ESPN debuted on September 7, 1979. To commemorate its 40th anniversary, ESPN will launch a slate of multiplatform content across TV, online and social platforms.

  • Among this content will be SportsCenter Special: ESPN’s 40, a collection of 40 testimonials from ESPNers past and present.
  • The one-hour program will showcase personal stories that connect to the company’s 40-year journey. 
  • Interviewees include Chris Berman, George Bodenheimer, Linda Cohn, Bob Ley, Molly Qerim Rose, Bill Rasmussen, Robin Roberts and Stephen A. Smith.
  • SportsCenter Special: ESPN’s 40 will be televised Friday, September 6, at 7 PM ET on ESPN2.
  • “Berman’s Top 40 Countdown” will feature long-time ESPN personality Chris Berman, who joined a nascent network in September 1979, as he counts down the top 40 moments in sports since ESPN’s launch.
  • Starting with the 7 AM SportsCenter on Tuesday, September 3, Berman will share 10 moments per day across all episodes of the show, culminating with the top 10 moments on Friday, September 6.
  • E:60 Game 1 will tell the story of the very first live sporting event to take place on ESPN.
  • The first live event – a professional slo-pitch softball game between the Kentucky Bourbons and the Milwaukee Schlitzes – aired the first night, September 7, 1979.
  • This game has not been seen again since the video tapes that recorded that game are missing from the ESPN archives.
  • On Tuesday, September 10, at 7 PM, E:60 Game 1 tells the story of ESPN’s forgotten telecast, and in the process unearths a moment of television history not seen since 1979.
  • Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg recorded an ESPN-specific version of Rapper’s Delight, featuring a variety of ESPN on-air commentators. The video will appear across ESPN platforms.
  • The original song, sung by the Sugarhill Gang, debuted September 16, 1979, one week after ESPN’s launch.
  • A special ESPN40 logo will be featured on the Bottom Line across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU for 40 consecutive hours, starting at 8 AM September 6 until midnight on September 7.
  • ESPN will also provide fans engaging, interactive content across ESPN online and social platforms, including the “Ultimate SportsCenter Quiz” which will launch Tuesday, Sept. 3, on ESPN.com and the ESPN App.
  • Fans will have the opportunity to test their knowledge of the iconic brand and the memorable ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercials.
  • The ESPN Archive channel will launch today on YouTube and will feature excerpts from debuts of classic ESPN shows and events including SportsCenter, First Take, College GameDay, Monday Night Football and WNBA. 
  • Memorable clips from the ESPN Vault will also be available. 
  • Fans will enjoy a comprehensive playlist of the ‘This Is SportsCenter’ commercials.
  • ESPN commentators will celebrate the 40th anniversary and share anecdotes at 9 PM on Friday, September 6, during a live 30-minute, interactive, stream on Twitter, ESPN.com, the ESPN App and Facebook.
  • More than 30 interviews and clips from ESPN’s 40 are offered on ESPN.com, the ESPN App and most connected devices
  • The ESPN40 logo will take over the @ESPN avatars on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the day of September 7.
 
 

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