|Type Joint venture|
|Industry Sports broadcasting|
Founded 14 July 1978
|Key people George Bodenheimer
Owner The Walt Disney Company (80%) Hearst Corporation (20%)
CEO John Skipper (1 Jan 2012–)
Headquarters Bristol, Connecticut, United States
Parent organizations The Walt Disney Company, American Broadcasting Company
Subsidiaries ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
Founders Bill Rasmussen, Scott Rasmussen
ESPN Inc. is an American sports media conglomerate based in Bristol, Connecticut. Jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and the Hearst Corporation (which owns a 20% minority share), it owns various sports broadcasting operations, including cable channels (such as the titular ESPN), a sports radio network, an accompanying website, and other assets.
ESPN markets itself as the "Worldwide Leader in Sports". Most programming on ESPN networks consist of live or tape-delayed sporting events, sports news programming, sports talk shows, and original series and documentaries.
In August 2016, Disney purchased a 1/3 stake in BAMTech for $1 billion from MLB Advanced Media with the option to purchase a majority share. Disney purchased the stake to first develop a ESPN subscription streaming service. The service would not include any current ESPN channel or its content, but tap BAMTech licensed rights and ESPN college rights.
In 2006, ESPN acquired the North American Sports Network (NASN), later re-branded as ESPN America in 2008. ESPN launched a domestic channel in the United Kingdom after acquiring a portion of the local rights package to the Premier League alongside Sky Sports, replacing the collapsing Setanta Sports. The contract lasted from the 2009-10 season to the 2012-13 season. However, by 2012, the network had begun to lose many of its key sports rights, including the Premier League, to BT Group.
On January 25, 2013, ESPN reached a deal to sell its television business in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including ESPN America's programming rights, to BT Group. The ESPN channel in the United Kingdom was placed under the control of BT Sport, while ESPN Classic and ESPN America were shut down. ESPN continues to operate digital properties targeting the United Kingdom, including its ESPN.co.uk, ESPN FC, ESPNcricinfo, and ESPNscrum websites. Two years later, ESPN reached a long-term deal with BT Sport for British rights to ESPN original programming and international event rights.