ESPN (originally an initialism for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a U.S.-based global cable and satellite television channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network) and the Hearst Corporation (which owns a 20% minority share).
ESPN broadcasts primarily from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Los Angeles. John Skipper currently serves as president of ESPN, a position he has held since January 1, 2012. While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.
As of February 2015, ESPN is available to approximately 94,396,000 paid television households (81.1% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Brazil, Latin America and the United Kingdom, and owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network (TSN) as well as its five sister networks and NHL Network in Canada.
In 2011, ESPN’s history and rise was chronicled by These Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little, Brown, & Co.
ESPN2 launched on October 1, 1993, originally formatted as a more informal and youth-oriented channel than ESPN aimed at adults between 18 and 34 years of age, carrying a broad mix of event coverage from conventional sports (such as auto racing, college basketball and NHL hockey) to extreme sports (such as BMX, skateboarding andmotocross). The “ESPN BottomLine,” a ticker displaying sports news and scores during all programming that is now used by all of ESPN’s networks, originated on ESPN2 in 1995.In the late 1990s, ESPN2 was gradually reformatted to serve as a secondary outlet for ESPN’s mainstream sports programming.
ESPN Classic is a digital cable and satellite television network that launched in 1995 as Classic Sports Network, founded by Brian Bedol and Steve Greenberg. ESPN Inc. purchased Classic Sports Network in 1997 for $175 million, rebranding the channel to its current name the following year. The channel broadcasts notable archived sporting events (originally including events from past decades, but now focusing mainly on events from the 1990s and later), sports documentaries and sports-themed movies.
ESPNews is a digital cable and satellite television network that was launched on November 1, 1996, originally focusing solely on sports news, highlights and press conferences. Since August 2010, the network has gradually incorporated encores of ESPN’s various sports debate and entertainment shows and video simulcasts of ESPN Radio shows, in addition to sports news programming (which since the 2013 cancellation of Highlight Express, consists mainly of additional runs of SportsCenter); ESPNews also serves as an overflow feed due to programming conflicts caused by sporting events on the other ESPN networks.
ESPN+ is a digital cable and satellite television network that launched in 2002, this signal is seen in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and from November 21, 2013, also in Venezuela. ESPN + signal displays events in these sports: Football, Tennis, Rugby, Cycling, Baseball, Horse Riding, Hockey and sports programs about: Football, Tennis, Rugby, Polo, Hockey, Motor, etc. It is divided into two signals: Atlantic and Pacific.
ESPN Deportes (Spanish pronunciation: [i.es.piˈen deˈportes], “ESPN Sports”) is a digital cable and satellite television network that was originally launched in July 2001 to provide Spanish language simulcasts of certain Major League Baseball telecasts from ESPN. It became a 24-hour sports channel in January 2004.
ESPNU is a digital cable and satellite television network that launched on March 4, 2005, and focuses on college athletics including basketball, football, baseball college swimming, and hockey.