|Launched||November 1, 1996|
|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)
|Dish Network||142 (HD/SD)|
|Verizon FiOS||572 (HD)
|Available on most other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
|Sirius||121 (part of ESPN All Access)|
|XM||141 (part of ESPN Xtra)|
|AT&T U-verse||1604 (HD)
(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|
ESPNEWS (pronounced "ESPN News") is an American digital cable and satellite television network 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%).
Known as ESPN3 in its planning stages and proposed as early as 1993, ESPNEWS launched on November 1, 1996 and originally focused on airing sports news, highlights and press conferences. Since 2010, the network has slowly become refocused to carry encores of ESPN's various sports debate and entertainment shows, along with video simulcasts of ESPN Radio shows, with press conferences now airing during the day on SportsCenter as the main ESPN channel has increasingly become news-based outside of live sports – rather than carrying recorded sports events. ESPNEWS has increasingly been used as an overflow network for programming conflicts on the other ESPN networks. Olbermann is also carried live on ESPNEWS on weeknights if sports coverage on ESPN2 overflows into that program's regular time slot.
As of February 2015, ESPNews is available to approximately 71,989,000 pay television households (61.8% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.
Format and programming
ESPNEWS is typically offered on the digital tiers of U.S. cable providers, and is carried as a premium channel in some areas; satellite providers offer it on their standard package. Some regional sports networks that are not associated with Fox Sports Net had previously aired ESPNEWS during the overnight or morning hours to provide a pseudo-national sports report to their viewers, and to fill time that would otherwise be taken up by paid programming or other lower-profile programs, though as vertical integration has occurred with the sports networks now owned by Comcast (with NBC Sports) and Time Warner Cable, ESPNEWS programming has been dropped from these networks; however, its programming is still carried during the overnight hours on MASN2. If a national ESPN broadcast is blacked out in a particular market, the ESPN broadcast will usually be replaced by ESPNEWS.
The network was formerly simulcast on ESPN during coverage of major breaking sports news before that network expanded SportsCenter into additional daytime slots in 2008; additionally, ABC's early morning newscast, America This Morning, previously ran a highlights segment rundown featuring sports news headlines and highlights of the previous night's sporting events presented by an overnight anchor for ESPNEWS.
ESPNEWS's "bottom line" – a small rectangular area at the bottom fifth of the screen which displays sports scores – was formerly more in-depth than the versions used by ESPN's other networks. It contained not only scores, but also statistics and brief news alerts about the day's sports headlines.
On November 11, 2006, ESPNEWS marked its 10-year anniversary; programming commemorating the occasion included a montage of highlights covering the past 10 years in sports, along with a broadcast of SportsCenter at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time on that same day. Around that time, the network began airing SportsCenter on nights when sporting event telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2, such as college football or Major League Baseball games, were scheduled to overrun into the program's regular timeslots on ESPN and ESPN2's own sports analysis programs, which until 2010 would be the only incidences in which SportsCenter would be carried over to ESPNews.
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio both provide channels with audio simulcasts of ESPNEWS, with the network's television advertisements replaced with radio ads from each service. On February 4, 2008, XM rebranded its channel as "ESPN Xtra", and added radio programs from local ESPN Radio affiliates as well as the audio simulcast of ESPNEWS.
The network switched to a near full-screen presentation in June 2010, with the network switching its BottomLine to the version used on all other ESPN networks in anticipation of the network's prime-time programming being rebranded under the SportsCenter umbrella title.
In August 2010, telecasts of SportsCenter on ESPNEWS increased in frequency, now airing whenever ESPN or ESPN2 were unable to air the program due to scheduling conflicts, along with an afternoon expansion of SportsCenter to ESPNEWS's afternoon schedule rather than rolling ESPNEWS-branded coverage, while ESPN and ESPN2 carry sports talk and debate programming. The Beat (a show showing pop culture and sports action to the tune of a beat) was shown while SportsCenter aired on ESPN at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time until its cancellation in July 2011, and replacement by a rebroadcast of the ESPN2 sports talk program SportsNation. By early 2013, the only other programs featured on ESPNEWS were Highlight Express (a half-hour program showing the previous day's sports highlights, running from 10:00 p.m. at night to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time in the afternoon), and the overnight soccer program ESPNFC Press Pass. A program titled under the ESPNEWS brand was replaced by SportsCenter. The network also airs programming under the College Football Live banner on Saturday afternoons during college football season, a whip-around program similar to ESPN Goal Line, which gives live look-ins to multiple college football games happening simultaneously.
On June 13, 2013, Highlight Express was canceled due to low ratings and company-wide downsizing, leaving the overnight ESPNFC Press Pass, produced primarily for ESPN International, as the only program on the network that was exclusively broadcast (within the U.S.) on ESPNews; that program was removed from the schedule in August 2013, after it was supplanted by a new ESPN2 program simply titled ESPN FC). Additional runs of SportsCenter and other same-day airings of ESPN sports debate programming or the newsmagazine E:60 now fill the network's schedule, along with encores such as Friday Night Fights, as well as programming affected by sports-induced pre-emptions and overruns such as Olbermann during the US Open. The highlights and segment package for America This Morning came under the purview of the late-night SportsCenter team from Los Angeles from that day forward.
Use as an overflow feed for live coverage
ESPNEWS ran a simulcast of ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning from 2004 to 2005; the program moved to ESPN2 in 2006, although it still occasionally airs on ESPNEWS when live sports events (such as tennis' French Open or Wimbledon) air on ESPN2. When ESPN2 televised the 2009 U.S. Open tennis tournament, SportsNation aired on ESPNEWS instead from August 31 to September 11, 2009.
As ESPN Classic's carriage has declined more into specialty cable tiers due to bandwidth conservation concerns and low viewership, along with the fact that ESPN Classic does not yet have an HD simulcast channel (the former factors eventually led ESPN to transition ESPN Classic into a video on demand service beginning in 2014), ESPNEWS has become the primary overflow network for situations in which ESPN and ESPN2 carry live sports coverage.
- The network aired two National Invitation Tournament college basketball games on March 25, 2013 that were originally scheduled to air on ESPN, which instead aired an NBA game telecast between the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic (a game in which the Heat extended its winning streak to 27 games).
- Another NBA overflow of the late game of that night's ESPN doubleheader aired partially two days later on March 27 due to ESPN2 already carrying coverage of the 2013 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament until the first game on ESPN ended, with ESPN having an extended post-game show for the first game due to the Heat's aforementioned winning streak ending at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.
- Coverage of the NCAA Women's Softball Preliminary Tournament aired on ESPNEWS on May 18, 2013, due to NBA playoff coverage on ESPN and X Games Barcelona coverage on ESPN2.
- The network's most apparent overflow use has been with the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013. On April 26, ESPNEWS carried full live coverage of the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway, due to NBA playoff coverage on ESPN, with the 2013 NFL Draft's second night airing on ESPN2. The Kentucky 300 on September 21 from Kentucky Speedway was also moved over to ESPNEWS due to college football games airing on both ESPN networks.
- On August 31, ESPNEWS aired three college football games, including the Kentucky–Western Kentucky game live from LP Field in Nashville, presumably due to all other ESPN networks being fully booked for college games at that time. ESPN Goal Line also has been expanded onto additional cable systems through new carriage agreements struck by The Walt Disney Company in early 2013, making the Goal Line simulcast unneeded.
- ESPN's coverage of Wimbledon was often moved to ESPNews in 2014 due to their coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
List of programs broadcast by ESPNews
- ESPN FC (2013–present)
- 4 Qtrs (2003–2006)
- The Beat (2009–2010)
- Coaches' Corner (aired on Tuesday from 2001–2005)
- ESPNEWS (1996-2011)
- ESPNEWS Gametime (2006–2009)
- ESPNEWS Night Cap (2005–2006)
- ESPNEWS Postgame (2006–2009)
- ESPNEWS Pregame (2006–2009)
- ESPN Radio Primetime (2007–2008)
- Football Friday (2004–2009)
- The Highlight Zone (2008–2009)
- Highlight Express (2010–2013)
- The Hot List (2003–2009)
- Mike and Mike in the Morning (2004–2006; simulcast of ESPN Radio show; moved to ESPN2 in 2006, still shown on ESPNEWS when ESPN2 is scheduled to air live sports events; the ESPN2 simulcast is rebroadcast mornings beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern as of June 2013)
- NFL Monday Quarterback (aired on Mondays from 2001–2005)
- The Pulse (2004–2009)
ESPN Radio segment
In 2007, ESPNEWS began broadcasting a half-hour segment of ESPN Radio programming on Sunday mornings. The broadcast includes three commentators (a retired coach, a retired player, and an analyst) to break down the events of the featured sport, while an on-screen graphical list of standings, statistical leaders, and other statistics of the featured sport is displayed; the upper-right of the screen shows sports highlights (usually of the player or team of discussion); a fan comment board appears at the bottom of the screen, above the ESPNEWS BottomLine.
ESPNEWS operates a high definition simulcast feed, which broadcasts in 720p (the default resolution format for The Walt Disney Company's television properties) and was launched on March 30, 2008. Originally, the layout and graphics were reworked specifically for viewing on widescreen television sets, offering additional content not available on the channel's standard definition feed. It utilized reworked HD sideline graphics, a descendant of the "Rundown" used on overnight editions of SportsCenter on ESPN, which wrapped around the top left and bottom of the widescreen picture. The HD Sideline offered the display of textual information, headshots, news and scores, while still delivering video highlights in the HD format.
The enhanced format was discontinued in June 2010 and the channel now broadcasts in near-fullscreen 16:9, with regular gray and red graphics similar to those used by the other ESPN channels. The move was made to "accommodate the high number of SportsCenters that moved to the network during the World Cup".
On May 20, 2012, ESPNEWS switched the presentation of its standard definition feed from 4:3 to a downscaled widescreen letterbox version of the HD feed, becoming the last ESPN network with a HD companion channel to make the conversion to a full-widescreen presentation. ESPNEWS HD was added to Dish Network on March 18, 2014, as part of a new carriage agreement that ended a four-year dispute that removed existing HD simulcast feeds of Disney-owned channels.
While not operating under the ESPN name, CTV Specialty Television (which is partly owned by ESPN) operates RDS Info, a French-language sister network to Réseau des sports (RDS) (which in turn, is a sister network to the English language TSN), which maintains a sports news format and ticker similar to that used by ESPNEWS, and carries continuous broadcasts of Sports 30 (RDS's equivalent of SportsCenter). Until October 2011, when RDS2 was launched, RDS Info was also used as a part-time secondary outlet for RDS in the event of scheduling conflicts. It has since served as an occasional tertiary outlet for RDS programming, similar to the role now served by ESPNEWS.
- ESPN Mediakit (2006). Retrieved 2006-02-13.
- Kent, Milton. "Viewers may soon have choice of 2 new all-sports channels". MediaWatch (Baltimore Sun). Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Robert Seidman (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it (Tribune Media). Retrieved February 23, 2015.
- "ESPN and XM Satellite Radio to Launch 'ESPN Xtra' Radio Channel" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 28, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2008 – via XM Satellite Radio.
- Kenneth Gosselin (June 13, 2013). "ESPN Cancels Two Shows Aired From Bristol". Hartford Courant (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- "ESPNFC Officially Launches With Premiere of ESPNFC Press Pass on U.S. Television". ESPN MediaZone. August 15, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "ESPN to Launch Daily Soccer Studio Program". ESPN MediaZone. May 14, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "ESPN Cancels "Highlight Express" And "Unite," While Schwab, Hoenig Among Layoffs". Sports Business Daily. Street and Smith's Sports Group. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- "Disney To Launch HD Networks on DirecTV". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- "ESPNEWS HD Takes Graphic Approach". Broadcasting & Cable. October 15, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2007.