ESPN2

ESPN2 is an American basic cable and satellite television network that is owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which owns a controlling 80% stake) and the Hearst Communications (which owns the remaining 20%).

ESPN2 was initially formatted as a younger-skewing counterpart to its parent network ESPN, with a focus on sports popular among young adult audiences (ranging from mainstream events to other unconventional sports). By the late 1990s, this mandate was phased out, as the channel increasingly served as a second outlet for ESPN's mainstream sports coverage.

As of February 2015, ESPN2 is available to approximately 94,379,000 pay television households (81.1% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.[1]

ESPN2
ESPN2 logo
LaunchedOctober 1, 1993
Owned byESPN Inc.
(The Walt Disney Company (80%)
Hearst Communications (20%))
Picture format720p (HDTV)
Downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV feed
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish and Spanish
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersBristol, Connecticut
Sister channel(s)
Websiteespn.go.com/espntv/onair/index
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV209
209-2 Alternate feed
Dish Network143
146 Alternate feed
Cable
Available on most U.S. cable systemsConsult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
AT&T U-verse1606
606 (SD)
Verizon FiOS574
74 (SD)
Streaming media
WatchESPN or ESPN appWatchESPN.com
(U.S. cable subscribers only; requires login from pay television provider to access content)
DirecTV NowInternet Protocol television
YouTube TVInternet Protocol television
Hulu Live TVInternet Protocol television
PlayStation VueInternet Protocol television
Sling TVInternet Protocol television

History

ESPN2 launched on October 1, 1993 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Its inaugural program was the premiere of SportsNight, a sports news program originally hosted by Keith Olbermann and Suzy Kolber – where Olbermann opened the show by jokingly welcoming viewers to "the end of our careers."[2] Launching with an estimated carriage of about 10 million homes, and nicknamed "The Deuce",[3] ESPN2 aimed to be a more informal and youth-oriented channel than parent network ESPN, featuring a heavier emphasis on programming that would appeal to the demographic. The youthful image was also reflected in its overall presentation, which featured a graffiti-themed logo and on-air graphics.[4][5]

Its initial lineup featured studio programs such as SportsNight—which host Keith Olbermann characterized as a "lighter" parallel to ESPN's SportsCenter that would still be "comprehensive, thorough and extremely skeptical", Talk2—a Jim Rome-hosted nightly talk show billed as an equivalent to CNN's Larry King Live, Max Out—an extreme sports anthology series carried over from ESPN, and SportsSmash, a five-minute rundown of sports news and scores which aired every half-hour. ESPN2 also featured several half-hour news programs focused on specific sports, such as NFL 2Night (football), NHL 2Night (hockey) and RPM 2Night (auto racing). Event coverage would focus on coverage of mainstream sports popular within the 18–34 age demographic, such as auto racing, college basketball and NHL hockey (which was branded as NHL Fire on Ice),[6] while also covering atypical sports such as BMX and other extreme sports.[4]

ESPN2 would also be used to showcase new technology and experimental means of broadcasting events: on September 18, 1994, ESPN2 simulcast CART's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix using only onboard camera feeds. In 1995, ESPN2 introduced the "BottomLine", a persistent news ticker which displayed sports news and scores. The BottomLine would later be adopted by ESPN itself and all of its future properties.[7]

In the late 1990s, ESPN2 began to phase out its youth-oriented format, and transitioned to becoming a secondary outlet for ESPN's mainstream sports programming; telecasts began to adopt a more conventional style, and the "graffiti 2" logo was dropped in 2001 in favor of a variation of the standard ESPN logo. On-screen graphics (such as the BottomLine) used a blue color scheme instead of red to differentiate it from ESPN. On February 12, 2007, the ESPN2 branding was stripped from most on-air presentation and replaced with ESPN: the ESPN2 brand is now solely used for station identification.[8]

Programming

Sports events presented on ESPN2 originally tended to be alternative sports such as poker, billiards, lumberjacking, extreme sports and, more recently, drum and bugle corps. However, in recent years ESPN2 has broadcast increasingly more mainstream sporting events, including Major League Baseball games, the East–West Shrine Game, much of the 2006 World Baseball Classic, many Major League Soccer games, NCAA football games, NCAA basketball games, the WNBA, the Arena Football League, regular season KHL games, and Saturday afternoon NASCAR Nationwide Series races. In 2011, ESPN2 also acquired broadcast rights to delayed coverage for some American Le Mans Series events, with series' major events airing on ABC.

The channel has also become ESPN's home for tennis coverage. The showpieces are all four of the "Grand Slam" tournaments: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. U.S.-based tournaments, including the ATP Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami, as well as the US Open Series, are also broadcast on the channel.

Most of ESPN's soccer output has been broadcast on ESPN2, including Major League Soccer, Premier League and La Liga matches; the channel also broadcast the United States' FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 2009. ESPN2 formerly broadcast matches of the UEFA Champions League, until rights for that tournament moved to Fox Soccer and its sister networks. In 2003, ESPN2 began broadcasting Major League Lacrosse games. In March 2007, ESPN2 and the league agreed on a new broadcast contract that ran until the 2016 season.[9]

On 4 October 2017, ESPN announced that it had acquired rights to the Formula One World Championship; the majority of the races are carried by ESPN2.[10]

ESPN2's former flagship show, the morning sports/entertainment program Cold Pizza, achieved minimal success and saw several format and host changes. In January 2006, it was supplanted by the television simulcast of ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning (which moved from ESPNews) and moved to a later time slot (10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time). In May 2007, Cold Pizza moved from New York City to the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut and was renamed ESPN First Take. After ESPN became part of a new broadcast contract with the association, ESPN2 also premiered the new daily show NASCAR Now (similar to the previous RPM 2Night, except only focusing on NASCAR) in February 2007. Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a program that featured interviews with popular sports figures, had averaged extremely low ratings,[11][12] and had also faced several timeslot changes, until it was finally canceled in January 2007.

On August 8, 2018, ESPN2 stunted as "ESPN8: The Ocho"—an homage to a fictitious eighth ESPN channel portrayed in the 2004 film DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, dedicated to unconventional and obscure sporting events. The event—which also included airings of the original film— was a follow-up to a similar marathon aired by ESPNU the previous year.[13]

Simulcasting

ESPN2 has also simulcast many game telecasts with ESPN, usually as a part of a "Full Circle" or "Megacast" broadcast, which covers a single telecast across several ESPN networks, with each network providing a different form of coverage (such as different camera angles). ESPN2 also simulcasts some programming from ESPNews, often during local blackouts of scheduled national game telecasts, and for a while provided a simulcast of ESPN Deportes' edition of SportsCenter on Sundays. In return, ESPN2 programming is often seen on ESPN during blackouts of games in certain markets.

ESPN2 also often carries SportsCenter at times when the broadcast on ESPN is delayed by a sporting event that overruns into one of the program's scheduled timeslots. ESPN and ESPN2 also jointly aired two episodes of a documentary special called This is SportsCenter, in which ESPN showed a documentary showing the production of an edition of SportsCenter, while the finished product aired on ESPN2. The documentary would usually air for two hours, where the first hour would cover the preliminary production of the night's show on ESPN, while ESPN2 aired ESPN's regular programming. The second hour usually spent time at production control while covering reaction to the night's developments.

Both ESPN and ESPN2 carried ABC News' coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon (and the related crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania) on September 11, 2001. ESPN2 also aired the 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament championship game in 2008 to most of the nation, since a storm damaged the original game site, the Georgia Dome, causing the schedule to be rearranged and site to be moved to the smaller Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The new schedule was in conflict with CBS's coverage of the Big Ten Championship Game; the game was produced by CBS. In the territory of the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten game aired on ESPN2.

ESPN2 has occasionally been used to carry simulcasts of ESPN Deportes' Spanish-language coverage of events, in an effort to boost availability of the Spanish broadcasts (as ESPN2 is available in a significantly larger number of homes than ESPN Deportes), promote the network, and reduce the need to counterprogram with lesser-viewed programs. Examples since 2016 have included NBA Christmas Day games, the 2017 World Baseball Classic (whose English rights were exclusively held by MLB Network), and an International Champions Cup game between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.[14][15] Since the 2017 NFL season, ESPN2 has simulcast ESPN Deportes' Spanish-language Monday Night Football during the first nine weeks of the season, including its pre-game show NFL Esta Noche, and ESPN Latin America's SportsCenter from Mexico City. ESPN2 had largely scheduled filler programming against MNF until the start of its Monday-night college basketball coverage in November.[16][17] They also aired some MLS matches on ESPN 2 in Spanish while it is in English on ESPN

High definition

ESPN2 broadcasts in high definition in the 720p resolution format, which was launched in January 2005. In January 2011, the separate ESPN2HD branding began to be phased out, as in May of that year, the channel would shift to using the AFD #10 flag to transmit the channel's standard definition feed in letterboxed widescreen, mirroring the display of the high definition feed, with the SD feed eventually phased out to allow downscaling of the HD feed for the standard definition channel.

References

  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  2. ^ Hiestand, Michael (August 28, 2007). "Olbermann's career veers onto NFL path". USA Today. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  3. ^ "'Dodgeball' director on origins of ESPN 8". USA Today. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Whether you get it or not, ESPN2 has no tie to the tried and true". Baltimore Sun. October 1, 1993. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  5. ^ "Remembering stuff ESPN used to put on TV". SB Nation. Vox Media. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "For youth-minded ESPN2, casual is in when they're talking 'puck'". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Hiestand, Michael (March 7, 2008). "Dedicated staff keeps close watch on ESPN's Bottom Line". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  8. ^ "The Last Days Of ESPN2". February 1, 2012. Deadspin. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Full News Archive". Major League Lacrosse. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  10. ^ "Formula 1 says goodbye to NBC, hello to ESPN in 2018". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Quite Frankly... There's No One Watching Your Show
  12. ^ Quite Frankly Host Smith Unhappy About Show's Development
  13. ^ Steinberg, Brian (August 8, 2018). "Bold strategy, Cotton: Inside ESPN's crazy plans to turn 'The Ocho' into a business". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  14. ^ "Seen on Screen: ESPN2 to Simulcast NBA Christmas Day Game in Spanish; CSN Chicago Reairs Cubs World Series Run". Sports Video Group. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  15. ^ "Spanish-language 'Monday Night Football' coming to ESPN2". New York Business Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Spanish-language 'MNF' coming to ESPN2". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  17. ^ "ESPN Deportes picks up Super Bowl Spanish-language rights". SportsPro. Retrieved November 5, 2018.

External links

ACC–Big Ten Challenge

The Big Ten-ACC Challenge (or ACC-Big Ten Challenge as it is called in alternating years) is an in-season NCAA men's college basketball series established in 1999 that matches up teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Big Ten Conference (B1G). ESPN was a key part of the creation of the challenge, and holds the broadcast rights to all the games. The Big Ten–ACC Challenge occurs early in the non-conference season, typically around late November/early December. Each game is hosted by one of the participating schools, with teams typically alternating home and away status in each successive year.

The ACC leads 12–5–3 in the series and 127–98 in games. The ACC won the first 10 consecutive challenges, while the Big Ten won five of the next seven along with two ties. The most recent challenge resulted in a 7-7 tie. In the 20 years of the event, ten of the challenges have been decided by a single game.

Nine games were scheduled for each of the first six challenges, leaving two teams from the 11-team Big Ten without an opponent. With the expansion of the ACC to 12 teams with the addition of Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech, the field was expanded to 11 games in 2006, meaning that one ACC team would not play. With Nebraska joining the Big Ten in 2011, the challenge expanded to 12 games and every member from both conferences participated. In 2013, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame joined the ACC, leaving three ACC teams excluded from the competition. In 2014, Maryland withdrew from the ACC and joined the Big Ten along with Rutgers, giving that conference 14 teams, and Louisville joined the ACC replacing Maryland and maintaining the conference's 15-team membership. The conference realignments have thus led to the challenge being expanded to 14 games.

When the challenge was expanded to 12 games, and later 14 games, the changes resulted in the possibility that the challenge could end in a tie. In the event of a tie, the previous year's winner retains the Commissioner's Cup. This scenario occurred in 2012 and 2013, with the Big Ten retaining the Cup based on its 8–4 win in 2011; the ACC retained the Cup in 2018 based on its 11-3 win in 2017.Typically, match-ups are selected for their expected interest in the game meaning higher profile teams are chosen to play each other to enhance television ratings for ESPN.

In 2007, the ACC–Big Ten Women's Challenge was founded.

The popularity of this series has led other conferences to form similar partnerships in which their members go head-to-head against each other. Examples are the Big 12/SEC Challenge and Mountain West–Missouri Valley Challenge and the now-defunct SEC–Big East Challenge and Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. The ACC–Big Ten Challenge itself followed another popular interconference challenge series involving the ACC, the ACC–Big East Challenge which took place in the 1980s and 1990s at the height of the Big East Conference.

Boxing on ESPN

The cable television network ESPN has occasionally broadcast boxing events over the majority of its history, as part of several arrangements, including contracts with specific promotions and consortiums such as Golden Boy Promotions, Premier Boxing Champions, and Top Rank, as well as Friday Night Fights—a semi-regular series that was broadcast by ESPN and ESPN2 from 1998 through 2015.

ESPN

ESPN (originally an initialism for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a U.S.-based pay television sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.

ESPN broadcasts primarily from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Los Angeles. James Pitaro currently serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017 (who succeeded George Bodenheimer as president in 2012). While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

As of January 2016, ESPN is available to approximately 91,405,000 paid television households (78.527% of households with at least one television set) in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN 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 in Canada.

In 2011, ESPN's history and rise was chronicled in Those Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little, Brown and Company.

ESPN2 College Football Saturday Primetime

ESPN2 College Football Primetime is a live game presentation of Division 1-A college football on ESPN2.

Since debuting in 1994, it has broadcast games from numerous conferences including the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and the Big East. This game is often seen as the ESPN2 Game of the Week along with the Thursday night telecast.

On October 14, 2006, ESPN2 College Football Primetime aired on five different networks as part of ESPN Full Circle. The networks included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360 and Mobile ESPN.

ESPN Australia

ESPN Australia is a 24-hour sports channel offered in Australia and New Zealand.

Initially, ESPN was known as Sports ESPN on the Optus Vision cable television system, and focused on sports aired by its home network in the United States, including American football, baseball, and basketball. In order to expand its local reach, it has shown an increasing amount of football games including FA Cup, World Cup qualifying games and Major League Soccer. Also on the network schedule are rugby matches, among other sports.

ESPN Australia has also commenced showing locally produced content including Australian versions of PTI and SportsCenter. They also air a soccer discussion show Monday to Friday called ESPNsoccernet PressPass which is hosted by Andrew Orsatti.

On 1 March 2011, ESPN2 launched in Australia both in standard and high definition formats.

ESPN College Basketball

ESPN College Basketball is a blanket title used for presentations of college basketball on ESPN and its family of networks. Its coverage focuses primarily on competition in NCAA Division I, holding broadcast rights to games from each major conference, and a number of mid-major conferences.

ESPN was the first broadcaster to provide extensive early-round coverage of NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, prior to CBS, later in partnership with Turner Sports, holding sole rights to "March Madness". The network also covers a number of early-season tournaments, conference championships, and is also the exclusive broadcaster of the National Invitation Tournament and the Women's Division I championship.

ESPN College Football

ESPN College Football is the branding used for broadcasts of NCAA Division I FBS college football across ESPN properties, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+, ABC, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNews and ESPN Radio. ESPN College Football debuted in 1982.

ESPN College Football consists of four to five games a week, with ESPN College Football Primetime, which airs at 7:30 on Thursdays. Saturday includes ESPN College Football Noon at 12:00 Saturday, a 3:30 or 4:30 game that is not shown on a weekly basis, and ESPN College Football Primetime on Saturday. A Sunday game, Sunday Showdown, was added for the first half of 2006 to make up for the loss of Sunday Night Football to NBC.

ESPN also produces ESPN College Football on ABC and ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC in separate broadcast packages.

The American, ACC, Big Ten, MAC, MWC (shared with CBS Sports Network), Pac-12, SEC, and Sun Belt. ESPN began televising games for the independent Brigham Young University in 2011. Through its online arm ESPN3 and the ESPN+ streaming service, ESPN carries a wide variety of other athletic conferences and games at lower divisions, spanning the full breadth of college football.

ESPN College Football Friday Primetime

ESPN College Football Friday Primetime is a live game presentation of Division 1-A college football on ESPN or sometimes ESPN2. There is no main sponsor. The game telecast airs every Friday night at 7:45pm ET during the college football regular season. In 2018, the games will be announced by Jason Benetti and Kelly Stouffer, with Olivia Harlan as the sideline reporter. The game is preceded by a 5–10 minute long segment of College Football Scoreboard with Adnan Virk, Jesse Palmer and Joey Galloway. They both also present the halftime report.

Since debuting in 2004, it has broadcast games from numerous conferences including the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and the Big East.

The biggest game for this package occurred on September 28, 2007, when the at the time fifth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers took on the eighteenth-ranked South Florida Bulls. The game drew a 2.7 rating, the second highest since ESPN2 began televising college football.

ESPN Major League Baseball

ESPN Major League Baseball is a presentation of Major League Baseball on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN's MLB coverage debuted on April 9, 1990 with three Opening Day telecasts. ESPN Major League Baseball is guaranteed to remain on air until 2021. Starting in 2014, ESPN will return to broadcasting postseason baseball. ESPN has rights to any potential tiebreaker games (Game 163) and one of the two wild card games (Turner Sports receiving the other game).

The different weekly regular-season packages that ESPN presents (as of 2014) are Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball. The network also airs select games on Opening Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

In addition to regular-season games, ESPN also airs several spring training games per year, the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game and Home Run Derby played the week of the All-Star Game, and (as of 2014) one of the two Wild Card games each postseason. ESPN also airs a weekly highlight show called Baseball Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on Sundays as a lead-in to Sunday Night Baseball; previously it was a daily program until 2017, when layoffs cut back the show’s airing to Sundays.

ESPN Radio has also been airing Major League Baseball since 1998 (succeeding CBS Radio), broadcasting Sunday Night Baseball as well as select other regular-season games, the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, and the entire postseason including the Wild Card Game, Division Series, League Championship Series, and World Series.

ESPNews

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 Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company (which owns a controlling 80% stake) and the Hearst Communications (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 24-hour coverage of sports news and highlights.

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 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.

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.

High School Showcase

High School Showcase, known under its corporate sponsored name as the GEICO High School Showcase, is a presentation of high school football and high school basketball on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Since debuting in 2005, it primarily airs on Friday at 8pm ET on ESPNU, following ESPNU Recruiting Insider, but will occasionally air at various times and days on ESPN and ESPN2. The Friday Night Showcase game is called by Jason Benetti and ESPN Recruiting Coordinator Craig Haubert. Various commentators call other games throughout the week, although Mike Hall and Tom Luginbill anchor the halftime report and in-game updates. The series was previously Old Spice Red Zone High School Showcase; the series also has previously had Honda as a presenting sponsor.

Old Spice High School Showcase debuted in 2005 as a way to fill programming on the then-nascent ESPNU channel, which had debuted in March 2005. The series aired only four games in 2005, but after much success ESPN expanded its schedule to a full thirteen game season. Part of what lead ESPN to expanding its schedule is, in 2005, ESPN aired the highest rated high school football game in television history. Nease High School (Florida) vs. Hoover High School (Alabama) garnered a 1.0 rating and attracted nearly one million households.

Most High School Showcase games span from late August through the end of October. Only once has the showcase aired a Thanksgiving game, the 2006 matchup between Lehigh Valley rivals Easton, PA and Phillipsburg, NJ; ESPNU has switched to coverage of college basketball in November, limiting the channel's opportunities to cover high school contests.

Old Spice High School Showcase started to air high school basketball games in 2006, as well.

Games in the High School Showcase are also broadcast on ESPN3.

List of NHL Entry Draft broadcasters

The following is a list of broadcasters of the NHL Entry Draft.

List of WNBA Finals broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers that have broadcast the WNBA Finals.

MLS Soccer Sunday

MLS Soccer Sunday is a presentation of Major League Soccer produced independently by ESPN and Fox Sports Sunday evenings primarily on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and Fox. Spanish-language simulcasts are broadcast on ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes.

As part of the current broadcast agreement between Major League Soccer and its network partners, ESPN Networks and Fox Sports each contracted to broadcast 34 weekly matches in an assigned broadcast window. In addition to the weekly broadcast window, each broadcast group gained the right to transmit their broadcasts on their respective digital broadcast service.Additionally, ESPN Networks was granted the right to develop an over-the-top content (OTT) service consisting of all out-of-market broadcasts of any MLS match not part of the MLS Soccer Sunday broadcasts nor those of Viernes de Fútbol, the Friday evening presentation of MLS on the networks of Univision. Although the service was intended to begin with the 2015 MLS season in the first year of the new agreement, ESPN decided it could not logistically offer the service that year and MLS continued to offer its MLS Live digital service as it had previous seasons.

Major League Soccer on television

Major League Soccer has been broadcast live in the U.S. nationally since the league's inception in 1996 and in Canada since 2007. In the United States the game is broadcast in English on ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and Fox, in Spanish on Univision Networks. In Canada, MLS is broadcast on TSN in English and TVA Sports in French.

Games not televised nationally are aired by regional sports networks or local broadcast television stations. Teams may also have a contract with a local radio broadcaster to air their games. Some teams air games exclusively in Spanish on radio, others have English only or an English and Spanish radio broadcaster.

NBA on ESPN

The NBA on ESPN refers to the presentation of National Basketball Association (NBA) games on the ESPN family of networks. The ESPN cable network first televised NBA games from 1983 to 1984, and has been airing games currently since the 2002–03 NBA season. ESPN2 began airing a limited schedule of NBA games in 2002. ESPN on ABC began televising NBA games in 2006 (ABC Sports aired NBA games under the title of the NBA on ABC from 2002 to 2006). On October 6, 2014, ESPN and the NBA renewed their agreement through 2025.

WNBA on ESPN

The WNBA on ESPN refers to the presentation of Women's National Basketball Association games on the ESPN family of networks. Under the title of WNBA Tuesday, games are broadcast throughout the WNBA season on Tuesday nights on ESPN2.

In June 2003, the WNBA signed a new six-year agreement with ABC Sports and ESPN to televise regular-season games and playoff games from 2003 through 2008. It was also announced that ESPN2 would televise a half-hour pre-game show before each broadcast.

In June 2007, the WNBA signed another contract extension with ESPN. The new television deal runs from 2009 to 2016. A minimum of 18 games will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 each season. Additionally, a minimum of 11 postseason games will be broadcast on any of the three stations.Along with this deal came the first ever rights fees to be paid to a women's professional sports league. WNBA president Donna Orender and John Skipper, ESPN vice president for content, gave no exact figure but said it was worth "millions and millions of dollars".Beginning with the 2009 WNBA season, all nationally broadcast WNBA games are shown in high definition.

On March 28, 2013, ESPN and the WNBA announced they had extended their agreement through 2022. Under the agreement, there will be up to 30 games a year televised on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 each season, including the Finals. Although the financial terms of the deal were not stated by ESPN or the WNBA, Sports Business Daily reported that sources said the deal was worth $12 million a year. In 2014 ESPN and the WNBA renegotiated the television rights deal to $25 million per year.

Wednesday Night Baseball

Wednesday Night Baseball is a live game telecast of Major League Baseball that airs every Wednesday night during the regular season on ESPN. The game starts at 7pm ET, following SportsCenter, and usually lasts around three hours with an hour-long Baseball Tonight following the game leading up to the 11pm ET SportsCenter (1am ET for September games with Baseball Tonight moving to ESPN2 at 12am ET). The official name is ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire. Every April some broadcasts air on ESPN2 due to ESPN's priority with Wednesday's NBA coverage.

Wednesday Night Baseball is not exclusive to ESPN. The teams' local broadcasters may still air the game. ESPNEWS is seen on ESPN during the game in the teams' designated markets, unless local broadcasters choose not to televise the game. ESPN's blackout (100-mile radius from the stadium, and all of a team's designated market) can be lifted in the latter scenario. On double-headers in September, due to the broadcast of Monday Night Football, either one of the Wednesday Night Baseball games will co-exist with the local markets' carriers and will not always be subject to blackout.

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