“ESPN Dog Day” Celebrates Man’s Best Friend with Canine-Centric Programming

ESPN is celebrating man’s best friend ahead of International Dog Day with ESPN Dog Day. On Saturday, August 24, canines will be featured front and center with several pooch themed programming including a special screening of Disney’s Air Bud!

What’s happening:

  • ESPN will be going to the dogs – literally – for a special “ESPN Dog Day” celebration of dogs, canine competition and dog-related sports programming on Saturday, August Dogust 24.
  • The featured programming will all either star or be related to man’s best friends and their connection to sports.
  • ESPN Dog Day, which also celebrates International Dog Day (August 26), will “raise the woof” from noon until 6 pm ET on ESPN2.
  • Most of the fur-tastic programming will repeat on ESPNEWS from 6 pm until midnight, making for a combined 12 hours of canine companionship for viewers—and a pawfect way to lighten up after a ruff week.
  • Viewers can look for ESPN Dog Day’s host Katie Nolan throughout the day and fetch more of ESPN’s Dog Day content across SportsCenter, ESPN.com and ESPN’s social media platforms.
  • In addition to airing on television, the ESPN Dog Day lineup also will be streaming on the ESPN App.
  • The entire programming schedule, with the exception of Air Bud, will be available on demand via the ESPN App as a collection following the initial television airing.

The lineup:

11:30 am – ESPN App — ESPN Dog Day Preshow

  • As ESPN welcomes the American Kennel Club and visiting dogs to its campus in Bristol, CT, the ESPN Dog Day Preshow will be hosted by noted dog lover (and ESPN personality) Anita Marks and include an AKC Meet the Breeds with Gina DiNardo and Agility, Dock Diving and Flyball warm-up runs for the live competition that starts at noon.
  • Joining Marks as a special guest commentator for the program will be Matt Nelson, founder of the immensely popular “We Rate Dogs” and “Thoughts of Dog” social handles.

Noon – ESPN2 — ESPN Dog Day Championship Pup

  • ESPN’s campus is turned into a doggie competition arena, including the addition of a 20,000-gallon Dock Diving pool, for live action in three different AKC-sanctioned dog venues: Agility, Dock Diving and Flyball.
  • Marks will host coverage with commentary/analysis by Nelson and DiNardo.
  • The program also will have some fun features including an #SCTop10 of all dog clips and “Furry Funnies” (since no good boy or girl dog could ever be #NotTop10).
  • The two features will be narrated by SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett.

1 pm – ESPN2 — Dog Tales

  • Four popular and touching dog-related features from the E:60 and SportsCenter SC Featured storytelling brands will be part of a compilation show hosted by Tom Rinaldi. The four features will include:
    • Arthur – A dog’s remarkable journey to find a home. The unlikely bond between a team of Swedish Adventure racers and an injured stray dog found in the Amazon Jungle – a distance of 6,455 miles doesn’t begin to measure the journey in this SC Featured piece from 2017, now being made into a movie starring Mark Wahlberg. Nominated for Sports Emmy.
    • Fenway’s Best Friend — Two life-changing accidents and a PTSD diagnosis led Fenway Park’s head groundskeeper to a relationship with man’s best friend – the story of Dave and his dog Drago and how they built their own Field of Dreams. Dave and Drago will be in the studio for an interview with Rinaldi after the feature. Winner of Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award.
    • Owen + Haatchi — An E:60 story from 2014 about a boy and his dog. But not just any boy, and not just any dog. Together, Owen and Haatchi, with their improbable winning streak and their remarkable bond, are like nothing ever seen. Winner of Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award.
    • A Warrior’s Way – An SC Featured story from SportsCenter’s coverage of the 2017 Warrior Games. U.S. military veteran and double-amputee Christy Gardner is inspired to compete by her service dog, a Golden Retriever named Moxie.

2 pm – ESPN2 — Always Late with Katie Nolan

  • A special “dog” edition of the popular ESPN+ program features one of Katie’s favorite subjects: dogs.
  • Katie welcomes some furry friends to the sets of ESPN’s programs and she and the doggos have fun at the expense of some notable ESPN personalities.

2:30 pm – ESPN2 — Flyball: The Ultimate Dog Relay

  • AKC Flyball is a competitive canine relay race in which two teams, comprised of four dogs (and two substitutes), compete side by side against one another over a course.
  • Dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages can compete.

3 pm – ESPN2 — 2019 AKC Agility Premier Cup

  • Top AKC Agility dogs and handlers from around the country converged on Long Island in April for the inaugural AKC Agility Premier Cup.
  • Sixty dogs were in competition on exciting and challenging agility courses designed to test their athleticism as well as their teamwork with their handler.

4 pm – ESPN2 — Disney’s Air Bud

  • Starring a basketball-playing Golden Retriever, Air Bud (1997) is the story of a circus dog that escapes a cruel master, is adopted by a lonely boy in a new city and becomes the unlikely star of a high school basketball team.
  • Viewers should be on the lookout for exclusive “Thoughts of Dog” from the mind of Buddy (and Matt Nelson) during the film.

**The first four hours of ESPN Dog Day programming will repeat on ESPNEWS between 6-10 pm**

10 pm – ESPNEWS — ESPN Great Outdoor Games Highlights

  • Two hours of highlights of dog competitions from the 2004 and 2005 ESPN Great Outdoor Games including agility, disc dogs, big air, launch and more.

ESPN Dog Day – Full Schedule


Time (ET)



Saturday, Dogust. 24

11:30 am

ESPN Dog Day Preshow with Meet the Breeds



ESPN Dog Day Championship Pup (live)


1 pm

Dog Tales


2 pm

Always Late with Katie Nolan (special dogs edition)


2:30 pm

Flyball: The Ultimate Dog Relay


3 pm

2019 AKC Agility Premier Cup


4 pm

Disney’s Air Bud


6 pm

ESPN Dog Day Championship Pup (encore)


7 pm

Dog Tales


8 pm

Always Late with Katie Nolan (special dogs edition)


8:30 pm

Flyball: The Amazing Dog Race


9 pm

2019 AKC Agility Premier Cup


10 pm

2004 ESPN Great Outdoor Games Highlights


11 pm

2005 ESPN Great Outdoor Games Highlights