ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN Plaza includes more than 700,000 square feet in more than a dozen buildings on 116 acres. The company is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
President: George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, and Co-Chairman Disney Media Networks, joined ESPN in 1981. Appointed President, ESPN, Inc. on November 9, 1998, he previously had been ESPN’s Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing.
Primary Business Entities
ESPN on ABC (Broadcast), six U.S. Cable Networks (four with high-definition simulcast services) with ESPN 3D to launch June 2010, Regional, Syndicated, Pay Subscription Packages, 46 International Networks reaching all seven continents
|Radio||ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, syndicated radio in 11 international countries|
|Online||ESPN.com, ESPNDeportes.com, market-specific sites and more|
|Broadband||ESPN3.com (formerly ESPN360.com until April 2010)|
|Publishing||ESPN The Magazine and other periodicals in the U.S. and abroad & ESPN Books|
|Wireless||ESPN Mobile Properties, Scores, Headlines, Video Highlights, Games|
|Consumer Products||CDs, DVDs, video games, apparel, merchandise|
|Event Management||X Games, Winter X Games, BASS, ESPYs, bowl games and basketball events|
|ESPN Zones||restaurant, games and shopping|
|Corporate Outreach||Team ESPN, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and more|
- ESPN on ABC (Broadcast)
- Six Domestic Cable Networks: ESPN (launched in 1979 – currently 99.5 M homes, ESPN HD launched in 2003); ESPN2 (1993 – 99.5 M, ESPN2 HD launched in 2005); all-sports news ESPNEWS (1996 – 73.5M, ESPNEWS HD launched in 2008); ESPNU (2005 – 72.5 M, focuses on college sports, ESPNU HD launched in 2008); ESPN Classic (purchased in 1997 – 42.0M, focuses on great sports moments and stars of the past); Spanish-language ESPN Deportes (2004 – 5.3 M Hispanic homes)
- Syndicated programming via ESPN Regional Television (the largest syndicator of college sports TV), including the new SEC Networks (football, men’s/women’s basketball & Olympic Sports), plus Big East and WAC (football and men’s basketball), and Big 12 and Mid-American (football), plus subscription packages
- 46 International networks (see below for detail on ESPN International)
Key U.S. Programming
- Debut: September 7, 1979, ESPN’s first and flagship show.
- Defining the genre, it offers breaking news, highlights, features and in-depth analysis from award-winning journalists. Viewership: averages 100 million viewers a month.
- Debuting in April 2009, the 1 a.m. ET SportsCenter is produced in the new Los Angeles Production Center.
Event, Studio & Original Programming
- NFL’s Monday Night Football; MLB; NBA (including The Finals on ABC); NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA; college football (including the BCS starting in 2011); men’s and women’s college basketball, including the entire women’s tournament; tennis, including all four Grand Slam events; golf, including the Masters and the British Open (in 2010); FIFA World Cup; WNBA; Little League World Series; and more.
- Sport-specific studio shows for NFL, MLB, NASCAR and college football and basketball.
ESPN Radio (1992), ESPN Deportes Radio (2005)
- ESPN Radio is heard on 750 affiliates. Major properties include weekday talk shows Mike & Mike in the Morning (simulcast on ESPN2), The Herd with Colin Cowherd (ESPNU), and The Scott Van Pelt Show (ESPN2). Major events series include Major League Baseball and the World Series, NBA and The Finals and the Bowl Championship Series.
- Spanish-language ESPN Deportes Radio is heard on 35 stations, reaching 47% of the U.S. Hispanic audience.
- Formed in 1998, ESPN International spans over 200 countries and territories on all seven continents and includes TV (46 networks in 16 languages, with over 300 million subscribers), wireless, interactive, print, radio, broadband, event management and consumer products.
- The newest TV network launched in 2009 — ESPN in the UK – just six weeks after securing the rights to Premier League soccer. It also features other top football action, plus top European sports. Also, ESPN America is the new name for NASN (North American Sports Network), ESPN’s first branded live television channel in North Europe.
- In addition to marquee U.S. (NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, IRL, all of golf’s and tennis’ Grand Slam events) and major international (UEFA Champions League and other top soccer, cricket and more) sports, there are 13 local versions of SportsCenter in eight languages — Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese. The latest debuted March 2010 and covers U.S. sports for ESPN in the UK and is produced at ESPN headquarters.
- ESPN3.com is in Europe, Mexico, Brazil and Chile. In print, ESPN La Revista covers sports in Mexico and Revista ESPN does so in Brazil. ESPN International Radio began syndicating content in 2000 and is heard in four countries.
ESPN.com (1995), ESPNRadio.com & digital audio, fantasy games, ESPNDeportes.com, ESPNSoccernet.com, ESPNCricinfo.com, ESPNScrum.com, ESPNF1.com, ScoreCenter, and a growing number of market-specific sites
- A busy 2009 for ESPN.com started with a redesigned home page with a cleaner design, richer video experience, and enhanced Scoreboards, personalization and advertising. Later in the year, the focus was on localization, with sites launched specific to Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles, followed by New York in 2010. Usage rose 12 percent vs. 2008 and again led all sports sites. Subscriptions to ESPN Insider grew 10 percent. Audio and video downloads remained robust with nearly 44 percent of all online sports video viewed, nearly double the nearest competitor. Fantasy sports continued to grow, with participants up 35 percent and growth in all 30 games offered. ESPN and Disney Media Networks launched multiple ad-supported YouTube channels with short-form content.
ESPN3.com (Broadband, 2001; named ESPN360 in ‘05, renamed April 2010)
- ESPN3.com, launched in 2001 and focusing on live events since 2007, is a live 24/7 broadband destination delivering more than 3,500 events annually. Dozens of content agreements have bolstered the lineup, including MLB, SEC football and basketball, US Open tennis, The Masters, plus top international soccer, rugby and cricket. It is available at no additional cost to fans with a high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated provider. Distribution doubled in 2009 to more than 50 million homes – two-thirds of U.S. broadband homes. It is available via dozens of providers, including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, and many more. It is also free to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.
ESPN Mobile Properties (1995), ESPN Mobile TV (2007)
- ESPN Mobile is an industry-leading collection of mobile web sites, apps, games, alerts and video (ESPN Mobile TV and Video on Demand clips). ESPN was the leader in sports (reaching more than three times the audience its nearest competitor) and the eighth most-trafficked site overall on the mobile web in 2009. Visits were up nearly five-fold to ESPNSoccernet Mobile (up 379 percent) and ESPNCricinfo Mobile rose 113 percent over 2008. Numerous apps were launched – ESPN ScoreCenter, downloaded more than 4.5 million times, plus ESPN Radio, ESPN World Cup, ESPN Fantasy Football and more. ESPN Mobile sent nearly 900 million alerts, up 170 percent vs. 2008, and fans signing up for alerts increased 117 percent. Viewers of on-demand video increased 87 percent; total viewing rose 106 percent.
- ESPN Mobile TV, the 24/7 mobile network on FLO TV and MobiTV platforms, added originally produced 30-minute ESPNEWS blocks in 2009 and showed nearly 850 live events, leading to total minutes viewing rising 186 percent.
- ESPN The Magazine, a bi-weekly launched in 1998, currently has a rate base of 2.0 million and in 2008 saw extraordinary growth in its style/fashion advertising category – 78%.
- ESPN Books, launched in 2004, released 10 titles in 2009 under a joint imprint with Ballantine, highlighted by Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy (debuted no. 1 on NY Times bestseller list).
ESPN DVDs, apparel and merchandise are available in major retail outlets, at ESPN.com and at ESPN Zone locations.
ESPYs (launched in 1993), X Games (1995), Winter X Games (1997), International X Games, ESPN Outdoors & BASS (purchased in 2001), plus events operated by ESPN Regional Television (bowl games, basketball events and more).
Two: Los Angeles & Anaheim, plus the ESPN Club at Walt Disney World and ESPN Grille at WWS Complex in Orlando.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
In Orlando, the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and pro sports, hosting more than 300 events yearly.
Team ESPN, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, ESPN Play Your Way fitness initiative, Cable in the Classroom