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Sports Junkies Rejoice! The Birth of ESPN
by Bill Rasmusen
Publisher: Bill Rasmussen
ISBN-10: 1451569575
ISBN-13: 9781451569575
Format: Paperback
Pages: 262

Retail Price: $19.95
You Save: $5.00
NSMN Price: $14.95

About The Book

Sports Junkies Rejoice is the fast-paced account of an incredible 14 month journey that led to the September 7, 1979 launch of ESPN.

Bill Rasmussen introduces you to all the players who made it possible and shares with you the frustrations, tensions, emotions and excitement from concept to launch!

When ESPN debuted on September 7th at 7:00 PM, there were no 24 hour networks. The "Big Three" ABC, CBS, NBC did not broadcast from 1:00 - 7:00 AM. HBO was live only five hours nightly. CNN and FNC hadn't yet begun to blanket us with news 24/7. As for MTV, The Weather Channel, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and many others - they all came later. Over 90% of all cable systems in America had only 12 channels available and with over 50 new channels proposed ESPN led the way and became America's first 24/7 cable network.

In 1979, Sports Illustrated opined, "ESPN may become the biggest thing in TV Sports since Monday Night Football and nighttime World Series Games." How prophetic!

Table of Contents

Read an Excerpt

About The Author

On Sept. 7, 1979, ESPN went on the air for the first time. Entrepreneurial daring, irrepressible enthusiasm and a dash of good luck gave the world the first 24-hour television network. Once unleashed upon sports fans, ESPN's impact forever changed the way we watch television. The man who had the dream, the founder of ESPN, is Bill Rasmussen.

A life-long entrepreneur and sports fan, Rasmussen's innovations in advertising, sports and broadcasting are numerous and include the creation of "Sports Center," wall-to-wall coverage of NCAA regular-season and "March Madness" college basketball, and coverage of the NFL Draft. He broke the advertising barrier to cable television by signing Anheuser Busch to the largest cable TV advertising contract ever.

For his many accomplishments, Rasmussen was named to The Sports 100, honoring the 100 most important people in American Sports History. His place in sports history was further recognized by Sports Illustrated in 1994, when he was honored as one of the "Forty for the Ages," one of forty individuals who has significantly altered and elevated the world of sport during the second half of the 20th century. He has been called "The Father of Cable Sports" by USA Today.

Book Reviews

"Rasmussen tells ESPN's story in a wonderfully conversational tone that has us turning pages as we follow him in his quest for cash and content even though we know the outcome. The book's a fun read, and gives you something to do during those long TV time outs."
– Larry Edsall,

"Here is someone who holds so much wisdom that you wish you could follow him for a week asking every question you ever had about sports and business. He is so passionate about both and also about passing on his wisdom to anyone who wants it, especially our next generation just coming into the workplace one of my passions. And competition? Rasmussen does not see there is anything wrong with that. The environment weâ ve been given in this country offers a playing field to do things. Rasmussen's insight that what he and the others who grew EPSN could do here in the US could not have been done the same elsewhere in the world. He shared that he has been around long enough to know that the country has had issues with its leaders as long as he can remember. The important thing is to focus all the great things we can do here."
– Melissa Giovagnoli, Networlding

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