ESPN is unofficially referred to as the `Worldwide Leader in Sports`, initially stood for Entertainment and Sports Programming Networks. However, the full name was dropped in February 1985 when the company adopted a new corporate name, ESPN, Inc., and a new logo.
It is an American cable television network dedicated to broadcasting sports related programmes 24 hours and 7 days a week. Founded by Scott Rasmussen and his father Bill Rasmussen, who was a television sports reporter, this channel was launched in the year 1979. ESPN broadcasts primarily out of its studios in Bristol, Connecticut; it also operates offices out of Charlotte, San Francisco, and Los Angeles which will open in 2009. Available in over 100 million homes in the United States and over 150 countries and territories via ESPN International. The name of the sport company was lengthened to "ESPN Inc." in February 1985.
This channel now has its own theme music like almost every other channel, unlike in the initial stages where the channel used source music. Apart from ESPN sports, ESPN also has ESPN classic in the US, which was launched in the year 1997. This channel brings viewers the greatest moments in sport.
ESPN is an internationally acclaimed channel. ESPN has become a part of popular culture since its inception. The name is constantly referenced throughout the media in movies and television. While the announcers may be actual personalities, in many films where there is a sporting event, the coverage is by ESPN. People who do not even watch sports are familiar with ESPN. It brings viewers in Asia the most exciting sports action from around the world. The channels mix of regional and international programming ensures fans enjoy the most comprehensive sports coverage. ESPN features international as well as regional sports events and more cricket than any other television channel. ESPN is available in the following markets: Hong Kong / India / Indonesia / Mainland China / Malaysia / Philippines / Singapore / Taiwan / Thailand.
Sports channels have consistently been the second most watched genre after mass entertainment. On an all-India level, Hindi entertainment channels have a share of 21 per cent as against six per cent for sports and three per cent for news. Even during months when India doesn`t play cricket, the share of sports channels remains at par with news channels, and is higher than music and English entertainment channels. The reach for niche sports such as soccer and F1 has grown and thus it is not just cricket, which drives the viewer ship for sports channels. It is the market, which sets priority for its choice of sports.
ESPN was launched in India in 1995 with the India-New Zealand cricket series. Since then the channel has continued to grow and thrill its audiences with superior quality. India beams over 90 channels to millions of TV sets across the nation and sitting on top of this cluster is the ESPN sports channel with its high quality and highly innovative broadcasts. Besides live sports action ESPN channel brings to its viewers other sporting programmes like cricket, Formula 1, soccer and tennis, golf, boxing, horse-racing, news shows, and special shows such as Harsha-Online and Harsha-Unplugged, which are able to attract a lot of viewers. Harsha-Online, for one, has grown 12 per cent over the financial year 2003. ESPN also claims that viewer ship of the channel`s show, Sports Centre, has grown by 16 per cent and Sports line is being shown in Hindi while Sports Centre is changing over to English.
ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 partnership, a joint venture between two of the world`s leading cable and satellite broadcasters. As Asia`s ultimate and complete sports broadcaster and content provider, ESPN STAR Sports combines the strengths and resources of its ultimate parent companies - Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.) and News Corporation Limited (STAR) - to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to viewers via its encrypted pay and free-to-air services.
ESPN STAR Sports
showcases an unmatched variety of premier live sports from around the globe, 24 hours a day. ESPN STAR Sports has 13 networks covering 24 countries, each localized to deliver differentiated world-class premier sports programming to Asian viewers. ESPN Start Sports will also launch a new channel named Star Cricket, dedicated to cricket from the month of June, despite the dismal performance of the Indian cricket team in the 2007 world cup. This channel will be aired in the Asia Pacific region. They plan to add quality first class cricket coverage from around the globe as well. The channel will also showcase feature programming on cricket including reality shows, archival programming and magazine shows. It will be regarded as a one-stop destination for cricket lovers.