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Sports Television Programming

Sports television programming generally refers to the broadcasting of live sports events, typically with play-by-play commentary. This entry provides an overview of sports television programming, including its origins and early years, the ESPN Network, the programming boom of the 1980s, and the relationship of sports and media in the 21st century.

Origins and Early Years

The history of sports programming on television dates back to the 1940s when networks started looking to sports as a programming option. The idea seemed natural, given that radio had been broadcasting sports programs for three decades by then. Experimental television broadcasting began in 1939 when NBC broadcast from the RCA Pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York on the experimental station W2XBS using a tower on the Empire State ...

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