ESPN, Inc.: 1992 in Review

AnnouncementsYear in Review

ESPN, Inc.: 1992 in Review

Key programming acquisitions, including the NHL and the 1994 World Cup Soccer Tournament, growth in ESPN’s international distribution, and the premiere of ESPN Radio and the ESPN Phone Update highlighted 1992 at the Total Sports Network.  Despite the difficult economic climate, ESPN remained the world’s preeminent television outlet for sports and the largest cable network in the U.S.  In addition, ESPN’s on-air product was enhanced by increased commitments to news and information programming and to point-of-view miniature camera technology.

“After another outstanding year providing quality to our viewers, affiliates and advertisers, ESPN is well positioned to remain the first and best place sports fans turn to for the finest coverage of sports news and events,” said Steve Bornstein, ESPN President and Chief Executive Officer.

Highlights from 1992 follow:



  • 2.3 million American households were added in 1992 (increase of four percent).
  • ESPN is currently seen in 61.4 million homes, 66% of American television households.
  • For the 10th consecutive time, ESPN will end the year as America’s largest cable network.


  • ESPN International serves more than 34 million homes in more than 75 countries.  Together with its domestic distribution, ESPN reaches more than 95 million households worldwide.
  • ESPN International Network (live, 24-hour service) experienced steady growth in 1992 and currently serves over 2.5 million subscribers in 56 countries throughout Latin America and the Pacific Rim.
  • The European Sports Network’s subscriber count reached 32 million in 1992, up 78% from

      18 million at the end of 1990.


  • New or enhanced programming included the return of the NHL; the 1992 America’s Cup; the Weiser

Lock Copper, Las Vegas, Peach and Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowls; the Arlington Million thoroughbred race; live coverage of the ACC Basketball championship; the Major League Baseball Expansion Draft; the Tour de France; and Arena Football.

  • New agreements for future programming were announced for the 1994 World Cup Soccer Tournament,

the PGA and Senior PGA Tours, the ATP Tour Championship Series, the Hall of Fame Bowl, and

ESPN’s first deal for the year 2000 — for the NASCAR races from Bristol (Tenn.) Raceway.

  • ESPN’s award-winning news and information programming was given an even greater commitment

with an increase in overall hours, an increase in the number of Outside the Lines programs and distribution on ESPN’s live International Network.  In addition to complete and incisive daily sports

news reporting, SportsCenter again showcased its capabilities with extensive coverage of the major

sports stories of 1992, including the Mike Tyson trial, the continuing Magic Johnson story, Larry Bird’s retirement and the changes in the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s office.

  • ESPN maintained its leadership position in sports television production, particularly with the use of

      point-of-view technology — wireless, miniature cameras.  The network utilized an improved “YachtCam”

      with four lenses which could pan and tilt at the America’s Cup, debuted “JockeyCam” in September

      and now employs “Goal PostCam” at both ends of the field in NFL games, among other innovations.


  • ESPN Radio debuted in January, breaking the news of Danny Tartabull signing with the Yankees on

its first weekend.  After launching with 135 affiliates, it now reaches 240 stations and plans have been announced for increased reporting from major sporting events.  ABC Radio Networks is responsible

for advertising sales, station affiliation, marketing and promotion.

  • ESPN Phone Update was launched in November to complement the network’s news and information programming with a 900-number, call-in service.
  • ESPN announced the formation of the American Sports Awards, given for Excellence in Sports Performance.  The ESPYs will include more than 30 categories including best performances by sport, general “cross-cutter” awards and video awards which will be voted on by the public via a 900-number.  Proceeds will benefit the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS, Inc.  The ceremony will be televised by ESPN March 4.


  • ESPN won five Sports Emmy Awards, including four for sports news.
  • ESPN received six CableACE Awards, including SportsCenter and Sunday Night NFL.  In November, ESPN received a network-record 23 nominations for the awards to be announced in January 1993.
  • Robin Roberts of SportsCenter was honored with the Women at Work Broadcast Journalism Award, presented by the National Commission on Working Women at the National Press Club.

Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
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