ESPN

ESPN

ESPN

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ESPN (originally an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a U.S.-based global cable and satellite television channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network) and the Hearst Corporation (which owns a 20% minority share).

It broadcasts primarily from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Los Angeles. John Skipper currently serves as president of the channel, a position he has held since January 1, 2012. While it is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of this channel, which includes accusations of biased coverage,[1] conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

It headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut

As of February 2015, it is available to approximately 94,396,000 paid television households (81.1% of households with at least one television set) in the United States. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, it broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Brazil, Latin America and the United Kingdom, and owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network (TSN) as well as its five sister networks and NHL Network in Canada.

In 2011, it’s history and rise was chronicled by These Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little, Brown, & Co.

Bill Rasmussen conceived the concept of it in late May 1978, after he was fired from his job with the World Hockey Association’s New England Whalers. One of the first steps in Bill and his son Scott’s (who had also been let go by the Whalers) process was finding land to build the channel’s broadcasting facilities. The Rasmussens first rented office space in Plainville, Connecticut. However, the plan to base this channel there was put on hold because a local ordinance prohibiting buildings from having satellite dishes installed on them. Available land area was quickly found in Bristol, Connecticut (where the channel remains headquartered to this day), with funding to buy the property provided by Getty Oil, which purchased 85% of the company from Bill Rasmussen on February 22, 1979, in an attempt to diversify the company’s holdings. This helped the credibility of the fledgling company, however there were still many doubters to the viability of their sports channel concept. Another event that helped build it’s credibility was securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the spring of 1979; the company invested $1 million to be the “exclusive beer advertised on the network.

Many of it’s documentary programs (such as 30 for 30 and Nine for IX) are produced by ESPN Films, a film division created in March 2008 as a restructuring of ESPN Original Entertainment, a programming division that was originally formed in 2001. 30 for 30 started airing in 2009 and continues airing to this day. Each episode is through the eyes of a well known filmmaker and has featured some of the biggest directors in Hollywood.

Since September 2006, it has been integrated with the sports division of sister broadcast network ABC, with sports events televised on that network airing under the banner of the channel name on ABC; much of ABC’s sports coverage since the rebranding has become increasingly limited to secondary coverage of sporting events whose broadcast rights are held by it (such as NBA games, The Open Championship, and the X Games and its related qualifying events) as well as a limited array of event coverage not broadcast on it (most notably, the NBA Finals).

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