2023 in Review

(All data as of December 3, 2023)

Innovation, Adaptability and Reach Continue to Drive ESPN

Even before the best Monday Night Football audience in a quarter-century registered its 29 million viewers on November 20, ESPN’s 2023 had been a notable success story. Two special presentations of NHL and NFL games – “NHL Big City Greens Classic,” and Toy Story Funday Football – were critical and viewership successes and went right to the heart of purposefully expanding younger audiences.

 

Live events, storytelling, impact journalism, buzz-worthy studio shows and breaking news coverage were again hallmarks of the daily output from ESPN. Similarly, new business and content investments like ESPN BET and bringing the Pat McAfee Show to ESPN platforms reinforced the company’s leadership position.

 

All-time records were set for ESPN Digital, the ESPN App and the ESPN Fantasy App, and ESPN on TikTok became the platform’s most-followed brand overall with more than 44 million followers.

“In a year where sports media continued to see unpredictable and constant upheaval, ESPN once again proved its brand strength is as vibrant as it is massive. Overall viewership continues to climb, in part due to our focus on expanding our women’s sports coverage. 

 

“Our ability to innovate and respond to changing consumer habits has never been stronger or more important and we very much look forward to continuing on this path in 2024.” 

— Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN

Audience Success

  • ESPN ranks as the No. 1 full-time basic cable network for at least 32 straight years (38 consecutive quarters) in Total Day and 24 straight years in Primetime among M18-34.
  • ESPN+’s total paid subscribers grew to 26 million. 
  • This year will mark 32 straight No.1 finishes for ESPN among Men 18-49, and 13 straight No. 1 finishes among People 18-34 and 18-49.
  • For the 10th straight year, ESPN will be the No. 1 cable network in primetime among all key adult demos (P18-34, P18-49, P25-54).
  • The Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars presentation on ESPN+ was its most-viewed event ever.
  • ESPN is accounting for the largest share of total sports minutes consumed of any nationally measured networks (broadcast or cable) year-to-date (thru 12/3/22) among total viewers (20.1%) and Adults 18-49 (23.6%).

ESPN+ Growing by Leaps and Bounds

  • ESPN+ Year in Review Detail
  • The industry-leading sports streaming service delivered over 32,000 live events (up from 27,000 in 2022) and more than 3,000 hours of original content. 
  • During 2023, ESPN+ showcased its most-viewed event and most streams in one day on October 1, with the exclusive international NFL game, Falcons-Jaguars, live from Wembley Stadium in London. This also included the first-of-its-kind animated telecast, “Toy Story Funday Football.” 
  • ESPN+ had its most-watched college football season ever.
  • Additional programming and product features included: 
      • 25,000+ hours of Women’s Sports: ESPN+’s first-ever live WNBA games, an expanded agreement with the LPGA and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, which became the most-watched college event ever on ESPN+. 
      • Thousands of hours of tennis coverage from the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
      • PGA TOUR LIVEMore than 4,000 hours of multi-feed coverage. From January to August, PGA TOUR LIVE was the most-viewed live content on the platform. 
      • The Places Universe continued to expand, with new hosts including P.K. Subban and John McEnroe. 
      • One-Click MultiCast on Apple TV and Xbox: ESPN expanded MultiCast functionality to curate the top live events on the home screen, allowing fans to watch up to four feeds simultaneously with just one click. 
      • Premium Editorial: More than 1,500 articles from ESPN’s top writers on ESPN.com were published exclusively for ESPN+ subscribers. 

ESPN Digital Continues to Lead the Way

  • ESPN Digital was once again the No. 1 leading sports digital platform in the U.S. in 2023, averaging 110.9 million unique visitors per month, +2% from 2022 and 52% larger than No.2 sports platform.
  • The ESPN App continued to be the most popular sports app in the U.S. in terms of reach, 5.1 times larger than the No. 2 sports app and +20% from 2022.
  • The ESPN Fantasy App continued to be the #1 fantasy sports app in the U.S. in terms of reach, 55% larger than No. 2.

Notable Moments and Innovations

  • January 2: SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt had its largest audience ever as 5.2 million viewers tuned in after the NFL suspended the ESPN Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills due to Bills’ player Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest on the field.
  • January 16: The NFL Super Wild Card finale – Dallas Cowboys-Tampa Bay Buccaneers – was the most-watched NFL Playoff game in Disney’s history with 31.2 million viewers. 
  • March 14: ESPN, Disney Channel and the NHL teamed up to bring fans the “NHL Big City Greens Classic,” the first-ever live, animated NHL game telecast, featuring the Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers.
  • March 31/April 2: The 2023 NCAA Women’s Final Four was ESPN platforms’ most-viewed NCAA Division I women’s semifinals on record averaging 6.5 million viewers. The Championship game (LSU defeated Iowa) drew 9.9 million viewers making it the most-viewed women’s college basketball game ever and ESPN platforms’ most-viewed college basketball game (men’s or women’s) on record.
  • May 22: ESPN won 13 Sports Emmy Awards, a company record.
  • September 4: Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe began joining First Take’s fall football guest lineup every Monday and Tuesday. Sharpe, like Chris “Mad Dog” Russo (who joined in February 2022), is regularly featured alongside commentator and executive producer Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim.
  • September 7: The Pat McAfee Show, the highly successful and innovative weekday sports talk and discussion program, launches on ESPN platforms.
  • September 9: The 2023 US Open Women’s Championship between Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka became the most-viewed Women’s Final of any tennis major ever on ESPN.
  • September 11: The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications announced a transformative agreement for distribution of Disney’s linear networks and direct-to-consumer services.
  • September 11: The new Monday Night Countdown crew debuted with recently re-signed host Scott Van Pelt joined by Ryan Clark, Robert Griffin III, Marcus Spears, Alex Smith, Adam Schefter and Michelle Beisner-Buck.
  • September 11: The third season of Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli debuted while additional Omaha Productions deals with ESPN led to the creation of alternate telecasts such as NBA Unplugged with Kevin Hart.
  • October 1: ESPN, TWDC and the NFL presented a first-of-its-kind NFL Game presentation – “Toy Story Funday Football” – as real-time action between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars (from London) is experienced in Pixar’s iconic “Toy Story” Universe in Andy’s room, one of the movie’s most recognizable settings.
  • October 24: ESPN presented its first ever “NHL Frozen Frenzy,” showcasing all 32 teams in continuous action across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+. The tripleheader of games that night averaged 432K total viewers and 195K P18-49 viewers, up 11% and 10% vs. the prior season’s NHL on ESPN average. 
  • October 25: ESPN on TikTok officially became the #1 most-followed brand – not just in sports, but overall – on the app with 44 million followers.
  • October 25: Doris Burke made her debut as part of the lead NBA broadcast team, alongside Mike Breen and Doc Rivers. She will become the first woman to call the NBA Finals on television in the 2023-24 season.
  • November 8: The TWDC’s Q4 FY2023 earnings call marked the first-ever breakout of ESPN’s financials.
  • November 14: ESPN BET, a newly-branded online sportsbook for fans in the U.S. debuts, going live in 17 states. With the launch, ESPN began using official odds provided by ESPN BET across editorial and other content and rebranded its sports betting show Daily Wager to ESPN BET Live (Nov. 10). 

  • November 18: College GameDay celebrated its 30th season on the road at James Madison University in front of record crowd of 26,000 fans.
  • November 20: The Super Bowl LVII rematch between Philadelphia and Kansas City became the most-watched Monday Night Football game in 27 years, drawing more than 29M viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes and NFL+). The audience is the television franchise’s best – and TWDC’s best – since 1996 (Green Bay at Dallas, 31.5M), spanning more than 450 games and the entire ESPN era of MNF
      • With the record-breaking audience, ESPN delivered its two most-watched Monday Night Football games ever during the 2023 season, surpassing Week 1’s audience of 22.6 million (Bills-Jets). 
  • December 6: The 2023 college football season was the second most-watched since 2016 across ESPN platforms. Overall, ESPN platforms were responsible for 46% of college football live game minutes viewed across nationally-rated linear networks, the largest share of any media company and more than the second and third companies combined.
  • December 9: The Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Indiana Pacers in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament Championship Game averaged 4,580,000 viewers on ABC and ESPN2, making it the most-watched non-Christmas NBA game during the regular season on any network in nearly six years.

Programming Agreements Highlighted by Pickleball, Soccer and Golf

Pickleball: Recognizing the growing import and impact of pickleball, ESPN signed two separate deals to bring sports fans unmatched coverage of the burgeoning sport: 

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame: In August, ESPN and the Pro Football Hall of Fame reached a new multi-year media rights agreement.

 

National Women’s Soccer League: In August, ESPN and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the top professional women’s soccer league in the United States, announced a multi-year agreement for the English-, Spanish- and Portuguese-language media rights to televise select matches in the U.S. and Latin America. 

 

TGL: In October, TGL, the new tech-forward, team golf league developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TMRW Sports in partnership with the PGA TOUR, and ESPN announced a multi-year partnership that makes ESPN the exclusive home of TGL matches in the United States. (The launch was later delayed until early 2025.) 

 

Atlantic 10 Conference: On December 14, the A-10 and ESPN reached a new multimedia rights extension through 2028-29. The agreement will feature the conference’s top men’s and women’s basketball games on ESPN’s linear networks, including the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship Game, as well as hundreds of additional A-10 events on ESPN+.

Event viewership highlights

College Football:

  • 2nd most-watched regular season on ESPN networks since 2016 (1.7M viewers), driven by both ESPN’s and ABC’s 2nd best seasons since 2017.

 

NFL:

  • The ESPN networks delivered their most-watched NFL Playoff game on record with 31.2M million average viewers watching the Dallas/Tampa Bay Wild Card game across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+.
  • The 2023 NFL Draft audience across all ESPN networks was up double digits from 2022 (+17%).
  • Through 13 weeks, Monday Night Football on the ESPN networks was averaging 16.7M viewers across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, +29% versus 2022 season-to-date across the same mix of networks.
      • ESPN’s presentation of the Super Bowl LVII rematch between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs in week 11 was the most-watched Monday Night Football game in 27 years, drawing more than 29 million viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes). The audience of 29M viewers is the television franchise’s best – and The Walt Disney Company’s best – since 1996 (Green Bay at Dallas, 31.5 million), spanning the entire ESPN era of MNF.
      • Through 13 weeks, ESPN MNF delivered its two most-watched Monday Night Football games ever in week 11 (Philadelphia/Kansas City, 29M) and week 1 (Buffalo/New York Jets, 22.7M).

 

Men’s College Basketball:

  • Most-viewed regular season on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 since 2018-19.

 

Women’s College Basketball:

  • Most-watched regular season on ESPN Nets since 2014-15.
  • Most-watched Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament since 2009 and +55% YoY.
  • WCBB NCAA Tournament Championship Game (LSU/Iowa, 9.9M) became the most-watched women’s college basketball game ever and ESPN’s most-watched men’s or women’s basketball game on record. It is also the most-watched college event ever on ESPN+.

 

Volleyball:

 

NBA Playoffs:

  • Most-watched NBA Playoffs since 2019 on the ESPN networks (6.4M viewers) driven by:
      • ESPN nets’ most-watched First Round ever (4.5M viewers across 15 games).
      • ESPN’s most-watched First Round game ever (Sacramento Kings/Golden State Warriors, Game 6, 5.0M viewers) that was also the most-watched First Round game on any network since 1999.
      • ESPN nets’ 2nd most-watched Conference Semifinals ever (6.1M viewers in 12 games).
      • ESPN nets’ most-watched Conference Finals since 2018 (7.9M viewers in 4 games).

 

NBA Draft:

  • Most-watched NBA Draft on record across ESPN and ABC averaging 3.8M viewers.

 

NHL:

  • The 2022-23 NHL regular season on ABC finished +19% YoY and recorded nine of the top 10 most-watched NHL games overall in the ’22-’23 season.
  • The 2023 Stadium Series (2/18) was the most-watched edition since 2019.
  • The 2023 All-Star Game averaged 1.5M total viewers, +31% from last year.
  • Overall, the 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend on ESPN/ABC averaged 1.3M total viewers, +14% YoY.
  • The First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs finished +22% YoY.
  • The 2023-24 Opening Night Tripleheader on ESPN was +40% vs. last year and ranks as the 2nd most-viewed opening night ever on cable.
  • Chicago Blackhawks/Pittsburgh Penguins on Opening Night 2023-24 is ESPN’s most-viewed regular season game on record, averaging 1.43M viewers.

 

US Open Tennis:

  • The 2023 US Open Women’s Championship was ESPN’s most-viewed Women’s Major Tennis Final (3.4M viewers), and the network’s 2nd most-viewed US Open telecast on record.
  • Most-viewed Men’s and Women’s Semifinals on ESPN since the current deal started in 2015.

 

Wimbledon:

  • 2023 Wimbledon viewership across ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 was +7% from last year.
  • Most-watched Wimbledon Men’s Championship since 2019 averaging 3.2M viewers, +43% YoY.

 

Little League Softball:

  • Most-watched Little League Softball World Series since 2010 (340K viewers on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2).
  • ABC’s Championship game stands as the 2nd most-watched Little League Softball game on record (dating back to 2001) and +208% from last year’s event on ESPN.

 

Little League Baseball:

  • Little League Baseball averaged 787,000 viewers across all networks and rounds, +6% YoY.
  • Most-watched Williamsport audience since 2015 (1.1M viewers on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2), +22% YoY.
  • ABC’s World Championship became the most-watched LLWS game since 2019 (2.9 viewers, +18% YoY).

 

WNBA:

  • ESPN nets most-watched regular season since 2016 (440K viewers; +18% YoY).
  • 2023 featured four of the Top 15 most-watched regular season games on ESPN Networks since 2008, highlighted by Brittney Griner’s return (June 27) delivering the most-watched WNBA regular season game on cable since 1999 (683K viewers on ESPN).
  • The 2023 WNBA Playoffs were the most-watched playoffs since 2007 (averaged 470K viewers).
  • The Liberty-Aces Finals delivered the most-watched WNBA Finals since 2003 with an average of 728K viewers across four games.
  • The Finals included the most-watched Finals Game 1 ever on ESPN Networks (729K viewers on ABC), the most-watched Finals Game 3 since 2005 (659K viewers on ABC), and the most-watched Finals Game 4 ever (889K viewers on ESPN).

 

NCAA Championships:

  • Women’s Gymnastics Championship ranked as the most-watched college gymnastics telecast since 2007 (1.0M viewers).
  • Men’s College Hockey Championship ranked as most-watched NCAA Hockey Championship game since 2011 (Quinnipiac/Minnesota, 808K).
  • Men’s College Lacrosse Championship ranked as most-watched NCAA Lacrosse Championship game since 2007 (Notre Dame/Duke, 757K).
  • 2023 Men’s College World Series ranked as the most-watched full tournament (1.6M; +48% YoY), Finals (2.9M) and single game (CWS Final Game 3, 3.6M) ever on ESPN Nets.

 

F1:

  • The 2023 Formula One Grand Prix season was the second most-viewed ever (1.11M viewers) ranking immediately behind last season’s record-breaking audience on ESPN networks.
      • Seven of this year’s races were their most-viewed editions on record, including Canada and Mexico on ABC.
      • Monaco’s official live debut on ABC became its most-viewed live edition on record, behind 2002’s tape-delayed original broadcast on ABC.
      • The Miami GP became the second most-viewed live GP on record, and third most-viewed GP overall when including tape-delayed original broadcasts.

 

UFC:

  • The two most-watched UFC PPV Prelims ever on ESPN Networks took place in 2023, boosted by simulcasts on ABC/ESPN/ESPN Deportes.
      • UFC 291 was the most-watched ever, which averaged 2.0M viewers across ABC/ESPN/ESPN Deportes.
      • UFC 290 was the 2nd most-watched ever, which averaged 1.9M viewers across ABC/ESPN/ESPN Deportes.
      • PPV Prelims averaged 1.3M viewers across ESPN English Nets, +29% YoY.
      • UFC Fight Nights averaged 901K viewers, +18% YoY.
      • Most-watched Fight Night of all-time on ESPN+ was Noche UFC: Grasso vs. Shevchenko on 9/16/2023.
      • UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane was the 2nd most-watched PPV Prelims of all-time on ESPN+/Hulu behind UFC 275: Poirier vs. McGregor 2.

 

Professional Fighters League:

  • The 2023 PFL Season averaged 311K viewers across nine PFL Fights on ESPN/ESPN2, +32% vs. the 2022 average.
  • Across three events, 2023 PFL Playoffs averaged 339K viewers on ESPN, +22% vs. the 2022 PFL Playoffs.

 

Cricket:

  • The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final India vs. Australia was the most-watched cricket match ever on ESPN+.
  • Four out of the top five Cricket matches ever on ESPN+ occurred in 2023, as well as seven of the top 10.

 

PGA:

  • The 2023 Genesis Invitational and THE PLAYERS Championship were the two most-watched PGA TOUR events ever on ESPN+.

 

FA Cup:

  • The 2023 FA Cup Final Manchester City vs. Manchester United was the 2nd highest FA Cup match and 2nd highest soccer feed ever on ESPN+.

Studio show viewership

  • College GameDay was the most-watched CFB pregame show and recorded its 2nd most-watched season since 2011.
  • Pardon the Interruption at 5:30 p.m. ET was the most-watched daily sports news/studio show on television among total viewers in 2023. The show delivered its most-watched July, September, and November since 2019.
  • The 12AM SportsCenter was the most-watched daily sports news/studio show on television among P18-34, P18-49, and P25-54 in 2023.
  • Many daily studio shows showed growth year-over-year and delivered record audiences this year:
    • Get Up was +4% and on pace to deliver its best year ever, recording its best Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jul, Aug, and Nov ever this year.
    • First Take was +12% and was also on track to deliver its best year ever and was on a 16-month streak of YoY growth. The debut of Shannon Sharpe helped boost show growth this year. The episode on October 9 (853K P2+ viewers) was the 2nd most-viewed of the year and 6th most viewed of all time. The show also delivered its best January, February (since 2018), March, April, May, July (since 2017), August (since 2017), September, October and November ever this year.
    • Many editions of SportsCenter showed growth in 2023: 7a SC (+9%), 6p SC (+1%), 11p SC (+7%), 12am SC (+6%), 1am SC (+20%), Wknd AM SC (+5%).

Social Media Shines Across Platforms

  • ESPN Social led the sports media category in fan engagement with 7.9B engagements in 2023 (+3% YoY). ESPN Social led the category for all months over the past two years.
      • ESPN Social has four of the top 50 most engaged brands in the entire social ecosystem: SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN FC and ESPN MMA.
      • ESPN Social averaged over 25 million social impressions per day across all platforms and all accounts.
      • ESPN Social garnered over 270 million followers across all platforms and all accounts. This is more than 2x any brand in the sports media category.

 

TikTok

  • In 2023, ESPN on TikTok became the app’s most followed brand with over 44M followers – not just in sports but overall, surpassing Paris Saint Germain for the top spot.

 

YouTube

  • In 2023, ESPN YouTube had its best year ever reaching over 23B views, +3% YoY. 
  • SportsNation, ESPN and Omar Raja all went over 10M subscribers and five ESPN channels achieved a minimum total of 1B views for the 2023 calendar year.

 

Instagram

  • 68% of ESPN on Instagram’s 25M followers are under the age of 25.

Quality Storytelling and Content Flourishes and Expands

ESPN Films

    • Released the award-winning documentary short “Black Girls Play” chronicling the history of hand games. 
    • The year’s 30 for 30 documentaries included: “Bullies of Baltimore,” “The Luckiest Guy in the World,” “The American Gladiator Documentary,” “Candace Parker: Unapologetic,” “The Great Heisman Race of 1997” and “The Minister of Defense.”
    • Original Content projects that premiered included the fourth season of Peyton’s Places and Why Not Us: Grambling Dance. 

 

E60: ESPN’s award-winning storytelling program presented more compelling stories from the world of sports. Topics included:

      • An exploration of psychedelic “magic mushrooms” use in athletes’ mental health treatment.
      • Recalling the perfect undefeated season of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
      • Examining the relationship between sports and hip hop on the 50th anniversary of the music form’s invention.
      • How the Disney film “The Mighty Ducks” led to the Anaheim Ducks NHL franchise.

 

SC Featured: SportsCenter’s original storytelling brand continued its tradition of Sunday features during the NFL offseason. Topics included: 

      • A look back at Jim Valvano’s extraordinary ESPYS speech.
      • An inspirational high school coach who led his team to a conference championship while battling ALS. 
      • The gripping journey of a Kansas City Chiefs superfan indicted for bank robbery.

 

espnW

    • espnW TikTok surpassed one million followers in less than two years since launching. 
    • Sold-out both the 14th annual “espnW: Women + Sports Summit” and “espnW Summit NYC” to over 350 in-person attendees and over 1.2 Million more tuning into the live streamed panels across espnWevents.com, X, YouTube, Facebook and the ESPN app. In May, the first annual espnW Summit Canada launched in front of a sold-out audience in Toronto. 
    • espnW brand campaign “That’s a W” continued with five new spots running in primetime programming including during The Oscars. #ThatsaW had more than 25.3 million engagements and 581 million impressions across ESPN social handles. 

Andscape

Andscape produced five film and television projects, exclusively on Hulu; and published three titles under the Andscape Books imprint, a collaboration with Disney Publishing Worldwide.

  • Film and Television: Andscape produced critically acclaimed films and documentaries about sports exclusive to Hulu, including:
      • Algiers, America: The Relentless Pursuit – a five-part documentary that chronicled the journey of Coach Brice Brown, the Edna Karr Cougars, and their quest for a fifth state high school football championship in six seasons (March). 
  • Andscape Books published two sports-related titles:
      • Love and Justice: The Story of Triumph on Two Different Courts and The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Football.
  • Editorial: In 2023, the Black media platform deepened its commitment to groundbreaking journalism and storytelling including:   

ESPN Deportes Commences Year-long 20th Anniversary Celebration 

ESPN Audio Features New and Compelling Content

Radio 

  • ESPN Radio remains the nation’s largest sports radio network and home of more than one-half of all sports listenership. 
  • In September, ESPN premiered a new, national weekday lineup headlined by a deep roster of veteran radio hosts.
  • ESPN Radio carried 250+ signature live events: MLB Postseason (26th consecutive year), NBA Playoffs and Finals, College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship, NFL Draft and NBA Draft.
     

Podcasts 

  • New Titles & Signature Personalities: ESPN Podcasts added several new titles to the lineup, including The Pat McAfee Show, The Elle Duncan Show and This is Football with Kevin Clark 
  • In October, ESPN Podcasts had its largest monthly audience since Sept. 2020, with 5.6 million unique listeners.
  • Video Expansion: With nearly 20 podcasts now appearing on YouTube, ESPN2 and other video platforms, more than a quarter of ESPN’s entire podcast audience is watching on video.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Remain Top Priority

Rhoden Fellowship:

  • Seventh annual year-long journalism training program kicked off in June 2023. 
  • Launched by award-winning sports columnist William C. “Bill” Rhoden (above, left), in partnership with Andscape, as an opportunity to increase diversity and inclusion in sports journalism. 
  • 2023/24 class included students from: Howard University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. 

 

Year Four of #ChampionBlackBusinesses (CBB): 

  • Following three successful years since the program launched in 2020, ESPN, in collaboration with the NBA, Andscape and ABC, launched year four of the award-winning Champion Black Businesses (CBB) initiative in May 2023. CBB continues to elevate Black-owned businesses, showcasing the diversity and creativity of Black entrepreneurship and cementing their importance by sharing their stories across ESPN platforms during the NBA Finals and beyond. 
  • Black Sports Business Symposium: For the second consecutive year, ESPN sponsored the Black Sports Symposium, which took place in Atlanta (April 13-15).

 

Corporate Citizenship Spreads its Wings Far and Wide

  • ESPN was honored with the 2023 “Golden Halo” Award for best-in-class corporate social impact efforts. 
  • To date, ESPN has helped raise nearly $200 million for the V Foundation in the fight to end cancer. 
  • As the global presenting sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, ESPN has enabled over 7,000 athletes and coaches in critical programming this year, and served as the official broadcaster of the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin last summer. 
  • ESPN’s Sports 4 Life program with the Women’s Sports Foundation has enabled 5,500 girls of color to build life skills through the power of sports in 2023, for a total of 75,000 since its inception nine years ago. 
  • ESPN’s “My Wish” series, which aired its 16th season in 2023, has now helped to fulfill 79 sports-themed wishes for children with critical illnesses.