The Arkansas vs. Tennessee Tech football game tonight will be broadcast on ESPN 3. This is the online channel of ESPN. The game is at 7:00 P.M. EST.
ESPN2 is an American sports cable television network owned by ESPN. The channel debuted on October 1, 1993.
ESPN2 was initially branded as a network for a younger generation of sports fans. This mandate was phased out by the late 1990s, as the channel increasingly served as a second outlet for ESPN's mainstream sports coverage. ESPN2 is carried in 89 million homes in the United States, eleven million fewer than ESPN.
ESPN2 launched on October 1, 1993 at 7:30 p.m. ET with the first edition of its sports news program SportsNight, originally hosted by Keith Olbermann and Suzy Kolber—where Olbermann opened the show by jokingly quipping, "Welcome to the end of my career." Launching with an estimated carriage of about 10 million homes, ESPN2 aimed to be a more informal and youth-oriented channel than ESPN, with a heavier emphasis on programming that would appeal to this demographic. 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 nightly talk show hosted by radio personality Jim Rome, which was billed as being the Larry King Live for sports), Max Out (an extreme sports anthology carried over from ESPN), and SportsSmash, a 5-minute rundown of sports news and scores which aired every half-hour. Event coverage would focus on coverage of conventional sports popular within the demographic (such as auto racing, college basketball, and NHL hockey), while also covering atypical sports such as BMX and other extreme sports.
ESPN2 would also be used for experimental broadcasts and technology. On September 18, 1994, ESPN2 aired a simulcast of ESPN's coverage of 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.
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).
In the late 1990s, ESPN2 would phase out its youth-oriented format and begin to serve as a secondary outlet for ESPN's mainstream programming. The "graffiti 2" logo was dropped in 2001 and replaced with a variant of ESPN's normal logo, and telecasts began to use a more traditional style. However, on-screen graphics (such as the BottomLine) would use a blue color scheme instead of red to differentiate it from ESPN. On February 12, 2007, the use of ESPN2 branding would also be dramatically reduced—while the ESPN2 name would be retained for branding and identification purposes, in-game graphics and other elements began to simply use the normal ESPN logo.
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, regular season KHL games, many Major League Soccer games, NCAA basketball games, the WNBA, the Arena Football League, and NASCAR Nationwide Series races on Saturday afternoons. In 2011, ESPN2 also picked up delayed broadcast rights for some American Le Mans Series events, with ABC broadcasting the major events.
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. Also featured on ESPN2 are the ATP World Tour Finals and US-based tournaments, including the ATP Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami, as well as the US Open Series.
Most of ESPN's soccer output is broadcast on ESPN2. This includes Major League Soccer, all Premier League matches on Saturday mornings and Monday afternoons, two dozen La Liga matches, and the United States' 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. ESPN2 formerly broadcast matches of the UEFA Champions League, until rights for that tournament moved to Fox Soccer Channel and its sister stations.
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 TV simulcast of ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning (which moved from ESPNews) and moved to a later time slot (10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST). In May 2007, Cold Pizza moved from New York City to the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, 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.
In 2003, ESPN2 began broadcasting Major League Lacrosse games. In March 2007, both agreed on a contract that will run until the 2016 season.
Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a program that featured interviews with popular sports figures, had averaged extremely low ratings, and had also faced several time slot changes, until it was finally canceled in January 2007.
A 720p high definition simulcast of ESPN2 launched in January 2005. Originally branded as 'ESPN2HD, the channel airs at least 8.5 hours per day of high definition programming (not including live event coverage). As with ESPNHD, ESPN2HD uses stylized pillarboxes during programming not produced in widescreen.
In January 2011, the separate ESPN2HD branding began to be phased out, as in May 2011, the channel would shift to using the widescreen format on both its high definition and standard definition feeds (through letterboxing).
ESPN2 has also simulcast many games with ESPN, usually as a part of an ESPN Full Circle special, 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 ESPNews programming, often during local blackouts, and for a while provided a Sunday simulcast of ESPN Deportes' SportsCenter. In return, ESPN2 is often seen on ESPN during local blackouts.
ESPN2 also often carries SportsCenter on days where the regular ESPN broadcast is overrun by a longer than expected sporting event. ESPN and ESPN2 also jointly aired 2 episodes of a documentary special called This is SportsCenter, where ESPN showed a documentary showing the production of a SportsCenter episode, while the finished product aired on ESPN2. The documentary would usually air for two hours where hour one would cover the preliminary production of the night's show on ESPN while ESPN2 aired ESPN's normal 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 September 11, 2001 attacks.
ESPN2 also aired the men's basketball SEC Championship Game in 2008 to most of the nation, since a storm damaged the initial site of the tournament, causing the schedule to be rearranged in conflict with CBS's coverage of the Big Ten Championship Game. The game was produced by CBS. In SEC territory, the Big Ten game appeared on ESPN2.
The Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs, are the names of college sports teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The term Arkansas Razorbacks properly applies to any of the sports teams (men or women) at the university. The Razorbacks take their name from the pig of the same name. The University of Arkansas student body voted to change the name of the school mascot (originally the Cardinals) in 1910 to the Arkansas Razorbacks after a hard fought battle against LSU in which they were said to play like a bunch of Razorback hogs. The Arkansas Razorbacks are the only major sports team in the US with a porcine nickname, though the Texas A&M–Kingsville Javelinas play in Division II.
The University of Arkansas currently fields 19 total varsity teams (eight men's and 11 women's) in 13 sports. The seven men's varsity sports includes baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, track and field; the 11 women's varsity sports includes basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, indoor track, swimming and diving, outdoor track, tennis, softball and volleyball. The Arkansas Razorbacks compete in the NCAA's Division I (I FBS in football) and is currently a member of the Southeastern Conference (Western Division).
On December 4, 2012, the University of Arkansas named Bret Bielema the football team's new head coach. The position was previously held by John L. Smith, who served as the interim coach while UofA found a replacement for Bobby Petrino after Petrino was released from his duties with cause on April 10, 2012. Petrino followed the ten season tenure of Houston Nutt. The team plays its home games either at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, located on the University of Arkansas campus, or at War Memorial Stadium, located in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1964, the Razorbacks were the only team to go through the regular season and a bowl game undefeated, and they were awarded the Football Writers Association of America National Championship. The 1969 team, led by legendary quarterback Bill Montgomery, challenged the Texas Longhorns for a national championship in the Game of the Century.
The basketball team plays its home games in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. One of the top 10 NCAA programs of all time, the Razorbacks were ushered into the modern era on the shoulders of Coach Eddie Sutton (800 game winner). Under the leadership of Nolan Richardson, the Razorbacks won the NCAA tournament in 1994 defeating Duke University, and appeared in the championship game the following year, but were beaten by UCLA. The Razorbacks have been to NCAA Final Four in 1941, 1945, 1978, 1990, 1994 and 1995, though the first two were achieved before the NCAA gathered the final four teams in one site.
The current head coach for the men's basketball team is Mike Anderson. The former assistant under Nolan Richardson has returned to Arkansas. On 26 March 2007, Stan Heath was fired as the head coach of the men's basketball team. John Pelphrey ultimately replaced Heath and made the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, but did not make any subsequent postseason appearances and was fired after the 2010-11 season. Pelphrey compiled a 69–59 overall record and 25–39 SEC conference record while at Arkansas. Mike Anderson was announced as the new men's Basketball head coach on March 23, 2011.
The baseball team, led by former Texan Dave Van Horn reached the 2012 College World Series compiling a 2-0 record in Omaha before falling in consecutive games to two time defending national champion South Carolina in the championship of Bracket Two. South Carolina was defeated in the National Championship Series by Arizona.
The Razorbacks also reached the 2009 College World Series, joining previous appearances in Omaha in 2004, 1979 (finished runner-up); 1985; 1987 and 1989. The team plays home games in Baum Stadium, which finished several major renovations in 2004 and 2009.
Many Razorbacks players have gone on to the majors, perhaps the most successful is Cliff Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award Winner, with the most recent being Dallas Kuechel of the Houston Astros.
The track and field team was under the direction of legendary John McDonnell for over 25 years (since the 1977–78 academic year). McDonnell's men's teams have won 42 NCAA championships since 1984, including 12 cross country, 19 indoor track and 11 outdoor track along with 37 Southwest Conference Championships, and 38 of 40 SEC titles. The Razorbacks, under his direction, won five National Triple Crowns, achieved by winning NCAA titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in the same school year. Arkansas and the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) are the only teams to have ever won the National Triple Crown. The track and field Razorbacks men completely dominated the sport during the 1990s, winning 24 of the 30 available titles.
The Razorbacks golf teams are based at The Blessings golf course in Fayetteville. From the back tees of the course, the rating is 79.1 and its slope is 153, making it one of the most difficult golf courses in the U.S.
The men's golf team has won two conference championships: 1958 Southwest Conference and 1995 Southeastern Conference. R. H. Sikes won the NCAA Championship in 1963 and the team place second in 2009.
Founded in 1971, the University of Arkansas Rugby Club is the longest tenured sports club on campus. Arkansas plays college rugby in the Division 1 Heart of America conference, a conference composed mostly of Big 12 and SEC teams.The team plays at Walker Park, just south of the Donald W. Reynolds Stadium. Arkansas rugby is led by head coach Warren Fyfe.
Arkansas has consistently been one of the best teams in the Heart of America conference, winning the conference title in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, and finishing second in 2011-12. Arkansas defeated Kansas 28-12 to reach the finals of the 2012 Heart of America 7s tournament, where they lost to Lindenwood.
Historically, Arkansas' most heated rivalry was with the Longhorns of the University of Texas. However, the rivalry has become much less intense since the two teams joined different conferences in the early 1990s and now meet up infrequently. Texas leads the series in football and baseball, while Arkansas holds the series lead in basketball and track & field.
Another rival from the state of Texas is Texas A&M. During their Southwest Conference rivalry days, the two teams played annually in all sports. In 2009, the rivalry resumed again on an annual basis, being played each year at Cowboys Stadium. (see Arkansas–Texas A&M rivalry) The rivalry in all other sports resumed in the fall of 2012 after A&M joined the SEC.
Since joining the Southeastern Conference the Razorbacks have developed a rivalry with Louisiana State University (LSU Tigers) in football. The game between these two teams usually takes place near the end of the season and has sometimes decided the SEC Western Division Championship. The winner of this game takes home the "Golden Boot" which is a gold trophy in the shape of the two states. Arkansas took the Golden Boot home in 2007 with a 50–48 win over the #1 ranked Tigers in Baton Rouge. This was their first time winning the trophy since 2002. Arkansas and LSU have also built a rivalry in baseball, as the two schools have been at the top of the NCAA attendance standings for the past several seasons. In 2001, despite coming into the series in last place in the SEC West, Arkansas swept a three-game series from top-ranked LSU, which won the 2000 College World Series, in Fayetteville.
In basketball, the primary rival for the Razorbacks in the SEC had been the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky. This rivalry developed during the coaching tenures of Rick Pitino at Kentucky and Nolan Richardson at Arkansas when Kentucky was annually in competition for a national title and Arkansas had a few good years as well.
However, as of the 2012-13 Academic year, the Men's Basketball team's new rivalry is the Missouri Tigers, who joined the SEC conference in 2012. The two Universities had squared off 37 times prior to the 2012-13 season, with the Razorbacks holding a 19-18 edge in the overall series.
Inside the state of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas has contiuned to maintain the policy of not competing against other in-state Division I schools  There are now four other Division I schools in the state of Arkansas: Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. ASU is the only school of the three to compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision; UALR does not have football, while UAPB and UCA compete in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
After classes were first held at the university, a contest was held on campus to select school colors. Cardinal (a shade of deep red) was selected over heliotrope, a shade of moderate purple. The first Arkansas football team was formed that same year and was known as the "Arkansas Cardinals". Sometime around the year 2000, the color black began making its way onto Razorback merchandise and eventually some team uniforms. Indeed, for some time, the Collegiate Licensing Company (responsible for all UA licensed gear) touted the university's colors as red and black instead of cardinal red and white. While this has been corrected, many manufacturers of UA related merchandise still make product according to the red and black color scheme.
In 1909 the football team finished a 7–0 season allowing only 18 points on defense and scoring 186 points on offense. College Football Hall of Fame coach Hugo Bezdek proclaimed his team played "like a wild band of razorback hogs". The name proved so popular that it was changed for the 1910 season. The tradition of calling the hogs, “Woo, Pig! Sooie” was added in the 1920s.
In 1957 Frank Broyles was hired as head football coach and served in that position for 19 years. Broyles team was awarded the 1964 National Championship by the Football Writers Association of America and the Helms Athletic Foundation. At the time, The AP and UPI awarded the designation before bowl games, and gave the award to Alabama. However, Alabama lost their bowl game to Texas, while Arkansas won their bowl game against Nebraska. The FWAA and HAF awarded their National Championship designations to Arkansas, who was the only team to go undefeated through bowl games that year. Both the University of Arkansas and the University of Alabama claim National Championships for the year 1964. However, by the standards of today, Alabama is recognized as the official National Champion.
Arkansas has been publicly criticized for still claiming a National title in football to this day.
In 1969 Broyles team was ranked #2 and played the #1 Texas Longhorns, coached by Darrell Royal, at Fayetteville. The game, known as "The Big Shootout" is perhaps the most notable football game in Razorback history. President Richard Nixon was even in attendance. The Razorbacks led 14–0 until the 4th quarter. Texas scored 15 unanswered points and won the National Championship 15–14.
After Broyles left coaching and became Athletic Director he hired Lou Holtz to take his former position. Holtz served as head football coach from 1977 through the 1983 season. Under Holtz the Razorbacks lost a National Championship in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama and beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl ending their National Championship hopes.
The basketball team rose to prominence in the 1970s under the coaching of Eddie Sutton and with future NBA star Sidney Moncrief along with Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer, three similarly-sized Arkansas bred guards, known as "The Triplets." The team made a Final Four appearance under Sutton, finishing 3rd by defeating Notre Dame on a last second shot in the now defunct consolation game.
In the 1980s the football team was coached by Ken Hatfield and established itself as a powerful running team. The Razorbacks challenged for the SWC title each year and went to the Cotton Bowl Classic twice. Hatfield's teams established excellent regular season records, but had difficulty winning bowl games.
In 1990 Broyles led the Razorbacks out of the Southwest Conference and into the Southeastern Conference, setting off a major realignment in college football. In 1995 Arkansas won its first SEC Western Division Title in football.
In 1994 Nolan Richardson's basketball Hogs won the NCAA Tournament. Richardson's basketball teams challenged for the SEC and National Championships regularly during the 1990s, making three trips to the Final Four and two trips to the championship game while compiling a record of 389–169 (.697) in his 17 years as the head coach.
On 10 December 1997, Houston Nutt was hired as head football coach for the Razorbacks (1998 season was his first full season) to replace his predecessor, Danny Ford, who had been head coach since 1993. Highly sought after as a Little Rock Central quarterback, Nutt had been the last recruit to sign under Broyles, but transferred to Oklahoma State once he did not fit Holtz's offensive plans.
Soon after Houston Dale Nutt's timely departure, Razorback fans rejoiced as Atlanta Falcons Coach Bobby Petrino called the Hogs. Petrino quickly rebuilt the depleted Razorback football program into a top ranked nationally relevant program leading them to a BCS game in 2010 and the school's third 11 win season with a top five season ranking in the 2011 season. Petrino was subsequently fired as details of an affair with a member of his staff and Petrino's attempts to cover up this relationship surfaced. AD Jeff Long introduced John L. Smith as the interim coach for the 2012 season in late April.
Smith entered the season as the steward of a pre-season top ten squad with multiple pre-season Heisman hopefuls. He recorded the school's first loss to a Sunbelt team in the program's 100 year history as Louisiana Monroe pulled the upset in Little Rock. In only his second game he had managed the second largest drop from the AP ranking narrowly missing the number one spot held by Michigan after losing the season opener to Appalachian State just threes years before.
On December 4, 2012, the school named former University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema as head coach for the 2013 season.
The live mascot for the University of Arkansas is named Tusk. He is a Russian boar that closely resembles a wild razorback hog and weighs in at approximately 400 pounds. Tusk attends all home Razorback football games, as well as various other events.
There are a number of costumed mascots for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks that attend most major sporting events. Big Red (aka the "Fighting Razorback") is the traditional mascot for the University and represents the intimidating fighting spirit of the Razorbacks at all athletic events. Sue E., is the female hog and is famous for her costume changes and dancing ability. Pork Chop is the "kid" mascot. Boss Hog, a nine-foot inflatable mascot, joined the mascot family during the 1998–99 football season.
The Razorback was officially adopted as the University's mascot in 1909 after Hugo Bezdek, the coach at the time, stated after a big win that his team played like a "wild band of razorback hogs". Subsequently, the razorback became the mascot for the entire university, replacing the cardinals as the official mascot. The only current athletic logo for the University is the classic or running hog as has been depicted on the program's football helmets. The university has ceased manufacture of memorabilia with any of the other logos in an attempt to re-brand the athletic department.
ESPN (originally an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is an American-based global cable and satellite television channel, that is owned as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network, through its 80% ownership interest) and Hearst Corporation (which holds a 20% interest). The channel focuses on sports-related programming including live and recorded event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming.
ESPN broadcasts primarily from studios located in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami; New York City; Seattle; Charlotte; and Los Angeles. John Skipper is ESPN's current president, a position he has held since January 1, 2012. While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, it has been subject to criticism, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.
Founded by Bill Rasmussen, his son Scott Rasmussen and Aetna insurance agent Ed Eagan, ESPN launched on September 7, 1979, under the direction of Chet Simmons, the network's President and CEO (and later the United States Football League's first commissioner). The Getty Oil Company provided funding to begin the new venture via executive Stuart Evey.
ESPN's signature telecast, SportsCenter, debuted with the network and aired its 50,000th episode on September 13, 2012. In early 2009, ESPN opened an office and studio facility in Los Angeles located at L.A. Live, from which the late night edition of SportsCenter is now broadcast.
ESPN launched its high definition simulcast feed, originally branded as ESPNHD, on March 20, 2001. All studio shows based in Bristol and at L.A. Live, along with most live event telecasts, are broadcast by ESPN in high definition. ESPN is one of the few networks with an all-digital infrastructure. Footage from non-HD sources is presented in 4:3 standard definition with stylized pillarboxing. Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn began airing in HD on September 27, 2010, with the relocation of the production of both shows to the building housing the ABC News Washington bureau.
ESPN, as with Disney/ABC's other broadcast and cable networks, uses the 720p HD resolution format because ABC executives proposed a progressive scan signal that resolves fluid and high-speed motion in sports better, particularly during slow-motion replays.
In 2011, ESPNHD began to downplay its distinct promotion logo in preparation for a shift of its standard definition feed from a 4:3 full-screen to a letterboxed format, which occurred on June 1 of that year.
On January 5, 2010, ESPN announced that it would launch a new 3D television channel called ESPN 3D. The network debuted on June 11, 2010, with coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. During its first year, ESPN projected that it would air around 100 events in 3D within its first year.
Originally, ESPN 3D only aired simulcasts of 3D events from other ESPN channels, but on February 14, 2011, the network switched to a 24-hour format with repeat airings of past 3D events.
In June 2013, ESPN announced that it would shut down ESPN 3D by the end of the year due to "limited viewer adoption of 3D services".
Alongside its live sports broadcasts, ESPN also airs a variety of sports highlight, talk, and documentary styled shows. These include:
ESPN has been a part of popular culture since its inception. Many movies with a general sports theme will include ESPN announcers and programming into their storylines such as in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which gently lampoons the channel's multiple outlets by referencing the as-yet-nonexistent ESPN8, "The Ocho", a reference to a nickname formerly used for ESPN2, "the Deuce"; the slogan for the network was "If it's almost a sport, you'll find it here!"; cyclist Lance Armstrong appears in a scene and says he loves the channel. In the film The Waterboy, Adam Sandler's character Bobby Boucher has his college football accomplishments tracked through several fictional "SportsCenter" newscasts including the "Bourbon Bowl".
ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons often jokes that he is looking forward to running a future network; SportsCenter anchors appeared as themselves in music videos by Brad Paisley (I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)) and Hootie and the Blowfish (Only Wanna Be With You); and the 1998 ABC series Sports Night was based on an ESPN-style network and its titular, SportsCenter-analogue flagship sports results program. Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's character from the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, fictitiously auditions for a position on SportsCenter just days before the network's launch in 1979, and fails miserably. He then claims that the idea (of a 24 hour sports network) will never become popular, and will be a financial and cultural disaster (claiming it's as ridiculous as a 24-hour cooking network or an all music channel). This was originally shot as a SportsCenter piece celebrating ESPN's 25th anniversary in 2004, and was subsequently included as an extra on the Anchorman DVD.
Many jokes have been made by comedians about fake obscure sports that are shown on ESPN. Dennis Miller mentioned watching "sumo rodeo", while George Carlin stated that ESPN showed "Australian dick wrestling". One of several Saturday Night Live sketches poking fun at the network features ESPN2 airing a show called Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly, which includes a fake advertisement for "Senior Women's Beach Lacrosse". SNL also parodies ESPN Classic with fake archived obscure women's sportscasts from the 1980s such as bowling, weight lifting and curling, with announcers who know nothing about the sport, and instead focus on the sponsors which are always women's hygiene products. In the early years of ESPN, Late Night with David Letterman even featured a "Top Ten List" poking fun at some of the obscure sports seen on ESPN at the time. One of the more memorable sports on the list was "Amish Rake Fighting". A recurring skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon named Sports Freak-Out! is a parody of SportsCenter's overexcited anchors.
An occasional joke in comedic television and film involves people getting ESP (an abbreviation for Extrasensory Perception, and an irony considering ESPN was initially supposed to be named "ESP") confused with ESPN, often including someone saying something along the lines of "I know these kind of things, I've got ESPN". Electronic Arts in the early 1990s used to have a faux sports network logo on their sports games called EASN (Electronic Arts Sports Network), but soon changed to EA Sports after ESPN requested that they stop using it. There are at least 22 children named after the network.
ESPN is sometimes accused of having a bias towards certain teams. ESPN and the ACC have a rights deal that extends through the 2026-27 season which provides additional football, men's and women's basketball and Olympic sports coverage on a variety of platforms. This has prompted suggestions that the network may have a bias based on financial motivation.
A wide variety of national sports networks, as well as networks dedicated to a single sport, have surfaced in recent years.
National sports networks
College GameDay is an ESPN entertainment show previewing college football games. It first aired in 1987 with Tim Brando as host and Lee Corso and Beano Cook as commentators. Beginning more-or-less as a report on college football games, the show would undergo a radical transformation beginning in 1993 as the show began incorporating "live" broadcasts. The official name of the show is College GameDay built by The Home Depot. There is a separate radio broadcast, ESPN Radio College GameDay, on ESPN Radio.
Today, the only original cast member remaining is Lee Corso. Chris Fowler serves as host and Kirk Herbstreit, former Ohio State quarterback, serves as Corso's counterpart and foil. Starting in 2008, Desmond Howard has been added to the cast in the show's introduction. Craig James, currently providing analysis on ESPN Thursday Night games and on ABC's Saturday afternoon games, was on the show in the mid-1990s. Nick Lachey joined the crew as a contributor during the 2005 season. Erin Andrews joined the GameDay crew as a co-host and contributor in 2010, replaced in 2012 by Samantha Ponder.
The show is known for its prediction segment that appears on each broadcast. Typically there are three predictors: Corso, Herbstreit, and an invited guest, usually a celebrity, prominent athlete, or radio personality associated with the host university or school for that week. The end of the show always concludes with a catch phrase and prediction from Corso, who subsequently dons the mascot's headgear of the school he predicts to win the game, usually to the ire or excitement of local fans.
As of Season 24 (2010), College GameDay airs for 3 hours. The first hour of the show is broadcast from ESPNU at 9am ET, with the 2 remaining hours of the show on ESPN from 10am-noon ET.
College GameDay kicked off its 25th and 26th seasons from Arlington, Texas on September 3, 2011 and September 1, 2012, respectively.
In 1993, GameDay began broadcasting live from outside a stadium hosting a game most Saturdays. The selected stadium is usually hosting one of the biggest matchups of the day, regardless of whether the game airs on an ESPN network. The first show "on the road" took place at South Bend, Indiana for the match up between #2 Notre Dame and #1 FSU. The show takes on a festive tailgate party atmosphere, as thousands of fans gather behind the broadcast set, in view of the show's cameras. Many fans bring flags or hand-painted signs as well, and the school's cheerleaders and mascots often join in the celebration. Crowds at GameDay tapings are known to be quite boisterous and very spirited. Flags seen at the broadcast are not limited to those of the home team; for example, one large Washington State flag can be seen at every broadcast, regardless of the location or the teams involved. The idea began in 2003 on WSU online fan forums and has resulted in the flag being present at more than 131 consecutive GameDay broadcasts since 2004.
The show's current intro and theme music is performed by country music duo Big & Rich, who perform their 2005 crossover hit "Comin' to Your City" with revised lyrics that mention several top college teams and a guest appearance by Cowboy Troy. Additional music that has been used for the show include "Boom" by the rock group P.O.D.
Typically, the show will end with Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit issuing their predictions for that day's key matchups, finishing with the game to be played at the stadium hosting GameDay, for which Corso signifies his prediction by donning the head piece of the mascot of his predicted winner. Starting with the 2009 season, a celebrity guest picker will give picks for the day's key games alongside the GameDay regulars (such as Bob Knight when GameDay aired from Texas Tech in 2008). Prior to 2009, this was not done on a regular basis.
In past years, when no suitably important game is available, it will originate instead from the ESPN studios. (Herbstreit, who in 2006 became a game analyst for ABC's Saturday Night Football, is not allowed to make a pick for the game at which he is assigned due to parent company Disney's conflict of interest rules; however, he is allowed to give one or two keys to the game.)
College GameDay was also a source for many arguments regarding the purported east coast bias: From 1993 until 2004, GameDay had only been to two regular season games on the entire West Coast (1998 at UCLA and 2000 at Oregon). Given the popularity of the show and the media coverage it brought to the highlighted game, teams and fans of the West Coast teams felt that the show was only magnifying the perceived problems with excess media focus on East, South and Midwest games; ESPN attributed its lack of West Coast games to the need for a very early start time (07:00 AM PST) and an alleged lack of high quality matchups.
With the addition of the Saturday Night Football game on ABC in 2006, GameDay has increasingly aired from that game. This could be done for many reasons including the fact Kirk Herbstreit is on both programs, thus making it easier for him. Another reason could be to give the Saturday Night Football game added exposure.
Beginning with the show's 21st season (2007), College GameDay began broadcasting in high-definition on ESPN HD.
College GameDay expanded to 3 hours, with the first hour being televised on ESPNU beginning September 4, 2010. In addition, ESPN Radio simulcasts the television version from 9am-noon ET. Other changes include the addition of a female contributor—first Erin Andrews in 2010 and 2011, and then Samantha Ponder (then known by her maiden name, Samantha Steele) after Andrews left ESPN for Fox following the 2011 season. Both Andrews and Ponder have anchored several segments during the first hour on ESPNU, contributed during the ESPN portion, and also worked as a sideline reporter on the game from which College GameDay originated, if it aired on one of the ESPN family of networks (i.e. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC).
During the 2006 season, as part of College GameDay's 20th year anniversary, they brought back some of the most unforgettable moments in the show's history. Some of the clips include:
On September 24, 2011, special guest West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins made a reference to the oversized head cutout of former ESPN broadcaster (and current host of a well-listened-to national radio show) Dan Patrick that was visible within the crowd behind the broadcast set. Host Chris Fowler proceeded to laugh nervously then quickly change the subject, as Dan Patrick had been involved in a dispute with ESPN since leaving the network. Following the College GameDay broadcast of Texas vs. Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl two weeks later, Patrick reported on his radio show that fans had been turned away by security if they had signs or cutouts that featured obvious references to him or The Dan Patrick Show. Despite these restrictions, attendees in Dallas were able to bring in a sign that read "Chris in Syracuse", a reference to a listener who calls into the show daily. Patrick dubbed the movement "Occupy GameDay" - after the Occupy Wall Street protests that had spread across the nation in the summer of 2011, and claims that he and the Danettes "do not encourage it, but we do celebrate it." Occupy Gameday was still ongoing as of November 26, 2011 and some "occupy gameday" signs still hang in Patrick's Mancave, where his radio show is produced in Milford, Connecticut.
ESPN College Football is the branding used for broadcasts of NCAA Division I FBS college football across ESPN properties, including ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, 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 isn't 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.
AAC, 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.
ESPN began airing taped college football games during the 1979 regular season, starting with a game between Colorado and Oregon. The network was limited to airing tape-delayed games because the NCAA controlled television rights through exclusive contracts. However, because bowl games operate outside the control of the NCAA, ESPN was able to air the 1982 Independence Bowl between Kansas State and Wisconsin live (through a simulcast with the Mizlou Television Network) – the first live football game televised on ESPN.
After the 1984 Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Oklahoma allowed individual schools to negotiate television rights, ESPN began broadcasting live regular season games during the 1984 season, beginning with a game between BYU and Pittsburgh.
In recent years, ESPN and ESPN2 air games at noon, which usually includes a Big Ten game. Both networks also air primetime games, typically featuring teams from the ACC and/or SEC.
With the expansion of ESPN, including multiple networks and outlets, their coverage has likewise increased. In 2005, with the creation of ESPNU, over 300 games were aired on its networks.
In 2007, the ESPN family of networks aired over 450 games. Also, they aired a weekly game on ESPN Radio for the first time ever. ESPN started that season with 25 hours of college football programming.
Also, ESPNU has rapidly increased the coverage of spring intermural team scrimmages with entire programs dedicated to this phenomenon. In 2008, ESPN aired College GameDay from Florida Field prior to their spring scrimmage game.
Starting with the 2007 season, ESPN began sublicensing games from Fox Sports Net, with the Big 12 Conference (later extended until 2009) and with the Pacific-10 Conference. However, the games cannot air during the “reverse mirror” slot.
During the 2008 season, ESPN aired over 400 games.
Beginning in the 2010 season, ESPN acquired exclusive broadcast rights to the Bowl Championship Series in a four year contract, where all games in the BCS would be aired on ESPN.
Starting with the 2011 season, all college football games aired on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are broadcast in HD, with a 16:9 letterbox presentation used for all games, including the said networks' standard-definition feeds, which all games are now letterboxed.
2013 will mark ESPN's 30th season of airing live college football games.
ESPN airs Spring Football games and coverage. Coverage includes College Football Final which wraps the annual Spring Games.
During the regular season, ESPN airs pre-selected Thursday night marquee matchups. ESPN2 airs pre-selected Friday night contests from lesser known Division I schools.
The weekend games with the exception of the regular season are typically selected a week or two weeks out. ABC gets the first pick of games for all the major conferences, with the exception of the SEC, in which case CBS get their first selection.
ESPN/ESPN2 airs coverage of ABC games in a "reverse mirror" format. Both networks will also air other selected midweek games and Sunday games, typically teams from more “minor” conferences.
ESPN Radio airs a weekly game as well as selected BCS games including all BCS games.
ESPNU usually airs 5 games per week.
ESPN Classic airs selected games throughout the year.
Kickoff Week is the first weekend of the college football weekend. Games include the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff and other non-conference action.
Championship Weekend always features the MAC Championship Game and will feature the Pac-12 Championship game every other year beginning in 2013. Previously it has featured the WAC Championship Game, the C-USA Championship Game, and the Big 12 Championship game before they changed affiliates or dropped below the minimum 12 teams required for a football championship.
The ESPN family of networks air the Division I FCS conference playoffs as well as other lower NCAA division championships.
ESPN and ESPN2 air the bulk of the games during ‘‘Bowl Week’’. ESPN Radio also owns the rights for many games including BCS matchups.
ESPN airs the nationally renowned College GameDay. Since 1993 and almost exclusively in recent years, it has aired from the top game of the week or one of significance. For the 2010 season, the show was expanded to three hours, with the first hour airing on ESPNU.
Since 1990, ESPN has aired the show live from the Boardwalk in Orlando, Florida. The show airs several awards.
Since 1993, ESPN has aired the Heisman Trophy from New York City. It is typically an hour long program featuring interviews with past winners and nominees (with their families and/or coaches).
ESPN Plus, officially ESPN Regional Television, is an American television program syndicator. ERT is based along with sister network ESPNU in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to its purchase by ESPN, this sports package's syndicator was known as Creative Sports, which in turn merged with Don Ohlmeyer's self-titled Ohlmeyer Communication Corporation (OCC).
ESPN Plus produces and syndicates the following telecasts:
Games air on broadcast stations, regional sports networks, and on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court, both of which are out of market sports packages, and also on ESPN3 (formerly known as ESPN360.com) since 2007.
ESPN Plus once had rights to Conference USA football and basketball, Mountain West Conference football and basketball, and Big Ten Conference football and basketball, but has since lost them as detailed below:
Sunday Night Baseball is the Major League Baseball exclusive game of the week that is televised Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN during the regular season. (The official name is ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball Presented by Taco Bell; previous presenting sponsors included Nextel and Bank of America.)
The games are preceded most weeks by the studio show Baseball Tonight. Both Baseball Tonight and Sunday Night Baseball are also televised in high definition on ESPNHD. A few telecasts each season appear on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD rather than ESPN due to conflicts with other programming.
The series debuted in 1990, and from its inception through 2010 featured the broadcast team of play-by-play commentator Jon Miller and color commentator Joe Morgan. Steve Phillips joined them for the 2009 season, and Orel Hershiser did so for the 2010 season following Phillips' dismissal by the network. From 2004 until 2006, Sam Ryan served as the field reporter, but she left to join New York City's WCBS-TV and CBS Sports in June 2006. On July 2, 2006 Bonnie Bernstein joined the crew as the new field reporter, but did not return in 2007 primarily due to her request to cut back her schedule because of her continued recovery from a bout with deep vein thrombosis in October 2006. Beginning in 2006, Peter Gammons joined the broadcasts as a field reporter in the scouts position. Gammons, however, suffered a brain aneurysm and didn't return until September 2006.
In 2010, Miller and Morgan began their 21st consecutive season working together for ESPN. Among U.S. network television sportscasters, only Pat Summerall and John Madden (who called NFL games for CBS and Fox from 1981 to 2001) have had a similar length partnership in the booth. Following the 2010 season, ESPN announced that the television contracts of Miller and Morgan would not be renewed. Miller was offered, but chose to decline, a continued role with ESPN Radio.
Play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman joined color commentators Hershiser and Bobby Valentine as the new Sunday Night Baseball crew beginning in 2011.In an essential trade deal, following the hiring of Valentine as the Boston Red Sox manager, his predecessor Terry Francona was hired to join Shulman and Hershiser for the 2012 season. Francona stayed with ESPN for only one season before he was hired by the Cleveland Indians to be their manager for the 2013 season. Francona was replaced by John Kruk, who had been part of the Baseball Tonight team since 2004. Like Miller and Morgan before them, Shulman and Hershiser form the lead team on ESPN Radio's World Series coverage.
On May 28, 2000, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens faced off in an epic pitchers duel at Yankee Stadium. Both pitchers threw complete games and combined for 22 strikeouts, 13 for Clemens, 9 for Martinez. The game was scoreless until Trot Nixon hit a two run home run in the top of the ninth inning. Martinez then got the final three outs in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory.
ESPN was on hand for the Cleveland Indians' historic comeback against the Seattle Mariners on August 5, 2001. The Indians trailed 14–2 after six innings, but scored twelve runs in the final three innings before winning in the bottom of the eleventh, 15–14. The twelve-run comeback tied the Major League record for largest deficit overcome in a game.
On September 2, 2001, Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees came within one strike of a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox. The effort was broken up on a single by Carl Everett, with Mussina settling for a one-hitter. The game itself was an exciting pitchers' duel, with the Red Sox' David Cone also shutting out the Yankees for eight innings, before allowing an RBI double by Enrique Wilson in the ninth. It was the only scoring of the Yankees' 1–0 win. Additionally, Cone was the most recent pitcher to record a perfect game having done so two years earlier as a Yankee against the Montreal Expos.
On June 16, 2002, Sunday Night Baseball covered a Subway Series at Shea Stadium in which Mo Vaughn hit a game winning three-run home run in the New York Mets' 3-2 win over the New York Yankees.
Rafael Furcal completed an unassisted triple play for the Atlanta Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 10, 2003. It was the 12th such play in baseball history. In the fifth inning, the shortstop caught pitcher Woody Williams' liner with the runners moving in a hit and run attempt, stepped on second base to retire catcher Mike Matheny and tagged Orlando Palmeiro before he could return to first.
On April 22, 2007, the Red Sox became the fifth team in Major League history to hit four consecutive home runs, doing so in the third inning of a 7–6 victory over the Yankees.
On April 29, 2007, a canceled broadcast occurred between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals when Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a car accident earlier in the day at 12:35 A.M. while driving under the influence. In place of the game, special programming hosted by Miller and Morgan was shown. The game was later made up on September 10, 2007, where the Cubs defeated the Cardinals 12–3, though the game was not broadcast as the Game of the Week.
On August 5, 2007, Tom Glavine of the New York Mets became the 23rd pitcher in history to record his 300th win. He did it in a 8–3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Sunday Night Baseball broadcasted the Washington Nationals' very first game at Nationals Park on March 30, 2008. The Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves, 3–2, on Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. President George W. Bush, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game, joined Jon Miller and Joe Morgan in the ESPN booth during the telecast.
Sunday Night Baseball aired Carlos Zambrano's no hitter on September 13, 2008 against the Houston Astros, held at Miller Park due to damage suffered to Minute Maid Park by Hurricane Ike.
The final game played at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008, pitting the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles, was broadcast on Sunday Night Baseball.
The Mariano Rivera 500th career save (and also his 1st lifetime RBI) was broadcasted on Sunday Night Baseball from Citi Field (home of the New York Mets).
During the May 1, 2011 broadcast between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, ESPN announced the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, at the end of the 8th inning. At the top of the 9th inning with 1 out and Daniel Murphy at bat, fans at Citizens Bank Park erupted with U-S-A! chants despite the fact that no announcement of the news in the stadium. Appropriately, the Mets game against the Chicago Cubs on September 11 was a Sunday night game to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
On July 17, 2011, a game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays went scoreless into the 16th inning before the Red Sox scored in the top of the inning, leading to a 1-0 victory. This game was also notable for a foul ball hit by the Rays' Sean Rodriguez that hit and broke a lamp in the catwalks of Tropicana Field. As the grounds crew cleaned up the broken glass that fell onto the field, the stadium PA system played the music from The Natural.
As noted above, the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Mets at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 was broadcast on Sunday Night Baseball as part of the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001; New York was targeted by the terrorists in the attacks of that day and the Mets hosted the first major professional sports event held in New York City since the attacks on September 21, 2001.
ESPN was scheduled to televise the game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles from Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 1998, the game where Cal Ripken, Jr. elected to end his consecutive games played streak at 2,632. However, 1998 was the first year of ESPN's contract to air Sunday Night Football through the entire season, as opposed to the second half of the year as in previous years, and the NFL games took precedence. ESPN sought permission from Major League Baseball to move the game, as well as two other late-season contests, to ESPN2, but Major League Baseball denied the request.][
Major League Baseball gave ESPN permission to move the late season games in 2000,][ and ESPN continued that practice until its loss of the Sunday night football package to NBC at the end of the 2005 season.
The telecasts also utilize the K Zone, a computer-generated on-screen graphic that accurately outlines the strike zone and pitch location. A Skycam is also used; it is usually mounted 20 feet above the stands in foul territory and travels back and forth along the first base line from behind home plate to the foul pole.
A complete list of broadcasters, with their period of tenure on the show (beginning years of each season shown).
In addition to the game being on ESPN, ESPN Domingo de Grandes Ligas (Major League Sunday) is also broadcast on ESPN Deportes, the Spanish version of ESPN. On ESPN Deportes, Ernesto Jerez does play-by-play, former baseball player Candy Maldonado is the color commentator, and Guillermo Celis is the field reporter. This version is also presented on the Spanish feed of ESPN Latin America. The Brazilian feed, in Portuguese, has Romulo Mendonça doing the play-by-play and Paulo Antunes as the analyst. They broadcast from ESPN Brasil studios in São Paulo.
ESPN Radio has aired a weekly Sunday Night Baseball broadcast since 1998. Currently, Jon Sciambi calls play-by-play of the games, with Chris Singleton serving as color analyst. Sciambi was preceded by Gary Thorne (2008–09), Dan Shulman (2002–07), and Charley Steiner (1998–2001), while Singleton was preceded by Dave Campbell (1999–2010) and Kevin Kennedy (1998).
Prior to 1998, CBS Radio aired Sunday night games, usually with Jerry Coleman and John Rooney announcing.
Outside the USA, this weekly game was also broadcast live on Five in the UK from 1997 until 2008 and at the time was the longest running programme on the channel. In Latin America the game is broadcast on ESPN Latin America. When the NFL season begins, the game is moved to ESPN Dos only for the audience in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia and the Caribbean Islands.
In Canada, Sunday Night Baseball has aired on TSN2 since May 16, 2010, under a sublicensing agreement with Rogers Sportsnet, the Canadian rightsholder for Major League Baseball. That deal came in exchange for TSN/TSN2 transferring their remaining rights to Toronto Blue Jays games to Sportsnet, which is now the exclusive carrier of Blue Jays games. However, individual SNB games may be reclaimed by Sportsnet in the event both TSN and TSN2 have other programming commitments. Previous carriers of Sunday Night Baseball were TSN (1990–2000), The Score (2001–2002), and Sportsnet (2003–May 9, 2010).
Paul Eells (September 24, 1935 – July 31, 2006) was an American sportscaster.
He was the "Voice of the Razorbacks", broadcasting University of Arkansas basketball games on television and (after 1978) football games on radio. Eells was also sports director at KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Allbritton Communications Company owned ABC-affiliated television station in that market.
ESPN Major League Baseball is a promotion of Major League Baseball on ESPN and ESPN2, with simulcasts on ESPNHD or ESPN2HD. 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 title is derived from the fact that it may come on a night when ESPN doesn't have a scheduled game (i.e., Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday). The different weekly regular season games that ESPN presents (as of 2007): Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA and Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Goodyear, and formerly ESPN DayGame presented by Fruit of the Loom and Thursday Night Baseball powered by Castrol.
The Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs, are the names of college sports teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The term Arkansas Razorbacks properly applies to any of the sports teams (men or women) at the university. The Razorbacks take their name from the pig of the same name. The University of Arkansas student body voted to change the name of the school mascot (originally the Cardinals) in 1910 to the Arkansas Razorbacks after a hard fought battle against LSU in which they were said to play like a "wild band of Razorback hogs" by former coach Hugo Bezdek. The Arkansas Razorbacks are the only major sports team in the US with a porcine nickname, though the Texas A&M–Kingsville Javelinas play in Division II.
Television is one of the major mass media of the United States. Household ownership is 96.7% and the majority of households have more than one. Its peak was the 1996-1997 season with 98.4% ownership.  As a whole, the television networks of the United States are the largest and most syndicated in the world.
As of August 2013, there are approximately 114,200,000 American households with television. ESPN