|ESPN logo since 1985|
|Launched||September 7, 1979|
|Owned by||ESPN Inc.
(The Walt Disney Company–80%
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV/16:9 letterbox)
|Slogan||The Worldwide Leader In Sports|
|Headquarters||Bristol, Connecticut, United States|
ESPN on ABC
210-1 Alternate feed (HD)
210 Alternate feed (SD)
|Dish Network||140 (HD/SD)
145 147 148 Alternate feeds
|Asianet Digital TV(India)||Channel 301|
|Kerala Vision Digital TV (India)||Channel 102|
|AT&T U-Verse||1602 (HD)
|WatchESPN||Watch live (US cable subscribers only)|
ESPN is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and recorded event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming. Its name derives from Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. It is a joint venture of The Walt Disney Company (80 percent) and Hearst Corporation (20 percent). However, for all intents and purposes, it is operated by Disney as a sister network to ABC.
Founded by Bill Rasmussen, his son Scott Rasmussen and Aetna insurance agent Ed Eagan, it launched on September 7, 1979, under the direction of Chet Simmons, the network's President and CEO (and later the United States Football League's first commissioner). The Getty Oil Company provided funding to begin the new venture via executive Stuart Evey. John Skipper is ESPN's current president, a position he has held since January 1, 2012.
ESPN's signature telecast, SportsCenter, debuted with the network and aired its 50,000th episode on September 13, 2012. ESPN broadcasts primarily from its studios in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami; New York City; Seattle; Charlotte; and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles office, from which the late-night edition of SportsCenter is now broadcast, opened at L.A. Live in early 2009.
While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, it has not been free from criticism, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.
High definition 
ESPN launched its 720p high-definition simulcast, originally branded as ESPNHD, on March 20, 2001. All Bristol and L.A. Live studio shows, along with most live events on ESPN, use high definition. ESPN is one of the few networks with an all-digital infrastructure. Footage from non-HD sources is presented in a standard definition, 4:3 format with stylized pillarboxes. Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn began airing in HD on September 27, 2010 with their move to the building housing the ABC News Washington bureau.
ESPN and all of ABC and Disney's cable networks use the 720p HD line standard because ABC executives proposed a progressive scan signal that resolves fluid and high-speed motion in sports better, particularly during slow-motion replays.
In 2011, ESPNHD began to downplay its distinct promotion logo in preparation for a shift of its standard definition-feed to utilize HD feed for letterboxing on older SDTV's, which occurred on June 1, 2011.
ESPN 3D 
On January 5, 2010, ESPN announced that it would launch a new 3D television channel called ESPN 3D. The network launched on June 11, 2010, with coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. During its first year, ESPN projected that it would air around 100 events in 3D within its first year.
Originally, ESPN 3D only aired simulcasts of 3D events from other ESPN channels, but on February 14, 2011, the network switched to a 24-hour format with repeat airings of past 3D events.
Alongside its live sports broadcasts, ESPN also airs a variety of sports highlight, talk, and documentary styled shows. These include:
- SportsCenter: The flagship program of ESPN, a daily sports news program delivering the latest sports news and highlights
- Around the Horn: Competitive debating between four sports writers across the country, moderated by Tony Reali
- Baseball Tonight: A daily recap of the day's Major League Baseball action that airs throughout the baseball season.
- College GameDay (Basketball): Weekly college basketball show airing from the Saturday Primetime game of the week site.
- College GameDay (Football): Weekly college football preview show airing from the site of a major college football game.
- E:60: An investigative journalism newsmagazine show focusing on American and international sports.
- Monday Night Countdown: Weekly recap show aired on Monday evenings during the NFL season, also serves as the pre-game show for Monday Night Football
- Outside the Lines: Talk and debate show that examines critical sports issues on and off the field of play
- Pardon the Interruption (PTI): Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon debate a fast-paced array of sports topics
- Sunday NFL Countdown: Weekly preview show that airs on Sunday mornings during the NFL season.
- SportsNation: Charissa Thompson and Marcellus Wiley debate various sports topics through different segments.
- Mike and Mike in the Morning: Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg talk about the biggest sports stories of the day every weekday from 6 AM to 10 AM on ESPN and ESPN2.
- John Skipper: President, ESPN, Inc.
- Sean Bratches: Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
- Christine Driessen: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- Ed Durso: Executive Vice President, Administration
- Charles Pagano: Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
- Norby Williamson: Executive Vice President, Programming
- Russell Wolff: Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International
- John Wildhack: Executive Vice President, Production
- John Kosner: Executive Vice President, Digital and Print Media
- John A. Walsh: Executive Vice President and Executive Editor
In popular culture 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
ESPN has been a part of popular culture since its inception. Many movies with a general sports theme will include ESPN announcers and programming into their storylines (such as in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which gently lampoons the channel's multiple outlets by referencing the as-yet-nonexistent ESPN8, "The Ocho", a reference to a nickname formerly used for ESPN2, "the Deuce"; the slogan for the network was "If it's almost a sport, you'll find it here!"; cyclist Lance Armstrong appears in a scene and says he loves the channel). In the film The Waterboy, Adam Sandler's character Bobby Boucher has his college football accomplishments tracked through several fictional "SportsCenter" newscasts including the "Bourbon Bowl". Also, ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons often jokes that he is looking forward to running a future network; SportsCenter anchors appeared as themselves in music videos by Brad Paisley (I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)) and Hootie and the Blowfish (Only Wanna Be With You); and the 1998 TV series Sports Night was based on an ESPN-style network and its titular, SportsCenter-analogue flagship sports results program. Also, Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's character from the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, fictitiously auditions for a position on SportsCenter just days before the network's launch in 1979, and fails miserably. He then claims that the idea (of a 24 hour sports network) will never become popular, and will be a financial and cultural disaster (claiming it's as ridiculous as a 24-hour cooking network or an all music channel). This was originally shot as a SportsCenter piece celebrating ESPN's 25th anniversary in 2004, and was subsequently included as an extra on the Anchorman DVD.
Many jokes have been made by comedians about fake obscure sports that are shown on ESPN. Dennis Miller mentioned watching "sumo rodeo", while George Carlin stated that ESPN showed "Australian dick wrestling". One of several Saturday Night Live sketches poking fun at the network features ESPN2 airing a show called Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly, which includes a fake advertisement for "Senior Women's Beach Lacrosse". SNL also parodies ESPN Classic with fake archived obscure women's sportscasts from the 1980s such as bowling, weight lifting and curling, with announcers who know nothing about the sport, and instead focus on the sponsors which are always women's hygiene products. In the early years of ESPN, Late Night with David Letterman even featured a "Top Ten List" poking fun at some of the obscure sports seen on ESPN at the time. One of the more memorable sports on the list was "Amish Rake Fighting". A recurring skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon named Sports Freak-Out! is a parody of SportsCenter's overexcited anchors.
An occasional joke in comedic television and film involves people getting ESP (an abbreviation for Extrasensory Perception, and an irony considering ESPN was initially supposed to be named "ESP") confused with ESPN, often including someone saying something along the lines of "I know these kind of things, I've got ESPN". Electronic Arts in the early 1990s used to have a faux sports network logo on their sports games called EASN (Electronic Arts Sports Network), but soon changed to EA Sports after ESPN requested that they stop using it. There are at least 22 children named after the network.
The DIRECTV information channel parodies ESPN as "ESNP" to avoid trademark and copyright infringement.
ESPN is often accused of having a bias towards certain teams. ESPN and the ACC have a rights deal that extends through the 2026-27 season which provides additional football, men's and women's basketball and Olympic sports coverage on a variety of platforms, suggesting the bias may have a financial motivation.
ESPN has been criticized for not reporting a taped recording of Bernie Fine's wife apparently acknowledging that she knew her husband may have molested children,  particularly because ESPN ran a number of articles criticizing Joe Paterno for not taking greater action in reporting Jerry Sandusky's child abuse. 
Network slogans 
- The Total Sports Network (1979–1985)
- The Number One Sports Network (1985–1991)
- All Sports, All the Time (1991–1994)
- America's No.1 Sports Network (1994–1998)
- The Worldwide Leader in Sports (1998–Present)
A wide variety of national sports networks, as well as networks dedicated to a single sport, have surfaced in recent years.
National Sports Networks
- beIN Sport USA
- Fox Soccer
- GOL TV
- Golf Channel
- MLB Network
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- NHL Network
- Tennis Channel
- TVG Network
- Universal Sports
- WWE Network
See also 
-  ESPN.com, August 15, 2008.
- ESPN Yakkers Go HD Next Week TVPredictions.com September 20, 2010.
- "The HD Experience" (PDF). ESPN. Archived from the original
|url=(help) on March 9, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- Gibbons, Kent (May 25, 2010). 3DTV 2010 "Event: Bratches Bullish on ESPN 3D Uptake". Multichannel.com. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- ESPN 3D to show soccer, football, more ESPN, January 5, 2010.
- Lynch, Colleen (January 5, 2011). "ESPN 3D Expands Programming Line Up – Will Air 3D Content All Day, Everyday". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- James, Meg (23 November 2011). "John Skipper is promoted to ESPN president". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "SEAN R. H. BRATCHES Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing". ESPN. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "CHRISTINE F. DRIESSEN Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer". ESPN. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "EDWIN M. DURSO Executive Vice President, Administration". ESPN. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "CHUCK PAGANO Executive Vice President, Technology". ESPN. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "NORBY WILLIAMSON Executive Vice President, Studio and Remote Production". ESPN. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "RUSSELL WOLFF Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International". ESPN. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "Movie Preview: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story". Entertainment Weekly. April 21, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
- Parents name baby after ESPN, Joe Montana, NBC Sports, October 9, 2006.
- "Texas toddler at least third named ESPN". ESPN. June 16, 2006.
- Hiestand, Michael (February 7, 2006). "Lampley nearing most-called Olympics". USA Today. Retrieved June 9, 2008. "ESPN says it's heard of at least 22 babies named ESPN"
- Le Anne Schreiber (August 15, 2008). "Geography lesson: Breaking down the bias in ESPN's coverage". ESPN. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "ACC, ESPN agree to extend deal". ESPN. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Kekis, John (November 28, 2011). Fine tape a moral loss for media "Event: Bratches Bullish on ESPN 3D Uptake". Multichannel.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- staff, Laschout (December 1, 2011). ESPN Defines the Height of Hypocrisy "Event: Bratches Bullish on ESPN 3D Uptake". Multichannel.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Fox Sports announces Fox Sports 1". Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "Fuel TV to become Fox Sports 2". SBJ. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Miller, James Andrew; Tom Shales (2011). Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-04300-7.
- Official website (Mobile)
- ESPN on Google+
- ESPN Video Archive Official ESPN Video Archive
- ESPN Fan Zone (Official ESPN Research via Surveys and Forums)
- ESPN Jobs