ESPN in History

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Events in Film & TV

  • 1979-03-01 ESPN and NCAA come to an agreement giving the network worldwide multi-media rights to NCAA championships for various sports
  • 1979-09-07 The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) makes its debut.
  • 1980-06-03 ESPN begins televising college world series games
  • 1988-12-02 ESPN airs its 10,000th edition of 'Sports Center', making it the most televised cable program in history
  • 1989-01-05 Baseball signs $400M with ESPN, showing 175 games in 1990
  • 1995-07-31 Walt Disney announces the acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion; network of properties now consists of Disney, ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2
  • 1997-11-12 Dick Vitale signs with ESPN through year 2004

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2005-09-12 Mark Messier announces on ESPN radio that he will retire from the NHL

NHL Legend Mark Messier
NHL Legend
Mark Messier
  • 2011-12-15 ESPN and the NCAA extend their TV rights deal through 2023-24, giving the network worldwide multi-media rights to 24 NCAA championships for various sports; deal worth $500m
  • 2018-01-06 Jon Gruden returns to the NFL as Oakland Raiders head coach after nearly a decade of broadcasting (ESPN Monday Night Football 2009-17)

Birthdays in Film & TV

  • 1927-12-20 Jim Simpson, American sportscaster, (NBC, ESPN) born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2016)
  • 1929-04-03 Lee Leonard, American television personality (ESPN, CNN), born in NYC, New York (d. 2018)
  • 1935-01-09 Richard "Dick" Enberg, American sportscaster (NBC, CBS, ESPN), born in Mt Clemens, Michigan (d. 2017)
  • 1939-05-26 Brent Musburger, American sportscaster (CBS Sports, The NFL Today; ESPN, ABC; VSiN; radio play-by-play Las Vegas Raiders), born in Portland, Oregon
  • 1939-06-09 Dick Vitale, American basketball sportscaster (ESPN), born in Passaic, New Jersey
  • 1943-09-19 Joe Morgan, American MLB 2nd baseman (Reds) and commentator (ESPN), born in Bonham, Texas
  • 1950-03-09 Andy North, American golfer, broadcaster (US Open 1978, 85; ESPN), born in Thorp, Wisconsin
  • 1952-04-12 Ralph Wiley, American sports journalist and writer (Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Page 2), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 2004)
  • 1952-05-11 Mike Lupica, American sports journalist and newspaper columnist (New York Daily News, ESPN), born in Oneida, New York
  • 1955-05-10 Chris Berman, sportscaster (ESPN)
  • 1955-11-03 Phil Simms, American NFL quarterback (Super Bowl 1986 [MVP], 90; NY Giants) and broadcaster (ESPN, NBC CBS), born in Springfield, Kentucky
  • 1956-05-23 Buck Showalter, American baseball manager (AL Manager of the Year 1994, 2004, 14; NY Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles) and analyst (ESPN, YES network), born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida
  • 1959-09-01 Kenny Mayne, American sports journalist, broadcaster (ESPN), born in Kent, Washington
  • 1959-09-11 Robert Wrenn, American golfer, sportscaster, course designer (ESPN), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1959-11-10 Linda Cohn, American sportscaster (ESPN's SportsCenter), born in Long Island, New York
  • 1961-01-02 Craig James, American NFL running back and sports commentator (Pro Bowl 1985; New England Patriots; ABC, ESPN), born in Jacksonville, Texas
  • 1963-08-17 Jon Gruden, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2002, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Oakland Raiders) and broadcaster (ESPN), born in Sandusky, Ohio
  • 1965-03-12 Steve Levy, American sports journalist (ESPN), born in New York, New York
  • 1965-04-01 Mark Jackson, American basketball guard (NBA All Star 1989; Rookie of the Year 1988; NY Knicks), coach (Golden State Warriors) and broadcaster (ESPN), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1965-07-19 Stuart Scott, American sportscaster (ESPN), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2015)
  • 1965-09-23 Mark Woodforde, Australian tennis player (12 x Grand Slam doubles titles; 5 x GS mixed doubles titles; Olympic gold 1996) and broadcaster (Fox Sports, ESPN), born in Adelaide, South Australia
  • 1965-10-16 Tom Tolbert, American sports broadcaster (KNBR SF-'The Razor & Mr. T'; NBC, ESPN, ABC) and basketball forward (GS Warriors, Orlando Magic, LA Clippers), born in Long Beach, California
  • 1971-11-05 Dana Jacobson, American TV host (ESPN's First Take), born in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • 1972-07-22 Keyshawn Johnson, American NFL wide receiver (Super Bowl 2002; Pro Bowl 1998-99, 2001; ESPN), born in Los Angeles, California

Weddings in Film & TV

  • 2012-12-17 Minnesota Vikings football quarterback Christian Ponder (25) weds ESPN reporter Samantha Steele (27) in Hudson, Wisconsin

Deaths in Film & TV

  • 1996-08-13 Tom Mees, ESPN sports anchors (NHL), drowns at 46
  • 2004-06-13 Ralph Wiley, American sports journalist and writer (Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Page 2), dies from a heart attack at 52
  • 2015-01-04 Stuart Scott, American sports journalist (ESPN), dies of cancer at 49
  • 2017-12-21 Richard "Dick" Enberg, American sportscaster (NBC, CBS, ESPN), dies of a heart attack at 82
  • 2018-12-16 Lee Leonard, American television personality (ESPN, CNN), dies at 89