ABC Sports to change name

The sports division that spanned the globe to give viewers a constant variety of sports and famously asked pigskin-crazed fans if they were ready for some football has a new name: ESPN on ABC. ESPN will become the overarching brand for all sports programming carried on the ABC Television Network beginning Saturday, Sept. 2 — the debut of ABC's college football season. "We're using the word evolutionary," said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks. "We're trying to move the ball forward in sports television and we think this is another step in that direction."

ESPN said the new approach will cover all of the sports programming on ABC, encompassing all aspects of the production effort including on-air look, graphics and branding. "It's going to be interesting news outside of the sports media industry," said sports television consultant Neal Pilson, a former president of CBS Sports who runs his own consultancy firm and often works with ESPN. "It reflects the continued expansion of influence of ESPN. This is a company that not only has four 24/7 cable channels, plus it's online, Internet, mobile phone, you name it, they now will basically contract for and control some 400 hours of network broadcast time. This isn't to say they don't already do it. But now they are going to have this additional brand platform."

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