What is ESPN?

While watching ESPN, my wife looked at me and said, " I don't understand why you watch so much sports."

I had a moment of clarity. Her comment was far from the truth. At the time, I was not actually watching sports, I was viewing Sportscenter, a news program about sports. I came to realize that perhaps she did not understand the larger components of ESPN other than the actual sporting events.

To start, I would recommend anyone who wants to know the basics of ESPN to go to Wikipedia. They have a very thorough description, including ownership, history, programming, etc. For this article, I will focus on the more practical and daily occurrences of ESPN.

Sportscenter

Sportscenter is the one-stop news show covering all of the major sports. These include Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and most major college sports. It is not one game, but in essence, highlights of the prior day or week's major sports news. Just like with CNN, Sportscenter has updates, profiles, roundtables, forums, and guest interviews. It is generally one hour long and repeats throughout the day on one of their channels until an updated Sportscenter is released.

Channels

ESPN has grown incredibly over the last few years. Anyone can see how successful they have been by just looking at the number of channels they have. Some of these are ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPN Deportes (Spanish focus), ESPN HD and many more. Generally speaking, the three most likely viewed channels in your home may be ESPN, ESPNNews, and ESPN2. I have not found any real rhyme or reason as to how each channel is segmented, but the one thing for sure is that all of these channels are used to flexibly manage the news and sporting events of the major American sports.

On any given NFL weekend, September to January, you may find all three channels carrying a piece on an NFL team, player, or game. Sprinkled in are any other concurrent sports from the NBA, MLB, NHL and major events from golf and tennis.

No Escape

Telling your man to turn off ESPN will do little good. The network has gone way beyond television. They have several websites, with ESPN.com, being the most popular and serving as its home base. But just a few clicks on this site will show you just how in-depth the sports world is. If your man does not already get alerts or has an app on his device regarding ESPN, he will surely get one soon. That is the kind of reach this network has.

What About Me?

Believe it or not, there are programs that would probably interest most everyone on ESPN's family of networks. Aside from the obvious sports news, they do great human interest stories. They now have a program specifically set aside for documentary pieces called 30 for 30. It's really well done and focuses on the human side of sports. Recently, my wife sat down and watched the Fab Five documentary with me; Michigan's famed Fab Five basketball team from the 1990's. She enjoyed it and wanted to know more about how the kids were being treated in today's world of college recruiting.

This is just a small sampler of what ESPN is. I hope that it has been helpful in clarifying why your man may sit and watch it for hours. It is after all, quality programming.

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