ESPNU

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ESPNU
ESPN U.svg
Launched March 4, 2005 (2005-03-04)
Owned by ESPN Inc.
(The Walt Disney Company (80%)/Hearst Corporation (20%))
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV sets)
Slogan Never Graduate
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina
Sister channel(s) ESPN
ESPN2
ESPN3
ESPNews
ESPN Classic
ESPN Plus
Website ESPNU official website
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 208 (HD/SD)
1208 (VOD)
Dish Network 141 (HD/SD)
Cable
Verizon FiOS 573 (HD)
73 (SD)
Available on most other U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability
IPTV
AT&T U-verse 1605 (HD)
605 (SD)
Streaming media
WatchESPN watchespn.com
(requires login from pay television provider to access content, availability varies; also available as app on Xbox Live and Apple TV)
Sling TV Internet Protocol television(US cable subscribers only)

ESPNU is an American digital cable and satellite sports television channel that is owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between the Disney–ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company (which owns a controlling 80% stake) and the Hearst Corporation (which owns the remaining 20%). The channel is primarily dedicated to coverage of college athletics, and is also used as an additional outlet for general ESPN programming. ESPNU is based alongside ESPN Plus at its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As of February 2015, ESPNU is available to approximately 73,594,000 pay television households (63.2% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.[1]

History[edit]

The network was launched on March 4, 2005, with its first broadcast originating from the site of Gallagher-Iba Arena on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The network's first live event was a semifinal game of the Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball tournament between Southeast Missouri State University and Eastern Kentucky University. The network was launched as a response to rival College Sports Television (CSTV) (now CBS Sports Network). ESPN was also being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department on allegations of "warehousing" collegiate sporting events from certain conferences, or signing a deal with a conference for all their games, but only televising a small number and not allowing the conference to make other arrangements for television broadcasts.

ESPN and XOS Technologies entered into a partnership for college athletics websites to compete directly with CSTV's growing internet presence. On August 28, 2006, ESPNU launched a new SportsCenter spin-off focusing entirely on college sports. The program, SportsCenterU, was originally scheduled to be broadcast from ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, however ESPN instead chose to originate the show from Charlotte. Mike Hall was the program's lead anchor until August 2007, when he left for the new Big Ten Network. He was replaced by Mike Gleason and Lowell Galindo. The two are joined on-set by color commentators that vary depending on the sports season.

The same day as SportsCenterU‍ '​s debut, ESPNU launched the website ESPNU.com. The site included live streaming of college sports events, a multi-media player dedicated to college sports, podcasts and ESPN Motion clips of studio programming from the ESPNU television network.

ESPNU expanded its live programming to water polo by broadcasting its first-ever water polo match between the women's teams of Princeton University and Bucknell University on March 28, 2009, from DeNunzio Pool in Princeton, New Jersey.

Carriage[edit]

On May 19, 2009, ESPN announced it had reached a carriage agreement with Comcast, which allows the cable provider to carry ESPNU on a widely distributed digital cable tier, instead of a less popular sports tier.[2] ESPNU was added to most Comcast systems in time for the start of the 2009–10 college football season. This ended several years of negotiations and somewhat of a feud between Comcast and ESPN over carriage of ESPNU.

On that same date, ESPNU reached a new carriage agreement with DirecTV, which moved the channel from the satellite provider's add-on "Sports Pack" to its basic "Choice" package on July 1, 2009, swapping channels and packages with ESPN Classic.[3] Cablevision added ESPNU to its systems on March 23, 2010.[4]

Dish Network lawsuit[edit]

On August 4, 2009 Dish Network sued ESPN for $1 million in a federal lawsuit, alleging that ESPN breached its contract by not extending the same carriage terms that the programmer provided to Comcast and DirecTV for ESPNU and ESPN Classic. The lawsuit claims ESPN violated the "Most Favored Nations" clause.[5]

The next day, ESPN announced it would fight the lawsuit and said in a press release: "We have repeatedly advised Dish that we are in full compliance with our agreement and have offered them a distribution opportunity with respect to ESPNU and ESPN Classic consistent with the rest of the industry. We will not renegotiate settled contracts and will vigorously defend this legal action, the apparent sole purpose of which is to get a better deal."[6]

Dish Network moved the channel from its "Classic Gold 250" package to its "Classic Bronze 100" package on September 30, 2009. However, it claimed that the move had nothing to do with the lawsuit.[7]

High definition[edit]

ESPNU operates a 720p high definition simulcast feed, which launched on August 28, 2008, to coincide with the start of the 2008-09 college football season.[8] The service debuted with a college football game between Vanderbilt and Miami University. At its launch, the HD feed was carried by Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Blue Ridge Communications, Atlantic Broadband and Broadstripe.[9] In late 2008, AT&T U-verse began carrying the HD feed. Bright House Networks began adding the HD channel on a regional basis on November 7, 2009.[10] Cablevision added the HD feed on March 23, 2010.[4] DirecTV added the HD channel on May 19, 2010. Dish Network added the HD channel on March 18, 2014.

Coverage rights[edit]

See also: ESPN College Football College Basketball on ESPN List of ESPN sports properties ESPNU has rights to sporting events from the following collegiate athletic conferences:

In 2012, ESPN and independent Brigham Young University announced a deal in which ESPNU would broadcast at least one BYU football game per year.[citation needed]

List of programs broadcast by ESPNU[edit]

Current[edit]

Studio[edit]

Live sports programs[edit]

  • ESPNU College Baseball (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Basketball (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Football (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Hockey (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Lacrosse (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Soccer (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Softball (2005–present)
  • ESPNU College Volleyball (2005–present)
  • High School Showcase (2005–present)

Original series[edit]

  • Faces of Sports (2005–present)
  • Honor Roll (2005–present)

Former[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]