ESPN on ABC

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.[1]

The broadcast network's sports event coverage carried the ABC Sports brand prior to September 2, 2006.[2] 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.

ESPN on ABC
ESPN on ABC logo 2D.
New ESPN on ABC logo, introduced in 2013.
NetworkABC
Launched1961 (as ABC Sports); 2006 (as ESPN on ABC)
Closed2006 (as ABC Sports)
Country of originUnited States
OwnerESPN Inc.
HeadquartersBristol, Connecticut
Major broadcasting contractsNBA
College football
(Saturday Night Football)
Formula One
Little League World Series
X Games
NFL Draft
UFC
Formerly known asABC Sports (1961–2006)
Original Language(s)English
Official websiteOfficial website

History

Pre-Disney/ESPN

Like its longtime competitors CBS Sports and NBC Sports, ABC Sports was originally part of the news division of the ABC network, and, after 1961, was spun off into its own independent division.

When Roone Arledge came to ABC Sports as a producer of NCAA football games in 1960, the network was in financial shambles. The International Olympic Committee even wanted a bank to guarantee ABC's contract to broadcast the 1960 Olympics. At the time, Edgar Scherick served as the de facto head of ABC Sports. Scherick had joined the fledgling ABC television network when he persuaded it to purchase Sports Programs, Inc., in exchange for the network acquiring shares in the company.[3] Scherick had formed the company after he left CBS, when the network would not make him the head of its sports programming unit (choosing to instead appoint former baseball public relations agent William C. McPhail). Before ABC Sports even became a formal division of the network, Scherick and ABC programming chief Tom Moore pulled off many programming deals involving the most popular American sporting events.

While Scherick was not interested in "For Men Only," he recognized the talent that Arledge had. Arledge realized ABC was the organization he was looking to become part of. The lack of a formal organization would offer him the opportunity to claim real power when the network matured. With this, he signed on with Scherick as an assistant producer, with Arledge eventually ascending to a role as executive producer of its sports telecasts.[4]

Several months before ABC began broadcasting NCAA college football games, Arledge sent Scherick a remarkable memo, filled with youthful exuberance, and television production concepts which sports broadcasts have adhered to since. Network broadcasts of sporting events had previously consisted of simple set-ups and focused on the game itself. In his memo, Arledge not only offered another way to broadcast the game to the sports fan, but recognized that television had to take fans to the game. In addition, he had the forethought to realize that the broadcasts needed to attract, and hold the attention of female viewers, as well as males. On September 17, 1960, the then-29-year-old Arledge put his vision into reality with ABC's first NCAA college football broadcast from Birmingham, Alabama, between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs which Alabama won, 21–6.

Despite the production values he brought to NCAA college football, Scherick wanted low-budget sports programming (as in inexpensive broadcasting rights) that could attract and retain an audience. He hit upon the idea of broadcasting track and field events sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Union. While Americans were not exactly fans of track and field events, Scherick figured that Americans understood games.

In January 1961, Scherick called Arledge into his office, and asked him to attend the annual AAU board of governors meeting. While he was shaking hands, Scherick said, "if the mood seemed right, might he cut a deal to broadcast AAU events on ABC?" It seemed like a tall assignment, however as Scherick said years later, "Roone was a gentile and I was not." Arledge came back with a deal for ABC to broadcast all AAU events for $50,000 per year. Next, Scherick and Arledge divided up their NCAA college football sponsor list. They then telephoned their sponsors and said in so many words, "Advertise on our new sports show coming up in April, or forget about buying commercials on NCAA college football this fall." The two persuaded enough sponsors to advertise on the broadcasts, though it took them to the last day of a deadline imposed by ABC's programming operations to do it.

Wide World of Sports – an anthology series featuring a different sporting event each broadcast, which premiered on the network on April 29, 1961[5][6] – suited Scherick's plans exactly. By exploiting the speed of jet transportation and flexibility of videotape, Scherick was able to undercut NBC and CBS's advantages in broadcasting live sporting events. In that era, with communications nowhere near as universal as they are in the present day, ABC was able to safely record events on videotape for later broadcast without worrying about an audience finding out the results. Arledge, his colleague Chuck Howard, and Jim McKay (who left CBS for this opportunity) made up the show on a week-by-week basis during the first year of Wide World's run. Arledge had a genius for the dramatic storyline that unfolded in the course of a game or event. McKay's honest curiosity and reporter's bluntness gave the show an emotional appeal which attracted viewers who might not have otherwise watched a sporting event. More importantly from Arledge's perspective, Wide World of Sports allowed him to demonstrate his ability as an administrator as well as a producer.

His ability to provide prime sports content was solidified in 1964, when ABC appointed Arledge as the vice president of ABC Sports.[7] That same year, Scherick left the sports division to become ABC's vice president of programming – leaving Arledge as the top executive at ABC Sports, although he would not gain a formal title as president for four years.

In 1968, Arledge was formally appointed as president of ABC Sports. As the sports division's president for the succeeding 18 years, his job was his hobby; as he described it, it was good because he watched sports for work rather than leisure, but had a downside as he had no time left for leisure activities. He made sportsmen into stars, a trend he would later bring to the news division where he lured established anchors and correspondents such as David Brinkley and Diane Sawyer and paid unheard-of salaries, including the first million-dollar contract to Barbara Walters.[8]

Arledge personally produced all ten of ABC's Olympic Games broadcasts, created the primetime Monday Night Football and coined the famous "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" tagline first used on Wide World of Sports – although ABC insiders of that era attribute the authorship to legendary sports broadcaster Jim McKay. Over the next few years, the look of the network's sports telecasts became more intimate and entertaining as under Arledge, ABC introduced techniques such as slow motion replay, freeze frame, instant replay, split-screen, hand-held cameras, endzone cameras, underwater cameras and cameras on cranes.

As part of an agreement with the National Football League (which completed its merger with the American Football League that year), Monday Night Football debuted on ABC in September 1970,[9] which served as the NFL's premier game of the week until 2006, when Sunday Night Football, which moved to NBC that year as part of a broadcast deal that in turn saw MNF move to ESPN, took over as the league's marquee game. Although it suffered a decline in ratings toward the end of its ABC run, the program was a hit for the network; according to ABC president Leonard Goldenson, Monday Night Football helped regularly score ABC an audience share of 15%–16%.[10]

With the creation of Monday Night Football, Arledge not only anchored ABC's primetime programming, but created a national pastime. At first, nobody – including the affiliates and the advertisers – supported the idea of primetime football games at the beginning of the week. Arledge said regarding this skepticism, "But I thought there was something special about football, because there are so few games, and relatively few teams. Also, there is something about the look of a night game, with the lights bouncing off the helmets."

It was not only the lights that made watching Arledge-style football on ABC an event in itself. The games were transformed into events through the technical innovations envisioned by Arledge and through a new style of sportscaster embodied in Howard Cosell. ABC was the first network not to allow announcer approval by the league from which it was purchasing broadcast rights. Arledge said, "CBS had been the basic football network. They treated it like a religion and would almost never criticize it. But if you screwed up on Monday Night Football, Cosell would let everyone know about it." Arledge proudly pointed out that the program "changed the habits of the nation."

In 1977, Arledge's executive responsibilities at ABC were expanded, and he was made president of ABC News while remaining as head of ABC Sports.

1980s and 1990s: Disney purchase and ESPN integration

ABCSportsAt1993Indy500
The ABC Sports broadcasting complex at the 1993 Indianapolis 500.

The seeds of its eventual integration with ESPN occurred when ABC acquired a controlling interest in ESPN from Getty Oil in 1984. One year later, Capital Cities Communications purchased ABC for US$3.5 billion. Although some ESPN sportscasters such as John Saunders and Dick Vitale began to also appear on ABC Sports telecasts and shared some sports content (particularly the USFL), ESPN and ABC Sports continued to operate as separate entities.

After The Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC in 1996, Disney started to slowly integrate ESPN and ABC Sports. ESPN personalities like Chris Berman, Mike Tirico and Brad Nessler also began working on ABC Sports broadcasts. In 1998, ESPN adopted the graphics and music package used by ABC Sports for Monday Night Football for the network's Sunday Night Football broadcasts. ESPN graphics were also utilized on ABC's motorsports telecasts, including IndyCar and NASCAR events, during this period.

That same year, ESPN signed a five-year contract to televise National Hockey League (NHL) games, whereby the cable network essentially purchased time on ABC to air selected NHL games on the broadcast network. This was noted in copyright tags at the conclusion of the telecasts (i.e., "The preceding program has been paid for by ESPN, Inc."). ESPN later signed a similar television rights contract with the National Basketball Association in 2002, allowing it to produce and broadcast NBA games on ABC under a similar time buy on the broadcast network.[11]

2000–2005: Continued integration

Abcsports06
Alternate ABC Sports logo, used from 2001 to 2006.

Between 2000 and 2002, many ABC Sports programs utilized graphics almost identical to those used on ESPN. One notable exception was Monday Night Football, which switched to a different graphics package as part of then-new producer Don Ohlmeyer's attempt to provide some renewed vigor into those telecasts. Subsequently, ABC changed graphics packages each fall from 2002 to 2005, while ESPN's basically remained consistent.

Meanwhile, Disney continued to consolidate the corporate structure of ESPN and ABC Sports. Steve Bornstein was given the title as president of both ESPN and ABC Sports in 1996. The sales, marketing, and production departments of both divisions were eventually merged. As a result, ESPN uses some union production crews for its coverage (as the networks normally do), whereas non-union personnel are quite common in cable sports broadcasting.

2006–present: The end of ABC Sports and introduction of ESPN on ABC

In August 2006, it was announced that ABC Sports would be totally integrated into ESPN, incorporating the graphics and music used by the cable channel and its related television properties, and production staff. The brand integration does not directly affect whether the ESPN cable channel or ABC carries a particular event, as in most cases this is governed by contracts with the applicable league or organization. Perhaps confusingly, this means that some events are broadcast with ESPN branding during ABC coverage, even though another channel owns the cable rights. For example, TNT held the cable television rights to the British Open from 2003 to 2009 (with ABC carrying the tournament's weekend coverage); in addition, since 2009, ABC has shared the rights to IndyCar Series with NBCSN. IndyCar fans who have criticized ESPN on ABC's race broadcasts have used "Always Bad Coverage" as a derisive backronym pertaining to the quality of the telecasts.[12] On the other hand, ESPN airs Major League Baseball games; however, ABC does not as Fox holds the broadcast television rights to the league's game telecasts.

The last live sporting event televised under the ABC Sports banner was the United States Championship Game in the Little League World Series on Saturday, August 26, 2006 (ABC was slated to carry the Little League World Series Championship Game on Sunday, August 27, however rain forced the postponement of the game to the following Monday, August 28, with that game subsequently airing on ESPN2). The changeover took effect the following weekend to coincide with the start of the college football season, with NBA, IndyCar Series and NASCAR coverage eventually following suit.

However, ABC used a separate graphics package (incorporating the network's own logo) during its coverage of the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which were similar to the older-styled ESPN graphics but with a yellow base. In 2008, though, it utilized the newer yellow and red ESPN graphics which had been used on other recent telecasts, but with the ABC logo. These graphics were used through 2010. In 2011, the Bee was moved off of network TV and the telecast began to be produced by Scripps Television, which uses its own graphics.

Limited re-emphasis on ABC brand since 2015

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". The next year, in 2017, the Pac-12 Conference began branding their games under the title, "Pac-12 on ESPN". 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 scheduled sporting event outside of the National Spelling Bee has carried any ABC branding since 2006.

Also starting with Saturday Primetime in 2017, live NBA game action no longer shows the ESPN identification on screen. Previously under ESPN on ABC (since 2006–07), the ESPN logo was part of the score banner, while the ABC logo was separately floating on the right side of the screen, remaining on screen during replays. The version of the new 2016–17 graphics package used on ABC replaces the ESPN logo in the score banner with several stars, while the ABC logo (still constantly on screen) anchors the right side of the banner; however for the 2017–18 season, the ESPN logo was reintroduced onto a revised version of the score banner with the ABC logo still located to the right. In addition, commercial transitions for ABC games now contain the ABC logo. It is the first time NBA games on ABC don't have ESPN identification during live action since the 2006 NBA Finals.

ESPN, ABC Sports, and Hearst

ESPN on ABC
ESPN on ABC logo, used from its introduction in 2006 until 2012.

Despite the rebranding, ABC Sports continues to exist, at least nominally, as a division of the ABC network. One indication of this was the retention of George Bodenheimer's official title as "President, ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports" even after the rebranding – the second part of the title would presumably be unnecessary if ESPN had fully absorbed ABC's sports operations – though following Bodenheimer's retirement and the subsequent appointment of John Skipper at the end of 2011, the title was shortened to "President, ESPN Inc."[13] In addition, ABC itself maintains the copyright over many of the ESPN-branded broadcasts, if they are not contractually assigned to the applicable league or organizer, suggesting that ESPN has merely "loaned" usage of its brand name, staff and infrastructure to ABC, rather than having acquired ABC Sports outright. ABC News Radio also continues to brand its short-form sports updates as ABC Sports Radio;[14] this service is separate from the ESPN Radio network.

This is likely a minor technicality stemming from ESPN being technically a joint venture between Disney (which owns an 80% controlling interest) and the Hearst Corporation (which owns the remaining 20%). Disney has long exercised operational control of the network, while Hearst is believed to be more of a silent partner rather than an active participant in ESPN's management. However, this relationship does mean that Hearst's ABC-affiliated stations – such as WCVB-TV in Boston; WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire; WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh; WISN-TV in Milwaukee; WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach; and KMBC-TV in Kansas City – have right of first refusal to local simulcasts of ESPN-televised Monday Night Football games involving home-market teams, which are very rarely waived to other stations within their markets. Equally, other Hearst-owned stations such as NBC affiliates WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, WBAL-TV in Baltimore, and WDSU-TV in New Orleans have been able to air NFL games from ESPN for the same reason (independent station WMOR-TV in the Tampa market is also eligible to air these games, but rarely if ever does so).[15]

Under NFL broadcasting rules, the league's cable-televised games must be simulcast on broadcast television in the local markets of the teams playing in the broadcast, though the game is not permitted to air in the home team's market if tickets do not sell out 72 hours before kickoff – games that are not sold out must be blacked out in the market of origin (due to the league's March 2015 decision to suspend its blackout policies, all NFL games televised by ESPN during the 2015 season are allowed to air on broadcast television in the originating market of the game and the home markets of both participating teams). Similar rules and rights were previously in place for ESPN-televised Major League Baseball playoff games, except in that non-sellout games were not blacked out (Major League Baseball does not black out games based on attendance, but rather to protect local broadcasters). ABC owned-and-operated stations also have right of first refusal for NFL (and previously Major League Baseball postseason) simulcasts from ESPN, though in recent years the stations have passed on airing the game telecasts in favor of carrying ABC's Monday night schedule, which includes the popular reality competition series Dancing with the Stars.[16]

Siphoning

ESPN and The Walt Disney Company have been criticized for decreasing the amount of sports programming televised on ABC. Several ABC affiliates have also voiced opposition regarding the increasing migration of live sporting event telecasts from ABC to ESPN.[17]

An example was in regards to NASCAR race broadcasts: from 2007 to 2009, ABC aired all of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races, along with one other race. From 2010 to 2014, only three Sprint Cup races and one Chase race (Charlotte) were shown on ABC, to the outrage of many NASCAR fans and sponsors. Several other events such as college football's Rose Bowl and Capital One Bowl games, and the British Open golf tournament have also been transferred from ABC to ESPN (although the Capital One Bowl would return to ABC in 2013). This, however, is not entirely the fault of ESPN, as ABC in general has attracted a primarily female viewership in recent years, with sports largely attracting a male-dominated –though not exclusive – audience.[18]

The decrease in sports events televised by ABC has resulted in the network having a very inconsistent weekend afternoon sports schedule similar – if not somewhat equal – to Fox in previous years (and to some extent, to this day, even with the expansion of sports coverage on Fox since 2011); ESPN-produced sports specials (aired as part of the 30 for 30 and E:60 anthology series) and/or more recently, figure skating and gymnastics specials supplied by Disson Skating (a subsidiary of independent production company Disson Sports & Entertainment) as well as syndicated programs or infomercials scheduled by the network's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates fill the weekend afternoon schedule on days when the network is not scheduled to air a sporting event; until 2014, ABC-supplied rerun blocks of certain prime-time network shows and occasional theatrical film telecasts have also filled the schedule on weekend afternoons without a scheduled sports event. As a consequence of this, ABC turned over an hour of its then-existing two-hour Sunday afternoon block (from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to its affiliates on June 21, 2015, reducing its Sunday schedule on weeks without major sporting events to one hour; the 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) hour that was retained is usually reserved for rebroadcasts of ESPN sports documentaries. However, as of January 2016, ABC rescinded the remaining hour of its Sunday afternoon schedule (5:00–6:00 pm Eastern Time) back to its affiliates thus leaving ABC without a Sunday afternoon block (save for major sporting events). This exclusively relegated ABC's sports schedule to Saturday afternoons (and by extension, ABC's non-news weekend schedule to 3:00 to 6:00 pm and 8:00 to 11:00 pm on Saturdays and 7:00 to 11:00 pm on Sundays). ABC's in-house network-programmed Sunday schedule not counting news-related programming as a result of this is now exclusively relegated to its four-hour prime time block (from 7:00 to 11:00 pm).

In the past few years, ABC gave up several lucrative sports contracts. It gave up the rights for the American Le Mans Series in 2013 when it merged with the Rolex Grand Am Series to form the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and subsequently moved to Fox. It also ended its FIFA coverage with rights also being transferred to Fox one year later in 2014. It then lost the NASCAR broadcast rights the same year with the rights being picked up by NBC. Also, it phased out the last of its college basketball coverage also in the same year (the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament) with the tournament being moved to the ESPN cable networks. It also gave up its highlights show relating to the British Open golf tournament one year later. In 2016, ABC ended its regularly scheduled doubleheaders for its NBA Sunday Showcase, opting to opening up a window for Saturday night games and leaving single games on Sunday afternoons in most cases.[19] In addition, ABC discontinued airing Grantland-related programming when the brand shut down operations in October. The network also lost rights to broadcast the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, in 2018 with the rights moving to NBC Sports (moving the race away from ABC after 54 years); coincidentally in that same year, ABC will air several Formula One races a year after ESPN acquired the F1 rights from NBC Sports.

ESPN has announced they will simulcast an NFL Wild Card Playoff game on ABC starting in 2016, marking the first time ABC will have an NFL game since Super Bowl XL.[20] Additionally, ABC simulcast ESPN's coverage of rounds 4-7 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Picture format differences from ESPN cable outlets

Unlike other ESPN networks, ESPN on ABC events were still produced with graphics and a BottomLine framed for the 4:3 aspect ratio – as opposed to the 16:9 formatting used for the ticker and graphics on the ESPN family of networks, as well as CBS, Fox, and NBC's sports telecasts. However, beginning during the 2016 Little League World Series in August 2016, ABC migrated to a 16:9 presentation for ESPN on ABC broadcasts, similar to the ESPN cable networks, as ABC's entertainment programming also switched to a 16:9 presentation in September.[21]

Taglines

Until 2001, ABC Sports programs ended with the line "This has been a presentation of ABC Sports. Recognized around the world as the leader in sports television." Beginning in 2001, ABC changed the tagline to "ABC Sports: Championship Television," in regards to ABC's sports lineup (which included the BCS Championship Game, the Stanley Cup Finals, rights to Super Bowl coverage, and would later include the NBA Finals). Ever since the ESPN on ABC integration, the ESPN tagline – "This has been a presentation of ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports" – has been used at the end of each broadcast on ABC.

Programs throughout the years

Current

(Saturday & Sunday mid bracket coverage due to more than one game playing at once)

Additional programming

Former programs

Notable personalities

Current

Play-by-play

Analysts

Reporters

Studio hosts

Former

Play-by-play

Analysts

Reporters

Studio hosts

Behind-the-scenes personnel

Presidents

ABC Sports

ESPN

Main competitors

References

  1. ^ Deitsch, Richard (August 10, 2006). "Worldwide leader expands". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on August 23, 2006. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "'ESPN on ABC' to debut during college football season". ESPN. ESPN Inc. Associated Press. August 10, 2006.
  3. ^ Ford 2004, p. 468.
  4. ^ Goldenson & Wolf 1991–1993, p. 182.
  5. ^ Mike Meserole (December 6, 2002). "Arledge Created Monday Night Football". ESPN Classic. ESPN Inc. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  6. ^ Ford 2004, p. 466.
  7. ^ "Roone Arledge at the Encyclopedia of Television". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Roone Arledge". Columbia College. June 18, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  9. ^ Goldenson & Wolf 1991–1993, p. 210.
  10. ^ Goldenson & Wolf 1991–1993, p. 211.
  11. ^ Richard Sandomir (June 10, 2015). "Without Showing Games, ESPN Leaves a Mark on the N.B.A. Finals". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  12. ^ Robin Miller (July 12, 2012). "Miller's Mailbag, 7.12". Speed. Fox Sports Media Group.
  13. ^ Michael Cieply; Brian Stelter (November 22, 2011). "Disney Promotes a New Leader at ESPN". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  14. ^ ABC Sports Radio - ABC Radio (accessed August 10, 2018)
  15. ^ [1] Archived March 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "WGN-TV To Carry Monday Night's Bears/Cowboys Game, Plus Local Pre-Game Show". Chicagoland Radio and Media. October 7, 2012.
  17. ^ Jon Consoli (February 9, 2010). "ABC affiliates upset about losing sports to ESPN". Reuters. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  18. ^ "ABC adds 14 new shows for next season". WJLA-TV. Allbritton Communications Company. Associated Press. May 14, 2013.
  19. ^ "NBA on ABC Broadcast Schedule". National Basketball Association. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "NFL Wild Card Playoff Game Will Return to ESPN – and Be Simulcast for the First Time on ABC". ESPN. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  21. ^ "Picture perfect: ABC now full 16:9; TVs might need to be updated". WBRZ.com. Louisiana Television Broadcasting, LLC. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  22. ^ "Marty Reid Fired: ESPN Replaces NASCAR, IndyCar Announcer After Nationwide Gaffe (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. September 29, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  23. ^ "Dennis Swanson Retires as ABC Sports President". Philadelphia Inquirer. April 11, 1996.
  24. ^ "Bornstein to lead ABC". The Telegraph-Herald. April 12, 2001. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  25. ^ "Howard Katz resigns as ABC Sports President". ABC Sports. ESPN.com. April 18, 2003. Retrieved May 15, 2012.

Bibliography

External links

2006 Rose Bowl

The 2006 Rose Bowl Game, played on January 4, 2006 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, was an American college football bowl game that served as the BCS National Championship Game for the 2005 College Football season. It featured the only two unbeaten teams of the 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season: the defending Rose Bowl champion and reigning Big 12 Conference champion Texas Longhorns played Pacific-10 Conference titleholders and two-time defending AP national champions, the USC Trojans.

The game was a back-and-forth contest; Texas's victory was not secured until the game's final nineteen seconds. Vince Young, the Texas quarterback, and Michael Huff, a Texas safety, were named the offensive and defensive Rose Bowl Players Of The Game. ESPN named Young's fourth-down, game-winning touchdown run the fifth-highest rated play in college football history. The game is the highest-rated BCS game in TV history with 21.7% of households watching it, and is often considered the greatest college football national championship game of all time. Texas's Rose Bowl win was the 800th victory in school history and the Longhorns ended the season ranked third in Division I history in both wins and winning percentage (.7143). It was only the third time that the two top-ranked teams had faced each other in Rose Bowl history, with the 1963 Rose Bowl and 1969 Rose Bowl games being the others.

The 92nd-annual Rose Bowl Game was played, as it is every year, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, in the United States.

This was the final game ever called by longtime broadcaster Keith Jackson (as well as the final Rose Bowl to telecast under ABC Sports branding); the 2007 Rose Bowl would be an ESPN on ABC presentation.

This was the first college football game to feature two Heisman Trophy winners in the same starting lineup. USC's quarterback Matt Leinart and running back Reggie Bush won the award in 2004 and 2005, respectively, although Bush would later forfeit the award.

2007 NBA Finals

The 2007 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2006–07 season, and was the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs and the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. This was Cleveland's first trip to the NBA Finals in their franchise history and San Antonio's fourth. The Spurs swept the Cavaliers 4 games to 0. Tony Parker was named the series' MVP. The series was televised on ABC under the ESPN on ABC branding, and produced low television ratings comparing to the 2002 NBA Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers swept the New Jersey Nets.

This series was the last sweep in the NBA Finals until 2018, where the losing team was once again the Cleveland Cavaliers.

2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season

The 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season was the highest level of college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The regular season began on August 28, 2008 and ended on December 6, 2008. The postseason concluded on January 8, 2009 with the BCS National Championship Game in Miami Gardens, Florida, which featured the top two teams ranked by the Bowl Championship Series (BCS): the #2 Florida Gators and #1 Oklahoma Sooners. Florida defeated Oklahoma by a score of 24–14 to win their second BCS title in three years and third overall national championship in school history. The Utah Utes were selected national champions by Anderson & Hester after beating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, finishing the season as the nation's only undefeated team.

2012 Irwin Tools Night Race

The 2012 Irwin Tools Night Race was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on August 25, 2012 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Contested over 500 laps, it was the twenty-fourth race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing won the race, his first at Bristol and third of the 2012 season. Jimmie Johnson finished second and Jeff Gordon was third. Nearly 150,000 people attended this 189-minute racing event.This race was broadcast on ABC (through ESPN on ABC), but was not available in all areas. A handful of ABC affiliates aired NFL preseason football games, with most of the affected affiliates preempting the race altogether, although at least one joined the race in progress in its final hour. Because of this, WOTV in Battle Creek, Michigan was the only West Michigan ABC affiliate airing the race, as WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan was simulcasting WXYZ-TV in Southfield, Michigan's Detroit Lions coverage and, unlike WXYZ-TV, chose not to join the race in progress, choosing to air syndicated programming instead.

Brienne Pedigo

Brienne Pedigo-Christopher is an American auto racing pit reporter, employed by ESPN and ESPN on ABC for NASCAR and formerly for the Indy Racing League.

ESPN BottomLine

BottomLine is ESPN's lower third sports information ticker. It is uniform in design and used on all ESPN networks. It displays current sports scores, stats, and headlines in a 'push-then-scroll' format. It also serves as a display for urgent information, such as breaking sports news, breaking significant national news from ESPN sister network ABC, updated scores, a rain delay notification, or the move of a game from one ESPN network to another.

On special occasions, a customized version of the ticker may be used; some examples are Pi day, in which a Pi symbol is placed next to the ESPN logo, and the 4th of July, when an American flag surrounds the ESPN logo.

ESPN College Basketball on ABC

ESPN College Basketball on ABC (originally College Basketball on ABC) is the branding formerly used for broadcasts of NCAA Division I college basketball games produced by ESPN, and televised on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). ABC broadcast select college basketball games during the 1960s and 1970s, before it began televising them on a regular basis on January 18, 1987 (involving a game between the LSU Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats). As CBS and NBC were also broadcasting college games at the time, this put the sport on all three major broadcast television networks. ABC's final regular college basketball broadcast aired on March 7, 2009 (between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners).

ESPN Sports Saturday

ESPN Sports Saturday was an American sports anthology television program that was broadcast on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). Produced by sister cable sports network ESPN, it premiered on April 3, 2010. The two-hour program regularly aired on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time between mid-January and late August (due to the network's college football coverage during the fall) to fill time on weeks when ABC did not air any afternoon sports programming. However, it has since become the ABC simulcast of the ESPN 30 for 30 specials that now air during the Saturday afternoon timeslot on ABC thus officially ending the anthology show.The program featured a hosting segment, originally by Hannah Storm and later various anchors featured on ESPN's flagship program, Sportscenter. It was ultimately dropped in August 2015 due to a change in format thus officially making ESPN Sports Saturday obsolete (sans for its 30 for 30 airings).

ESPN, which like ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company, has handled ABC's sports coverage since 2006 under the ESPN on ABC umbrella, and ESPN Sports Saturday could be considered a descendant of ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Content on the series initially included "Winners Bracket", a segment consisting of highlights, as well as specials sourced from other ESPN documentary programs, including Homecoming with Rick Reilly, 30 for 30 and E:60. Upon the show's return after the 2010 college football season, the "Winners Bracket" hour of the block was later replaced by a new weekly discussion series that showcased the best of the ESPN sports discussion shows including new exclusive content on the upcoming week's major sporting events. The program was eventually cancelled after 5 seasons in August 2015. This was because ABC gave back the Sunday afternoon schedule to its affiliates 4 months later. Also, with the rise of the Internet and 24/7 mobile applications and streaming services specializing in sports news have completely eliminated the need for a traditional anthology sports program airing on broadcast television (including ABC) during weekend afternoons. It also eliminated the need for a separate Sunday afternoon block on ABC which had seen a long decline until January 2016. It is now simply a simulcast of the 30 for 30 documentary series sourced from ESPN.

Gannon

Gannon is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Bob Gannon (1959-2017), American businessman and politician

Craig Gannon (born 1966), English guitarist

Jeff Gannon (born 1957), pen name of James Guckert, a former White House reporter

Jim Gannon (born 1968), English football manager

Jim Gannon (rugby league) (born 1977), Australian professional rugby league player

John D. Gannon (1948–1999, computer scientist, professor at the University of Maryland

John Mark Gannon (1877–1968), former archbishop of the Diocese of Erie

Kelli Gannon (born 1978), former field hockey midfield player from the United States

Kim Gannon (1900–1974), American songwriter

Mary Gannon (born 1868), co-founder of the architectural firm Gannon and Hands

Michael Gannon (born 1980) American Businessman

Rich Gannon (born 1965), National Football League quarterback

Tim Gannon (born 1948), polo player, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse

Terry Gannon (born 1963), sportscaster for ESPN on ABC and ESPN

George Bodenheimer

George Bodenheimer (born May 6, 1958) is the former president of ESPN Inc. and of ABC's sports division, known since 2006 as ESPN on ABC. He was president of ESPN since November 19, 1998 and of the former ABC Sports since March 3, 2003.

The Sports Business Journal named Bodenheimer the most influential person of 2008 on a list of 50 people.As of January 1, 2012, Bodenheimer was the executive chairman of ESPN, with John Skipper replacing him as president. On December 18, 2017, he became acting chairman of ESPN after Skipper announced his resignation.

Grantland Basketball Hour

The Grantland Basketball Hour is a primetime show on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN on ABC in which sports and pop culture journalist, Bill Simmons and sports media journalist Jalen Rose discuss current events surrounding the NBA. The show began on October 21, 2014, and was contracted by ESPN for 18 episodes to cover the 2014–15 NBA season.

IndyCar Series on ABC

The IndyCar Series on ABC, also known as the IndyCar Series on ESPN, was the branding used for coverage of the IndyCar Series produced by ESPN, and formerly broadcast on ABC television network in the United States (through its ESPN on ABC division).

Lisa Salters

Alisia "Lisa" Salters (born March 6, 1966) is an American journalist and former collegiate women's basketball player. She has been a reporter for ESPN and ESPN on ABC since 2000. Previously, she covered the O.J. Simpson murder case for ABC and worked as a reporter at WBAL-TV in Baltimore from 1988 to 1995.Salters has reported worldwide for ESPN, including a series of reports from the Middle East prior to the Iraq War. In addition, she has hosted ESPN's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics from Turin, Italy, and ESPN's coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Currently, she is a sideline reporter for ABC's coverage of the NBA and ESPN's Monday Night Football.

List of programs broadcast by ESPN

The following is a list of programs currently, formerly, or soon to be broadcast on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN on ABC.

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.

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.

Thoroughbred Racing on ESPN

ESPN and ESPN2's coverage of Thoroughbred racing consisted of NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby., Road To The World Thoroughbred Championships/NTRA Racing to the Breeders' Cup, a series of prep races for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, the post position draw for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes undercard races, the Kentucky Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, NTRA 2Day At the Races, Racing Across America, the Preakness undercard races, the Eclipse Awards show, and Long John Silver's Wire to Wire (previously known as RaceHorse Digest), a weekly thoroughbred racing magazine show. They also had Triple Crown morning shows such as Breakfast at Churchill Downs and Breakfast at Pimlico. ESPN also broadcast NTRA Super Saturdays as well.

From 2006 to 2011, ESPN broadcast the Breeders' Cup. ESPN on ABC also broadcast a portion of the Breeders' Cup.

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