ESPN Timeline

The nation’s number one center for sports news.

System Specifications

  • Bandwidth (Why High?): ESPN requires a large amount of bandwidth in order to support the amounts of traffic it receives on a regular basis and to provide the most up-to-date sports news at all times. Plus, ESPN streams at times live feeds from sports, online sports radio shows, and other videos. To send this content to visitors, ESPN needs its bandwidth to be at the highest level.
  • CPU (Why Medium?): Because the information is continually being updated on the website, ESPN requires an intermediate amount of CPU power to manage the interface of that information by both the administrator and user.
  • Disk (Why High?): With so many articles and mixed media files for virtually every sport, ESPN requires an abundant amount of disk space to store all of that information from years past, plus some of the user information of the ESPN registered user accounts.
  • RAM (Why Medium?): Accessing the text files on doesn’t require too much RAM but viewing the other mixed media files will require a little more RAM. Even though it isn’t high, ESPN does require a fair amount of RAM to display all of its content.
  • Scalability (Why High?): ESPN’s traffic does fluctuate constantly, depending on what sporting news there is. ESPN has to be ready for the highest amounts of traffic when a big game is playing or groundbreaking news is reported. On the other hand, it has to save resources during the off seasons.

The Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN) is the undisputed leader in the nation for sports broadcasting. Starting out as the brainchild of an unemployed sports announcer, ESPN is now a multi-billion-dollar company owned by Walt Disney Company and the Hearst Corporation.

ESPN began as a small venture by an unemployed sports announcer, Bill Rasmussen, and his son in 1979. Together, they created a sports casting television station which would be distinguished by its commitment to 24-hour sports broadcasting.

ESPN received its first dose of funding from Getty Oil, which invested ten million dollars in order to become the controlling factor in the company, which was rapidly growing. Then in 1984, the American Broadcasting Company bought ESPN, which was followed two years later by the company’s merging with Capital Cities Communications. Finally, in 1995, the Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC and became ESPN’s parent company.

It is thanks to the innovative spirit of the founders of ESPN that it is today’s sports channel leader. Its flagship program, Sports Center, became one of the first sports discussion panels to present games in order of importance, regardless of the sport. EPSN Radio launched in 1992, and then in 1993, ESPN2 was launched, then ESPNews three years later, as well as ESPN Classic following its 1997 purchase of Classic Sports Network. ESPN International began in the early 1990s as well, in effort to take advantage of expanding satellite markets.

In 1998 ESPN diversified to include its own magazine, which was targeted toward males in their twenties and ranked second behind Sports Illustrated in number of advertising pages within a year of its launch. In that same year, ESPN started using “Skycam” for their broadcasts of the NHL, which was later implemented in their airing of baseball, basketball, and football games. Later, in 2003, ESPN added ESPN HD, a high-definition view of the nation’s favorite games and competitions.

ESPN’s online presence is run primarily on Linux and Apache servers, which are hosted by Disney Interactive Group, Ranked 17th in the web’s top visited sites on, the ESPN website experiences the most traffic during the end of year bowl games, NBA playoffs, and other key sports seasons.

ESPN uses satellites from RCA Americom to send its TV signals to viewers nationwide, thanks to connections with its parent company, the Walt Disney Company.

ESPN is the worldwide leader of sports. Beginning as a small company started by Bill Rasmussen, it grew to become the largest sports news television station and the 17th most viewed website in the U.S. Now it is the station, the channel, and the site that the nation turns to for all things sports.

Sources “ Site Info.” Alexa. (accessed January 1, 2011).

American Public Media. “ESPN’s corporate history.” Marketplace. (accessed January 1, 2011).

“ESPN, Inc..” Funding Universe. (accessed January 1, 2011).

“” (accessed January 1, 2011).

“ESPN’s 30th Anniversary – 30 ESPN Firsts & Innovations.” ESPN MediaZone. (accessed January 1, 2011).