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Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming.
Founded by Bill Rasmussen, his son Scott Rasmussen and Aetna insurance agent Ed Eagan, it launched on September 7, 1979, under the direction of Chet Simmons, the network's President and CEO (and later the United States Football League's first commissioner). The Getty Oil Company provided funding to begin the new venture via executive Stuart Evey. George Bodenheimer is ESPN's current president, a position he has held since November 19, 1998. Since March 2003, Bodenheimer has also headed ABC Sports, which was operationally folded into ESPN in 2006.
ESPN's signature telecast, SportsCenter, debuted with the network and aired its 30,000th episode on February 11, 2007. ESPN broadcasts primarily from its studios in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami; New York City; Seattle; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Los Angeles;. The Los Angeles office, from which the late-night edition of SportsCenter is now broadcast, opened at L.A. Live in early 2009.