'ESPN on ABC' to debut during college football season

Updated: August 10, 2006, 4:51 PM ET
Associated Press

'ESPN on ABC' Saturday night
college football games
Date Matchup Time (ET) Network
Sept. 2 Notre Dame at Georgia Tech 8 p.m. ABC
Sept. 9 Ohio State at Texas 8 p.m. ABC
Sept. 16 Nebraska at USC 8 p.m. ABC
Sept. 23 Notre Dame at Michigan State 8 p.m. ABC
Sept. 23 USC at Arizona 8 p.m. ABC
Sept. 30 Ohio State at Iowa 8 p.m. ABC or ESPN
Sept. 30 Michigan at Minnesota 8 p.m. ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Oct. 7 Oregon at California 8 p.m. ABC
Oct. 14 Michigan at Penn State 8 p.m. ABC
Oct. 14 Arizona State at USC 8 p.m. ABC
Oct. 28 Washington State at UCLA 7 p.m. ABC (West Coast only)
Nov. 4 UCLA at California 8 p.m. ABC
Nov. 18 California at USC 8 p.m. ABC
Nov. 25 Notre Dame at USC 8 p.m. ABC
Dec. 2 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game 8 p.m. ABC

NEW YORK -- The ESPN look is moving to ABC.

ESPN will become the brand for all sports programming carried on ABC, starting with the debut of ABC's college football season on Sept. 2.

"ESPN on ABC" will begin with the College Football Countdown, followed by regional college football games that day. The first prime-time college football series on broadcast television, "Saturday Night Football," will debut at 8 p.m. with Notre Dame at Georgia Tech.

"Our collection of multimedia sports assets is unmatched in the industry, and we will now extend the ESPN brand across all platforms," said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, on Thursday.

The new approach covers all production efforts, including on-air, graphics and branding. Sporting events on ABC will be promoted on ESPN.

"ESPN has been infused with ABC Sports' history of innovation, and we are committed to building upon that legacy as we continue to serve fans and our partners more effectively through 'ESPN on ABC,'" Bodenheimer said.

The network will acquire NASCAR's Nextel Cup next year, including the Chase for the championship. ABC already features the NBA Finals, Indy 500, Rose Bowl, Belmont Stakes, British Open, World Cup, WNBA, MLS and the Little League World Series, broadcasting 500 hours of sports a year.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press