports rights and the leading collection of digital sports assets in India.
December 27, 2015 ESPN repeats as cable’s most-watched network in prime time among households and viewers, first accomplished in 2014.
December 29, 2015 ESPN Deportes reaches an agreement with CBS and the National Football League to televise Super Bowl 50 in Spanish on Sunday, February 7, live from Santa Clara, Calif.
January 3, 2016 ESPN completes its most-watched week ever for prime time (an average of 9,054,000 viewers).
January 11, 2016 The College Football Championship (Alabama 45, Clemson 40) averages 25,667,000 viewers (14.7 rating), cable’s most-watched program since the inaugural CFP National Championship a year earlier and the sixth best in cable history.  Digitally, the Megacast ranked as the best non-World Cup game ever on WatchESPN across all major metrics, surpassing the previous high inaugural CFP National Championship with a 23% increase in average minute impressions, 38% in unique viewers and 32% in total minutes.
January 17, 2016 SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD launch in India, the first steps in the innovative collaboration announced in 2015 between Sony and ESPN to power unmatched content, across both, television and digital platforms.
February 3, 2016 ESPN reaches agreement with Tencent, one of the world’s leading providers of online products and services, whereby ESPN’s content will be localized and exclusively distributed and promoted by Tencent’s digital platforms in China.
February 7, 2016 ESPN Deportes airs the Super Bowl for the first time, averages an audience 51% bigger than the 2015 Spanish-language telecast; is its most-watched telecast ever, outside of soccer.  It was also the most-watched, non-soccer event for ESPN Deportes on WatchESPN, attracting an additional 5,600 average minute impressions to the TV audience, 29,000 unique viewers and a total of 1.5 million minutes viewed.
February 8, 2016 SportsCenter: AM debuts, weekdays 7-9 a.m. ET, the earliest in the day SportsCenter has ever aired a live show.
May 17, 2016 The Undefeated – the digital content platform exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture – launches.  It combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.
June 2, 2016 ESPN and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) launch ESPN.in website and ESPN app, the first market outside the United States with a localized edition of ESPN’s signature app. They offer sports video content from SONY LIV, SPN’s digital streaming platform, and SPN’s new SONY ESPN sports channels.
June 19, 2016 Game Seven of the NBA Finals – Cleveland and LeBron James completing an unprecedented comeback from 3-1 for the crown – is ABC’s biggest NBA audience ever (records back to new contract in 2002-03) and the NBA’s biggest since 1998 – an average of 31 million viewers based on a 15.8 rating.  For the NBA Finals overall, t is also the biggest audience since 1998.
July 11-18, 2016 ESPN Films’ most ambitious project to date — “O.J.: Made in America” – receives universal acclaim.  The 7.5-hour documentary from Peabody and Emmy-award winning director Ezra Edelman depicts a defining cultural tale of modern America – a saga of race, celebrity, media, violence and the criminal justice system.  Almost a quarter of U.S. TV households tuned in across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 (41.3 million people).  Success on non-traditional platforms include more than 5.3 million downloads within 30 days on cable VOD (more than triple the transactions the entire ESPN VOD channel had ever delivered in any previous month), and 1.3 million unique devices consuming some portion on WatchESPN generating 234.1 million minutes.
July 21, 2016 ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference announce the ACC Network – a comprehensive linear and digital service – will debut in August with ACC Network Extra on WatchESPN.  The linear TV network will launch in 2019.  The 20-year partnership also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036.
August 3-21, 2016 ESPN airs the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in more than 60 million homes in Latin America and the Caribbean, in English, Portuguese and Spanish, the first time ever across the entire region and totaling more than 2,800 hours of content across its platforms.  ESPN was the highest-rated Pay TV Olympic transmission in the territory, and delivered its three most-watched weeks ever across the region.
August 9, 2016 A multi-sport, direct-to-consumer offering from ESPN is announced as part of Disney’s purchase of a minority stake in BAMTech.
August 15, 2016 ESPN acquires rights to all UEFA national team matches 2018-22, including exclusive English-language rights to the UEFA European Football Championship 2020.  The deal also includes rights to a package of UEFA national team competitions, including qualifying matches in 2020 and for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
September ESPN Digital Properties sets its all-time high with 136 million users.
October 25, 2016 ESPN and Econet Media’s Kwesé announce a collaboration for a wide range of sports and thousands of hours of programming through TV and digital platforms.
November 8, 2016 On Election Day, FiveThirtyEight smashed its record for unique users in one day – 16.5 million, totaling 209 million minutes of activity.
December 25, 2016 ESPN closes Nielsen’s 2016 as the highest-rated full-time cable network among Men and Adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, in both total day and prime time.