ESPN’s Coverage of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Kicks Off June 12th Ahead of July 8th Finals

ESPN will broadcast the Scripps National Spelling Bee preliminary rounds leading up to the previously announced finals, with a full schedule released today.

What’s Happening:

  • As previously reported, the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals will be held on July 8th at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Today, the Scripps National Spelling Bee announced the dates for the events leading up to the Finals, which will also be broadcast on ESPN networks.
  • The full schedule of 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee events are:
    • Preliminaries: Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
    • Quarterfinals: Tuesday, June 15, noon-6 p.m. on ESPN3
    • Semifinals: Sunday, June 27, 7-11 p.m. on ESPN2 (Play Along version on ESPNU)
    • Finals: Thursday, July 8, 8-10 p.m. on ESPN2 (Play Along version on ESPNU)
  • The Finals will be held in-person while the events leading up to it will be held virtually.

What They’re Saying:

  • Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Bee: “It will be an excitement-building sequence for the spellers and the audiences watching at home as the action and suspense of ‘speller versus the dictionary’ plays out over several weeks of competition this year. Last year was challenging for so many as we learned to cope with the pandemic. Now, as pandemic guidelines across the country continue to evolve, we’ve charted a path for the 2021 competition and national finals activities by taking enhanced health and safety measures for the spellers, their families and the team of people who support and produce the Bee. I’m proud of the program and our safety teams that have worked so diligently to give spellers an opportunity to show off their skills this year while promoting a fun and safe experience for all involved.

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:

  • The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Visit for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company.