ESPN College Football on ABC

ESPN College Football on ABC (branded for sponsorship purposes as ESPN College Football on ABC presented by Walmart or Kay Jewelers) is the branding used for broadcasts of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college football games that are produced by ESPN, and televised on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in the United States. ABC first began broadcasting regular season college football games in 1950 and has aired them on an annual basis since 1966. The network features games from The American, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 conferences. In addition, ESPN also produces a separate prime time regular-season game package for ABC, under the umbrella brand Saturday Night Football. (ESPN and ABC are both owned by The Walt Disney Company).

ESPN College Football on ABC
ESPN College Football logo
Also known asCollege Football on ABC (1966–2006)
GenreCollege football telecasts
Presented byVarious broadcasters
Theme music composerJohn Colby
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons54
Production location(s)Various NCAA stadiums
(Game telecasts and halftime show)
ESPN Center
Bristol, Connecticut, U.S.
(Studio segments)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time210 minutes or until game ends
Production company(s)ABC Sports (1950, 1954. 1960-61 and 1966–2006)
ESPN (2006–present)
Original networkABC
Picture format480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original release
  • First run: 1950
  • Second run: 1966 – present
Related showsCollege Football Countdown
Saturday Night Football


1950, 1954, 1960–1961

ABC has historically aired the premier games, since it has had contracts with all of the major NCAA football conferences at one time or another. Keith Jackson – whose his down-home, folksy style symbolized college football – served as its unofficial voice.

By 1950, a small number of prominent football schools, including the University of Pennsylvania (ABC) and the University of Notre Dame (DuMont Television Network) had entered into individual contracts with networks to broadcast their games on a regional basis. In fact, all of Penn's home games were broadcast on ABC during the 1950 season under a contract that paid the university $150,000. However, prior to the 1951 season, the NCAA – alarmed by reports that indicated television broadcasts had decreased attendance at games – asserted control and prohibited live game broadcasts. Although the NCAA successfully forced Penn and Notre Dame to break their contracts, the NCAA suffered withering attacks for its 1951 policy, faced threats of antitrust hearings and eventually caved in and lifted blackouts of certain sold-out games. Bowl games were always outside the control of the NCAA, and the 1952 Rose Bowl at the end of that season was the first truly national telecast of a college football game, on NBC.[1]

For the 1952 season, the NCAA relented somewhat, but limited telecasts to one nationally broadcast game each week. The NCAA sold the exclusive rights to broadcast the weekly game to NBC for $1.144 million. ABC was able to circumvent these restrictions by producing a television series, Notre Dame Football, that featured a filmed version of the previous day's Notre Dame Fighting Irish football contest, with dead ball time and some inconsequential plays edited out for time, on Sunday evenings in fall 1953. Because the telecast was not live, it was legal under NCAA rules. ABC acquired the exclusive NCAA contract for 1954, losing it in 1955 to NBC.

The NCAA believed that broadcasting a single live game per week would prevent further controversy while limiting any decrease in attendance. However, the Big Ten Conference was unhappy with the arrangement, and it pressured the NCAA to allow regional telecasts as well. Finally in 1955, the NCAA revised its plan, keeping eight national games while permitting regional telecasts on five specified weeks during the season. ABC won the contract under this arrangement for 1960 and 1961.


ABC won the NCAA contract from the 1966 season onwards. This was essentially the television plan that stayed in place until the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in 1981, alleging antitrust violations. The lawsuit, NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, made it all the way to the Supreme Court, who in 1984 ruled in favor of Oklahoma and Georgia and declared the NCAA's forced collective contract a violation of antitrust law. ABC then negotiated with the College Football Association for its game package.

In 1997, ABC began using a fixed on-screen scoreboard on its broadcasts.[2]


In 1998, ABC was awarded the first exclusive Bowl Championship Series television contract beginning with the 1999 series. In 2005, the network lost rights to most of the BCS games, including the BCS National Championship Game, to Fox beginning with the 2006-07 series, in a deal worth close to $20 million per game.[3] Although due to a separate arrangement with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, ABC retained the broadcast rights to events in the series that were held at the Rose Bowl stadium, such as the Rose Bowl Game and the 2010 BCS Championship. ABC sister network ESPN assumed the BCS rights, including the rights to the Rose Bowl, beginning in 2010.[4]

Keith Jackson, who was supposed to retire after the 1998 season, stayed with the network until 2005, in which he announced games televised primarily from the West Coast, where he was based; Jackson's last broadcast with the network was the 2006 Rose Bowl.

In 1999, as Jackson reduced his schedule, ABC began the year with the team of Jackson and Bob Griese intact – albeit not as the lead announcing team, as they almost exclusively handled action from Pac-10 Conference teams; Brent Musburger and Dan Fouts returned, as did the longtime tandem of Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson. These assignments were not permanent and many different combinations were used[5] ABC locked its broadcasting teams in mid-season. Jackson was teamed with Fouts, Musburger was paired with Danielson, and Nessler with Bob Griese.[6]

Prior to the addition of the 12th game on a permanent basis in 2002, ABC aired pre-season classic games including the Kickoff Classic and Pigskin Classic.[7] In the 2005 season, ABC aired 77 games in 36 windows including the National Championship.[8]


In recent years, there have been two set game windows in a typical week. On most Saturdays, the network airs regional games at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Beginning with the 2006 season, ABC started regularly showing prime time games under the Saturday Night Football umbrella, while games with 12:00 p.m. Eastern game times are televised by the network on an occasional basis. This marked a departure from 7:00 p.m. West Coast-only games (ending after the 2006 season) and occasional 8:00 p.m. games (occurring every week as part of Saturday Night Football). Also, the recently developed BCS Spotlight Game was essentially replaced by Saturday Night Football.

The 2006 season was marked by a lot of reshuffling in its broadcasting teams in addition to Jackson, as Lynn Swann left departed from the network to embark on a failed political run, Aaron Taylor left to pursue a career change, and Gary Danielson went to CBS to cover Southeastern Conference games. As a result, Dan Fouts began calling play-by-play.[9]

ESPN, which is majority owned by The Walt Disney Company, has also increased its involvement with ABC over the years. Hosts from the cable channel's College GameDay program typically appear during halftime of the 3:30 game (often to preview the Saturday Night Football game they may have done the broadcast from) and when they are on-site during the Saturday night game. In addition, the announcers have become increasingly interchangeable. From the 2006 season onward, as part of a network-wide rebranding of sports coverage, broadcasts on ABC are now presented under ESPN branding and graphics as ESPN College Football on ABC.

On November 18, 2006, ABC's broadcast of the rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan (then the #1 and #2 teams in the AP Top 25 college football rankings), in which the Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines, 42–39, was the network's highest-rated college football contest in over 13 years.[10]

In 2013, ABC's Saturday Night Football theme music was implemented on all of the college football broadcasts across the ESPN networks, including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

In 2015, a weekly noon window returned (with the exception of week one) for the first time since 2005.

As ESPN has signed new contracts with various conferences to produce college football coverage, the network has begun branding its coverage of select conferences to which it has rights. This branding was first seen on SEC broadcasts in 2011, which became the "SEC on ESPN". ACC broadcasts followed suit in 2012 becoming the "ACC on ESPN". Despite the fact that ACC games also air on ABC, the games remain branded as the "ACC on ESPN" regardless of network. In 2016, a new contract brought conference branding to Big Ten telecasts as well, which air on both ESPN and ABC. While Big Ten games that air on ESPN cable channels are branded as the "Big Ten on ESPN", games airing on ABC are now branded as the "Big Ten on ABC". While the program is still officially part of ESPN College Football which is reflected when talent appears on screen, the Big Ten on ABC logo and branding is used for intro, program IDs, and replay wipes. This is the first time any regularly schedule sporting event outside of the National Spelling Bee has carried any ABC branding since 2006.

Also in 2016, ABC's college football broadcasts were switched to a full 16:9 letterbox presentation on its SD and HD feeds, matching that of its competitors.


Since 1981, ABC has aired the in-studio pre-game show College Football Countdown before its slate of regional games at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For many years, College Football Countdown was broadcast from ABC's Time Square Studios. This ended in 2011 when a new set was built at the ESPN studios in Bristol, CT where the program has aired from since.

ABC aired the Sugar Bowl from 1969 to 2006, the Rose Bowl Game from 1989 to 2010, the Citrus Bowl from 1987 to 2010 and since 2013, and the Celebration Bowl throughout its existence.

From 1998 to 2005, when ABC held the exclusive rights to the Bowl Championship Series,[11] the network aired a Bowl Championship Series Selection Show at the end of Championship Weekend on the Sunday after the games.[12]


At the ESPN Center in Bristol, Connecticut, Kevin Negandhi, Jim Mora, and Jonathan Vilma provide in-studio game analysis, while Cassidy Hubbarth anchors game updates.

See also


  1. ^ "Rose Bowl Game History". KTLA. Tribune Broadcasting. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2008.
  2. ^ Larry Stewart (July 23, 1997). "Pac-10, ABC Unveil Football Extension". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing.
  3. ^ Steven Zeitchik (December 28, 2007). "Fox faces BCS contract challenges". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ Chris Dufresne (June 13, 2009). "Rose Bowl game moving to ESPN in 2011". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing.
  5. ^ "The Jackson Shuffle". St. Petersburg Times. August 27, 1999.
  6. ^ Richard Sandomir (October 22, 1999). "TV SPORTS; The Crown Jewels Are Glittering Anew". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  7. ^ "ABC Sports announces college football talent". August 22, 2002. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  8. ^ "More than 300 games scheduled". August 10, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "TV/RADIO: On CSS today, expect". Florida Times-Union. May 27, 2006. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Michigan at Ohio State: Biggest Audience for a Regular-Season Game Since 1993". ESPN MediaZone (Press release).
  11. ^ Larry Stewart (November 20, 2004). "ABC Drops Out of BCS Bidding". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing.
  12. ^ "Media Notes: December 3". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2009-03-14.

External links

2013 Arizona Wildcats football team

The 2013 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the 2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Wildcats played their home games at Arizona Stadium in Tucson for the 85th straight year. The 2013 season was Arizona's third in the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference and the second for head coach Rich Rodriguez.

2014 Arizona Wildcats football team

The 2014 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The season was the Wildcats's 115th overall, 37th as a member of the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12) and its fourth within the Pac-12 South Division. The team was led by head coach Rich Rodriguez, in his third year, and played its home games at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona for the 86th straight year.

They ultimately finished 10–4, achieving the second 10-win regular season in program history. The Wildcats won the Pac-12 South Division for the first time, advancing to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where they faced the Oregon Ducks. The Wildcats played in the first year of the New Year's Six bowls, netting a berth in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, the school's third major-bowl appearance, where they faced the Boise State Broncos. Arizona lost the game to Boise State, 38–30.

2015 Arizona Wildcats football team

The 2015 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It marked the Wildcats's 116th overall season, 38th as a member of the Pac-12 Conference and its 5th within the Pac-12 South Division. The team was led by head coach Rich Rodriguez, in his fourth year, and played its home games at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, AZ for the 87th straight year. They finished the season 7–6, 3–6 in Pac-12 play to finish in fifth place in the South Division. They were invited to the New Mexico Bowl where they defeated New Mexico.

2016 Arizona Wildcats football team

The 2016 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the 2016 season. The season was the Wildcats's 117th overall, 39th as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, and its sixth within the Pac-12 South Division. The team played their home games at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona for the 88th straight year. They were led by fifth-year head coach Rich Rodriguez. They finished the season 3–9, 1–8 in Pac-12 play to finish in last place in the South Division.

2017 Arizona Wildcats football team

The 2017 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona during the 2017 season. The season was the Wildcats's 118th overall, 40th as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, seventh within the Pac-12 South Division, and the sixth and final year under head coach Rich Rodriguez. The team played their home games at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona for the 89th straight year.

They finished the regular season with a 7–5, 5–4 in Pac-12 play to finish in third place in the South Division, making it into a bowl game. They were invited to the Foster Farms Bowl where they faced Purdue, losing 35–38. Rich Rodriguez was fired after 6 seasons with Arizona. After Rich Rodriguez was fired, Kevin Sumlin was named the Wildcats' new full-time head coach on January 14th, 2018.

College football on television

College football on television includes the broad- and cablecasting of college football games, as well as pre- and post-game reports, analysis, and human-interest stories. Within the United States, the college version of American football annually garners high television ratings.

College football games have been broadcast since 1939, beginning with the 1939 Waynesburg vs. Fordham football game on September 30 in New York City. College football telecasts were historically very restricted due to there being only three major television networks and also because the NCAA controlled all television rights and limited the number of games that aired to protect attendance. A 1984 ruling declaring the NCAA's television restrictions illegal, along with the introduction of sports-specific television networks has increased the amount of air-time available for coverage. Today, dozens of games are available for viewing each week of the football season. Other coverage includes local broadcasts of weekly coach's programs. These programs have become an important sources of revenue for the universities and their athletics programs.

Coverage is dependent on negotiations between the broadcaster and the college football conference or team. The televised games may change from year-to-year depending on which teams are having a strong season, although some traditional rivalry games are broadcast each year. Some games are traditionally associated with a specific event or holiday, and viewing the game itself can become a holiday tradition for fans. Post-season bowl games, including the College Football Playoff, are presently all televised, most of them by the ESPN networks.Universities found to have seriously violated NCAA rules have occasionally been penalized with a "television ban"; the effect can equal that of the "death penalty". The sanction is rarely applied except for the most egregious of circumstances, such as the Southern Methodist University football scandal.

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 on ABC (known as ABC Sports from 1961 to 2006) is the brand used for sports event and documentary programming televised on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in the United States. Officially, the broadcast network retains its own sports division; however, for all practical purposes, ABC's sports division has been merged into ESPN Inc., the parent subsidiary of cable sports network ESPN that is majority owned by ABC's corporate parent, The Walt Disney Company, in partnership with the Hearst Communications.

ABC broadcasts use ESPN's production and announcing staff, and incorporate elements such as ESPN-branded on-screen graphics, SportsCenter in-game updates, and the BottomLine ticker. The ABC logo is used for identification purposes as a digital on-screen graphic during sports broadcasts on the network, and in promotions to disambiguate events airing the broadcast network from those shown on the ESPN cable channel.The broadcast network's sports event coverage carried the ABC Sports brand prior to September 2, 2006. When ABC acquired a controlling interest in ESPN in 1984, it operated the cable network separately from its network sports division. The integration of ABC Sports with ESPN began after The Walt Disney Company bought ABC in 1996. The branding change to ESPN on ABC was made to better orient ESPN viewers with event telecasts on ABC and provide consistent branding for all sports broadcasts on Disney-owned channels (shortly thereafter, ESPN2's in-game graphics were likewise altered to simply use the main "ESPN" brand). Despite its name, ABC's sports coverage is supplemental to ESPN and (with occasional exceptions) not a simulcast of programs aired by the network, although ESPN and ESPN2 will often carry ABC's regional broadcasts that otherwise would not air in certain markets.

Gary Thorne

Gary Thorne (born June 9, 1948) is the lead play-by-play announcer for MASN. He has also worked for ESPN and ABC, including National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, college football, and the Frozen Four hockey tournament. He also works for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he is the narrator for the WrestleMania Rewind program on its WWE Network streaming video service.

Kevin Negandhi

Kevin Negandhi is an American sports anchor for ESPN's SportsCenter as well as ESPN College Football on ABC.In addition to hosting SportsCenter, he also hosts Baseball Tonight, College Football Live and Outside the Lines on ESPN and is a fill-in anchor on NFL Live and Cold Pizza. He is the first anchor of Indian-American descent to be on a national sports network in American television history. Negandhi joined ESPN in September 2006 and made his debut on ESPNews in October 2006.

List of American television programs currently in production

This is a list of American television programs currently in production.

List of programs broadcast by American Broadcasting Company

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is a commercial broadcast television network that is owned by the Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Headquartered on Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street in Manhattan, ABC is the fifth-oldest major broadcasting network in the world. The network began its TV operations in 1948.

Saturday Night Football

ESPN Saturday Night Football (branded for sponsorship purposes as ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC presented by Wells Fargo or Walmart) is a weekly presentation of prime time broadcasts of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college football games that are produced by ESPN, and televised on ABC. Games are presented each Saturday evening starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time during the college football regular season, although as of 2017 some games will occasionally have a start time of 7:30 p.m. ET (some weeks until 2015 saw no game on ABC due to Saturday evening Sprint Cup Series NASCAR coverage; ESPN would then carry that week's high-profile game instead, with ESPN2 carrying a secondary game usually seen on ESPN/ABC). The ESPN on ABC Saturday Night Football coverage began in 2006, as both ESPN and ABC are owned by The Walt Disney Company. It is ESPN's biggest game of the week, usually the matchup from ESPN College Gameday earlier that morning.

As of 2019, the primary broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Chris Fowler and analyst Kirk Herbstreit, with Maria Taylor as sideline reporter. Kevin Negandhi, Jim Mora, and Jonathan Vilma host the studio halftime show, as well as the brief pre-game show branded as the “Nissan Pregame Rush”, and Matt Barrie hosts the brief “Ford Wrap-Up” post-game shows. Other ESPN broadcast teams may also occasionally appear for regional (and some national) telecasts.

Schooled (TV series)

Schooled is an American television sitcom and a direct spin-off to The Goldbergs. It was ordered by ABC with Tim Meadows, Bryan Callen and AJ Michalka set to star in it. The concept aired as a backdoor pilot on a January 24, 2018 episode of The Goldbergs called "The Goldbergs: 1990-Something". The series premiered on January 9, 2019. In May 2019, ABC renewed the series for a second season.

The Conners

The Conners is an American television sitcom created for ABC as a spin-off of Roseanne. The series is produced by Werner Entertainment, with Bruce Helford serving as showrunner.

The series stars John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, Jayden Rey, and Maya Lynne Robinson, with all except Robinson reprising their roles from Roseanne. Development on a spin-off began following the cancellation of Roseanne in May 2018, due to a comment that was widely viewed as racist made by Roseanne Barr on Twitter. The next month, ABC ordered the series and confirmed the adult principal cast's involvement, while Kenney, McNamara, and Rey were confirmed in August. It airs in the Tuesday, 8:00 PM, slot its predecessor was scheduled to hold during the 2018–19 television season. The series premiered on October 16, 2018. On October 26, 2018, ABC ordered an extra episode, bringing the episode order to 11. On March 22, 2019, the show was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. On May 14, 2019, ABC ordered six extra episodes, bringing the episode order to 19.

The Goldbergs (2013 TV series)

The Goldbergs is an American television period sitcom that premiered on September 24, 2013, on ABC. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg and stars Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, and George Segal. The show is produced by Adam F Goldberg, Seth Gordon, and Doug Robinson. It is based on Goldberg's childhood and family in the 1980s, complete with a childhood version of himself. On May 11, 2019, ABC renewed the series for a seventh season.

The Great American Baking Show

The Great American Baking Show is an American cooking competition television series and an adaptation of The Great British Bake Off (which is aired in the United States under the title The Great British Baking Show). Its first season aired on ABC under the title The Great Holiday Baking Show. The show is the second licensed adaptation of the GBBO format in the United States. In 2013, CBS produced one season of The American Baking Competition, which was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, with Paul Hollywood and Mexican-American chef Marcela Valladolid as judges.

The first two seasons were hosted by Nia Vardalos and Ian Gomez, with Mary Berry from the original GBBO series and American pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini as judges. The third season was hosted by cookbook author Ayesha Curry and former football player Anthony Adams. Iuzzini returned as judge and was joined by original GBBO judge Paul Hollywood. The season was pulled off schedule following sexual harassment allegations against judge Iuzzini, who was officially fired from the show and ABC. On May 4, 2018, the show was renewed for a fourth season.

ESPN College Football on ABC
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