ESPN, Inc. Fact Sheet
- 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 2015, ESPN produced more than 51,000 hours of live event/studio programming across platforms.
President: John Skipper became President, ESPN, Inc. and Co-Chairman Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012. He previously had been 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, 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 and more|
- 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), Longhorn Network (2011) and 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 ; 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.
- 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.
• 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.
• ESPNRadio.com, ESPN Deportes Radio and the ESPN Radio app combined to log more than 110.5 million total listening hours in 2014 (Jan-Oct), up 8% vs. last year, and 194 million session starts (full year, up 8%) and an average time spent listening of more than 41 minutes. Podcast downloads grew 51% to 302 million.
• ESPN International includes ownership — in whole or in part — of 24 television networks in four langauges (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish), as well as additional businesses that allow ESPN to reach sports fans in 61 countires 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.
• 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.
• Since 1983, ESPN International has grown around the world, establishing itself as the leading global sports media brand. The company’s philosophy to global growth is to always serve sports fans and be locally relevant to them, with content and products that tap into their great passion and dedication.
• Web sites ESPN.com (1995), five ESPN Local sites (New York, L.A., Boston, Chicago and Dallas), 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 and TheUndefeated.com.
- In 2015, ESPN Digital Media remained no. 1 among all sports properties in average minute audience, total minutes of usage and total visits in 2015, accounting for 30% of all sports category usage across digital platforms, and more than the Nos. 2 and 3 sports properties. ESPN digital properties averaged 81.6 million unique visitors (up 8%) and 882.1 million visits (up 8%), logging 7.1 billion minutes of usage (up 6%) per month.
- WatchESPN – available to 93 million homes through every major multichannel programming distributor across platforms including computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices – averaged 6.7 million unique devices and 1.3 billion minutes per month, up 3% and 22%, respectively (source: Adobe SiteCatalyst). WatchESPN recorded its top 15 highest audiences ever for Monday Night Football, top five regular season college football games.
- The redesigned ESPN.com, averaged 62.6 million unique visitors/month, up 13% percent and video starts averaged nearly 418 million/month, up 7% (source: comScore Multi-Platform & Adobe SiteCatalyst).
- The Men’s Tournament Challenge logged a record high of more than 11.6 million brackets.
ESPN The Magazine (launched in 1998), bucked the industry trend in 2015 and grew both its print and online readership with 8% growth to 16.5 million readers per issue. The seventh annual Body Issue further established its place as a cultural touchstone, from the online gallery’s 31.3 million views, to a behind-the-scenes feature on Nightline. The College Football Preview’s Arian Foster exclusive interview was viewed by more than 2.5 million readers, shared 185,000 times and became an Outside the Lines feature.
espnW serves women who love sports. espnW.com provides an engaging environment that offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and shares a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women. Founded in 2010, espnW lives across television, films, events, digital and social platforms. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.
• ESPYs (launched in 1993), X Games (1995), Winter X Games (1997)
• ESPN Events (formerly ESPN Regional Television, ERT), owns-and-operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide including three opening weekend college football games, 13 postseason bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college awards shows. They account for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaching almost 64 million viewers attracting over 700,000 attendees each year.
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.
Team ESPN, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, ESPN Play Your Way fitness initiative, Cable in the Classroom.
|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 (now 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.|
|April 4, 2001||ESPN acquires BASS, Inc., the largest fishing organization in the world.|
|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 4, 2003||ESPN Classic Sport in France debuts. Later that year, ESPN Classic Sport launches in Italy.|
|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.|
|November 2, 2005||ESPN acquires rights for multiple Men’s and Women’s World Cups.|
|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.|
|December 5, 2006||ESPN acquires NASN (now ESPN America), Europe’s only channel of North American sports.|
|February 8, 2007||ESPN announces agreement for exclusive content for Verizon’s V Cast customers.|
|February 8, 2007||ESPN announces that ESPN Mobile TV – its first channel on a wireless service – will be available on MediaFLO’s new mobile entertainment service.|
|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.|
|March 30, 2008||ESPNEWS HD, a high-definition simulcast service of ESPNEWS, launches.|
|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.|
|August 28, 2008||ESPNU HD, a high-definition simulcast service of ESPNU, launches.|
|Sept. 15, 2008||Monday Night Football (Phila.-Dallas) draws cable’s top audience – 12.953MM homes, (13.3 rating).|
|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.|
|December 29, 2008||For 2008, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic & ESPNEWS combine to average a record 1,139,000 homes (at any time, 24-hour basis).|
|March 30, 2009||ESPN and ESPN2 each close their most-watched first quarter. The combined 24-hour audience for the four measured domestic ESPN networks is also a record.|
|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.|
|June 30, 2009||ESPN posts its most-watched second quarter, as does the total-day average audience for the four measured domestic networks.|
|July 30-Aug. 2, 2009||X Games 15 is ESPN’s most-watched ever.|
|August 3, 2009||ESPN launches in the U.K., ESPN’s first network there featuring live local sports. The launch is only six weeks after acquiring rights to show the prestigious Premier League.|
|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.|
|September 7, 2009||Upon ESPN’s 30th Anniversary, it reaches the goal of the Team ESPN 30K Challenge – 30,000 hours of community service by ESPN employees since May.|
|September 12, 2009||ESPN’s most-watched college football game – USC at Ohio State – averages 7,243,000 homes and the 7.3 rating is ESPN’s best for CFB in 15 years.|
|September 12, 2009||ESPN’s first live 3D production, USC at Ohio State football, is shown in theatres in Hartford, Conn.; Hurst, Texas; and Columbus, Ohio; as well as The Galen Center at USC and the ESPN Zones in Anaheim and Los Angeles.|
|September 14, 2009||The opening MNF doubleheader draws cable’s two biggest audiences for 2009, until surpassed until surpassed by later games, including cable’s biggest audience ever – 15.1M homes for Green Bay at Minnesota Oct. 5 with Brett Favre facing the Packers.|
|September 27, 2009||ESPN & ESPN2 post their most-watched month ever in September, leading to the most-watched third quarter for ESPN and the four measured domestic nets. Also, ESPN360.com,ESPN.com and ESPNRadio.com audio all enjoyed their best month ever in September. Compared to Sept. 2008, ESPN360 saw 250% growth in viewing hours, ESPN.com minutes online were up 54% and hours of audio heard on ESPNRadio were up 61%.|
|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 16, 2009||The ESPN Innovation Lab opens at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, providing a real-world testing ground to develop ground-breaking on-air enhancements.|
|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.|
|December 28, 2009||Monday Night Football concludes its highest-rated season since moving to ESPN in 2006, averaging a 10.4, up 17% over 2008, winning the night six nights.|
|January 5, 2010||ESPN 3-D is announced, to debut June 11 with a FIFA World Cup contest, South Africa vs. Mexico, the first of 85 events in the first year. Others include more World Cup matches, NBA, college sports and Summer X Games.|
|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.|
|March 1, 2010||SportsCenter debuts on ESPN America, seen in the UK, Ireland, Europe and the Middle East. Produced in Connecticut, it is the first local SportsCenter in Europe.|
|March 1, 2010||ESPNU is now seen in 70.4 million homes. Just 15 months earlier, distribution had been 22 million.|
|April 3, 2010||ESPN Sports Saturday debuts on ABC, 4-6 p.m. weekly, with a one-hour ESPN specials or documentaries followed by the new Winners Bracket.|
|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.|
|June 11, 2010||The first of 64 FIFA World Cup matches in South Africa marks the debut of ESPN 3D and month of unprecedented resources devoted to one event.|
|June 14, 2010||ESPN3.com and Microsoft announce live events and on-demand highlights and news will be on the Xbox 360 console for LIVE Gold members in November.|
|June 17, 2010||The NBA Finals on ABC conclude with a 15.6 rating for Game 7, the highest for any NBA game since 1998. ABC won the night all seven nights and the series was the highest-rated since 2003.|
|June 23, 2010||The dramatic 1-0 victory for the U.S. over Algeria is ESPN’s highest-rated and most-watched soccer game, a 4.6 rating, 4,582,000 households and 6,161,000 viewers for the two-hour contest.|
|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.|
|July 11, 2010||The FIFA World Cup championship – Spain 1-0 over the Netherlands in extra time – on ABC is the most-watched Men’s World Cup game with 15,545,000 viewers, based on an 8.1 rating for the two-hour game window.|
|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.|
|November 28, 2010||ESPN posts its most-watched month in history, averaging 1.189 million homes in November, besting September 2009 (1.164 million).|
|December 11, 2010||The critically acclaimed “30 for 30” film series climaxes with the biggest audience for an ESPN documentary – 1,843,000 homes – for Pony Exce$$.|
|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 1, 2011||ESPN’s highest-rated day ever (4.3), led by The Rose Bowl (13.8, and the third largest audience in cable history behind two ESPN MNF games) and Fiesta Bowl (7.1).|
|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.|
|July 5, 2011||ESPN acquires exclusive rights to live U.S. coverage of Wimbledon in a 12-year agreement which includes ESPN3.com and all other platforms. TV hours will rise from 100 to 140.|
|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 2, 2012||ESPN’s highest-rated day ever (4.4) led by the Rose Bowl (11.8), and Fiesta Bowl (9.7), breaking the record set on January 1, 2011.|
|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).|
|June 30, 2012||WatchESPN/ESPN3 posts its best month ever – 1.1 billion minutes viewed (up 360% year-to-year) boosted by Euro 2012, NBA Finals and Wimbledon.|
|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.|
|May 16, 2013||ESPN and the USTA announce an 11-year agreement giving ESPN exclusivity to tennis’ US Open beginning in 2015.|
|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.|