Espn History

Topics: ESPN, Monday Night Football, National Football League Pages: 5 (1813 words) Published: April 6, 2006
ESPN History
Flashback to before September 9th, 1979, all televised sporting events were on ABC, NBC, or CBS, and fans had to wait for the 5 o'clock or 10 o'clock or the next morning's paper to see other teams' highlights and scores of. That was the pre-ESPN era. Now, sports fans have unlimited access about sports anytime they want 24/7 in today's sports world dominated by ESPN. William Rasmussen was the mastermind behind the fresh edgy network that's broadcast to over half the countries in the world. Blossoming into a mini-media conglomeration in its own, ESPN has conquered of the so-called "Sports Nation" does not show any signs of slowing down anytime take over. In addition of being a subsidiary of Walt Disney Company, ESPN's colossal sweep of the United States and abroad can be attributed to its ambiguity to reach all markets in anyway possible, by development focusing on the sports fan, modernizing with the times, and the booming popularity of sports in general. After being fired from his public relations job for Hartford Whalers, William Rasmussen employed his severance pay, which he used to buy a satellite transponder, his contacts in television, and a dream for a 24-hour cable network dedicated entirely to sports. That turned out to be all he needed to launch the network that would eventually broadcast to 87 million homes in United States alone. This initial broadcast was to only 1.4 million homes. This was only the very beginning though. At the very beginning, the sports shown on ESPN, or Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, were not the most popular sports in the world, as consisted of sports like badminton, darts, and Irish hurling. The first major sporting event televised on ESPN was the 1980 NCAA Men's basketball tournament. The NCAA Tournament, both the men's and women's, can credit a lot their success and popularity to ESPN because they would broadcast a sizeable amount of games of the tournament when other national broadcast networks such as CBS and ABC had showed no interest in showing the contests. NCAA March Madness' thriving sensation is owed to the coverage from ESPN. Today, ESPN and all of its channels still handle the bulk of the games of the tournaments. Another externality of the tourney's televised exposure is the $500 million dollar betting industry that is very obvious around work places and Internet sports message boards around the month of March annually. 1984 is the year that ESPN began airing college football games on Saturday mornings till the late evening. "College GameDay" as put on the air in 1989 as pre-game show for college football games. This show started was a first of its kind pre-game show with pre-game in-depth analyses, previews, and discussions. College GameDay was taped in a studio and shown on Saturday morning until 1993 when the cast and crew traveled to South Bend, Indiana for the Florida State-Notre Dame game. Traveling from campus to campus is its trademark is these days. Thousand of belligerently drunk, face painted, sign holding, scream to till you can't anymore fans of the home team, even sometimes the visiting team, convene behind the College GameDay mobile set every Saturday during the broadcast. This pre-game show is becoming a cultural icon for college campuses across the country. In the early 90's, ESPN had its greatest expansion period. ESPN2 was launched in 1993 in an effort to attract the younger generation with extreme sports like BMX racing, motocross, snowboarding, and skateboarding. A year later the channel's marketing plan was taking a step further with the birth of the X Games. This Olympic set-up sporting event included at that time "alternative athletes" from all over the globe competing for medals in events such as BMX vert, Aggressive In-line Skating, and Street Luge. In 2005 over 300,000 spectators were present over the course of games, up from 198,000 in 1994, and in addition to the 50 million people watching television, with the bulk...
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