Bristol, CT – Thirty three years ago tonight at 7:00 PM Eastern a little sports network in a tiny central Connecticut town took its first steps…and tiny though they were…the launch forever changed the way the world would watch not only sports on TV, but all TV.
The “Big Three” networks, ABC, CBS and NBC chuckled and snickered at the halting first steps and basically brushed off the idea that a merry band of sports fanatics and cable enthusiasts could produce anything significant to cut into their stranglehold on the television watchers of America.
No need to get into a lot of details, but the haughtiness, complacency and superior attitude – actually downright disdain – that anyone would dare to challenge them proved invaluable in the rapid growth of our tiny network. We worked with a passion every waking hour and their superior position gave us a tremendous running start and no one in Bristol ever looked back.
Many of those “Big Network” people would eventually end up working for ESPN and help build the giant ESPN juggernaut of today.
Hard to believe that ESPN – “the little train that could” – left the station in Bristol on its amazing journey to worldwide sports television domination thirty three years ago today.