Few events attract as much interest around the world as live sporting events. The increasing popularity of these sporting events is frequently attributed to sports broadcasting. Since ESPN launched on Sept. 7, 1979, it has remained at the forefront of sports broadcasting. At ESPN, Jed Drake is a senior vice president and executive producer of event production. Jed Drake is responsible for over 6,000 hours of annual sports programming on the network and its affiliates, ESPN2 and ABC. Much of ESPN’s cutting-edge programming and ideas come from its executives such as Jed Drake. On behalf of ESPN, he has traveled to multiple countries to produce live sporting events, ranging from the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Over the past three decades, Jed Drake has recognized the ways in which new technology, such as the Internet and mobile phones, can provide an outlet to sports of all levels of popularity. Subsets of ESPN and streaming video sites such as YouTube have enabled even niche sports to find a global audience, new competitors, and greater fan appreciation.
Sports broadcasting in the United States has a long history. Sports promoters began to recognize the power of broadcasting shortly after the creation of mass media. Radio, which did not become available for mass consumption until after World War I, aired its first football, boxing, baseball, and tennis competitions by 1922.
Television also quickly recognized the value of sports broadcasting, and 1939 ushered in the first professional baseball and football games. The Cincinnati Reds faced off against the Brooklyn Dodgers on the baseball field on Aug. 26. Two months later, the first National Football League game was broadcast, which featured the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The ability to see a game live without being at the stadium turned feats of athleticism into large-scale community events, while providing an increased source of revenue for many parties.
The introduction of ESPN decades later transformed sports broadcasting. This site will serve as an information resource about sports broadcasting and its multiple components.