- PR - Facts

Tuesday, September 21 Facts
The most popular sports site on the web

Stories, scores and statistics Online sports event ticketing service with Ticketmaster
Previews and analysis Outside The Lines series in conjunction with ESPN's award-winning series
On-site coverage from major sporting events ESPN GameCast (real-time statistical and graphical updates of MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL games, and NASCAR Winston Cup events)
Daily audio and video highlights, offering golf equipment, footwear, team-, league- and ESPN-branded goods, athletic equipment and memorabilia
Analysis from ESPN experts Message boards
Topical surveys and polls Careers In Sports section
GameSpot section consisting of PC and video game reviews, demos and tips Search capabilities
ESPN Radio live audio Scorepost desk-top scores
Training Room section Community section
Sports-themed Shockwave games Sony Sports Jeopardy! Presented by

SportsCenter on Demand Sortable statistics
Columns from as many as 70 ESPN experts, including Dick Vitale and Peter Gammons MLB Batter vs. Pitcher and Hit Charts features
Daily ZoneMail NBA Game Flow charts
Insider community features Fantasy Game discounts
ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio Live Audio Exclusive ESPN analyst chats
"Members only" benefits such as discounts on various ESPN online and off-line products And more . . .
NASCAR Online Fantasy Games
ABC Sports Online ESPN Insider

SoccerTimes Baseball America

September 3, 1998, as the successor to ESPN SportsZone, which debuted April 1, 1995

Production: is a production of ESPN Internet Group, part of Walt Disney Internet Group (NYSE:DIG)

Other EIG productions:
  • (launched September 1, 1996)
  • (launched November 3, 1995)
  • NASCAR Online [] (launched February 14, 1996)
  • (launched May 14, 1997)
  • Soccernet [] (launched August 20, 1999)
  • (launched Aug. 26, 1998)
  • Monday Night Football Online [] (launched Sept. 1, 1997)
  • Bowl Championship Series Online [] (launched Aug. 26, 1998)

    Revenue streams:
  • Advertising and sponsorship sales
  • ESPN Insider subscriptions
  • Sport-specific premium services
  • Fantasy games
  • NASCAR Online Store

    Honors, awards, etc.
  • 2000 Webby Award and People's Voice Webby Award, sports, International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, May 2000
  • Creative Excellence Award, International Web Page Awards, April 2000
  • "Best Overall Quality," (Sports), Brill's Content, April 2000
  • "Best Sports Hub," Yahoo! Internet Life's 100 Best Sites For 2000, January 2000
  • Streaming Media West's People's Choice Award for the "Company Using Streaming Media To Bring Sports To The Global Audience," December 1999
  • Highest-Rated Sports Site, #5 overall Web Site, P.O.V. Magazine's Top 100 Web Sites," November 1999
  • Top-ranked sports site in terms of unaided awareness, Zona Research, Second Quarter, 1999
  • Most popular site among college students, Student Monitor study, 1999
  • Most popular sports site among women, NPD Online Research survey, 1999
  • Second-most well-known Web brand, CBS poll, 1999
  • "Best Sports Hub," Yahoo! Internet Life, July 1999
  • "Top Sports Site Of The Year," Yahoo! Internet Life, December 1998
  • "Best Sports News," Yahoo! Internet Life, December 1998
  • "Top 100 Web Sites," PC Magazine, 1998
  • "Top 100 Web Sites," (#8 overall), P.O.V. Magazine, November 1998
  • "Best Sports Site," (People's Voice) Webby Awards, 1998
  • One of top corporate Web sites, Fortune, Winter 1998
  • "Best Web Site Of The Year," GQ, December 1997
  • "Top Sports Site Of The Year," Yahoo! Internet Life, December 1997
  • New York Public Library's Best Of Reference List, 1997
  • "Best Sports Site," (Judges' Choice and People's Voice) Webby Awards, 1997
  • "Best Sports Fantasy Game (Fantasy Football)," Prodigy Internet Sports Awards, February 1997
  • "Five-Star Award," Yahoo! Internet Life, January 1997
  • "Best Web Site" and "Best Community Site," America Online Member's Choice Awards, December 1996

    Fantasy leagues and free games:
    In the past 12 months,'s free and premium games have attracted more than 3.5 million signups.

    Fee-based Fantasy Leagues
  • Fantasy football, baseball, basketball, hockey and golf leagues (with regular, mid- and late season games)
  • Fantasy Basketball and Football Playoff Challenges (post-season version of Fantasy Basketball and Football)

    Free Games
  • 3 Play
  • NCAA Men's Tournament Challenge presented by Pizza Hut and Compaq
  • NCAA Women's Tournament Challenge presented by Buick Regal
  • ESPY Challenge presented by GM and Pennzoil
  • X Games Challenge presented by Starburst
  • Gridiron Challenge presented by Visa
  • Pigskin Pick 'em presented by Pizza Hut
  • Baseball Challenge presented by Pizza Hut
  • Super Bowl Over/Under
  • Pick 'n' Roll (NBA Playoffs)
  • College Pick 'em (football)
  • Bowl Pick 'em (college football)
  • NASCAR Challenge presented by Ford Racing (NASCAR Online)
  • And more . . .

  • A live chat with senior baseball writer Jayson Stark drew more than 8000 user questions in one hour (June 2000).
  • As part of college basketball's "Midnight Madness," the service boasts chats with head coaches Tubby Smith (Kentucky, Steve Fisher [San Diego State], Steve Lavin [UCLA], Kelvin Sampson [Oklahoma], Pete Guillen [Virginia] and Quinn Snyder [Missouri], as well as All-Americans Mateen Cleaves [Mich. State], Scoonie Penn [Ohio State], Mark Madsen [Stanford] and others (October 15, 1999)
  • investigative reporter Tom Farrey breaks story about alleged academic fraud within Tennessee's football program (September 26, 1999)
  • re-launches (September 1999)
  • Soccernet launches (August 20, 1999)
  • is the only sports site to have a staff reporter filing on-site updates from Yankee Stadium during David Cone's perfect game (July 1999)
  • and GOLF Magazine's GOLFonline join forces to launch ESPN Golf Online, a comprehensive source for golf news and features (April 1999)
  • managing editor John Marvel travels to Cuba to cover the historic Orioles-Cuban National baseball game (March 1999)
  • breaks the Rick Neuheisel-to-Washington college football coaching story (January 1999)
  • The only online sports service with a reporter on-site when the NBA lockout ends, conducts interviews and chats with 10 NBA players as they leave the meetings in the GM Building in New York, including Charles Barkley, David Robinson and Steve Kerr (January 6, 1999)
  •, successor to ESPN SportsZone, launches as the flagship service of the ESPN Network (September 3, 1998)
  • An chat with ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale generates 105,596 hits, 13,629 visits, and 1,443 peak users (March 10, 1998)
  • ESPN Insider premium area launches (February 3, 1998)
  • Former LSU men's basketball coach Dale Brown sets an ESPN SportsZone record with a 4-hour chat session (March 12, 1997)
  • Heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison reveals that he is HIV-positive during an ESPNET SportsZone chat (March 1996)
  • ESPNET SportsZone is first sports site to offer premium content (August 1995)
  • ESPNET SportsZone launches (April 1, 1995)

    Games And Polls
  • A poll asking users "Who dominated his sports more in this generation?" attracts more than 175,000 votes (November 1999)
  • As postseason play gets underway, more than 150,000 fans vote in poll asking who will win the World Series (October 1999)
  • The NASCAR Championship Challenge Presented By Ford attracts more than 140,000 entrants (1999)
  • The Tournament Challenges Presented By Pizza Hut and Compaq attract more than 430,000 registrants in less than four days (March 1999)
  • The Tournament Challenges Presented By Pizza Hut attract more than 248,000 registrants in less than four days, a record for an interactive online contest (March 1998)
  • A "Judgment Day" poll the week before the November 8 college football weekend, asking fans to vote for the #1 team, results in more than 300,000 votes being cast (November 1-8, 1997)
  • The Tournament Challenges Presented by Pizza Hut and DoubleTree Hotels attract more than 200,000 registrants (March 1997)
  • More than 400,000 Fans' Choice ballots are cast online for the 1997 ESPY Awards (February 1997)
  • The Tournament Challenge Presented by Pizza Hut attracts 105,000 registrants (March 1996)
  • More than 114,000 online ballots cast for Major League Baseball All-Star Game (May-June 1995)

  • users interact with on-air game analysts and Avalanche and Black Hawk players during Colorado-Chicago ESPN2 NHL telecast, both Internet firsts (January 9, 2000)
  • Event-driven navigational tabs are introduced, enabling fans to quickly view the top stories of the day by sport or event (December 1999)
  • Scorepost is introduced, bringing fans scrolling scores on their desktops (November 1999)
  • Sony Sports Jeopardy! Presented By, as well as sports-themed Shockwave games, are introduced (September 1999)
  • As part of its X Games coverage, debuts the X Games Raw Webcast and the 360-degree live Webcam, as well as a live televised chat room crawl on late-night ESPN X Games telecasts (June-July 1999)
  • places microphones on the two head coaches in the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball game, giving users unprecedented access. (March 24, 1999)
  • Audio-format chats debut with a Dick Vitale chat (March 9, 1999)
  • Head-2-Head competition launches for Fantasy Games (October 1998)
  • Fantasy Game Live Drafts debut (November 1997)
  • ESPN GameCast, the site's most ambitious interactive application, debuts for Major League Baseball, and consists of real-time, in-progress statistical and graphical updates (August 20, 1997); NBA, NFL, NASCAR Winston Cup and NHL versions follow shortly thereafter
  • Batter vs. Pitcher debuts, providing batter performance vs. any pitcher, any team and in any ballpark, including type of hits generated [a single player's data can be viewed in more than 1,000 different ways] (May 1996)

    Traffic & reach:
  • EIG's combined home/work reach stands at 7.418 million unique users (July 200 Media Metrix).
  • EIG generates 70% of all page views, up from 66% in June, among the top four Internet sports producers -- EIG, the sites, and; our next closest competitor, the family of sites, has an 18% share (July 2000 Media Metrix)
  • users also spend and average of 56.9 minutes per usage/per month on the site, while a user spends only 28.7 minutes.
  • EIG accumulates more than 8 million unique users for two straight months; no other Internet sports entity has achieved more than 4.7 million unique users in any given month (Media Metrix)
  • On Sunday, October 17, EIG registers 91 million page views and more than 4 million visits, besting its own category record (internal log files)
  • EIG records 1.3 billion page views in October, a 236% year-over-year increase (internal log files)
  • EIG generates a record 22.3 million page views and 3.4 million visits on the first day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, March 11, 1999 (internal log files)
  • EIG averages 11.4 million page views and 1.6 million visits per day over fourth-quarter 1998 (internal log files)
  • sets a sports site record of 11.4 daily million page views (September 13, 1998) (internal log files)
  • sets a sports site record of 1.4 million daily visits (March 12, 1998) (internal log files)

    ESPN Internet Group Management:
    John Skipper, Senior Vice President & General Manager
    John Walsh, Senior Vice President & Executive Editor
    Geoff Reiss, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production
    John Marvel, Vice President & Executive Editor,
    Riley McDonough, Vice President, Advertising Sales

    ESPN Internet Group Media Contact:
    Ashley Swadel
    Manager, Communications

    ESPN Internet Group
    77 West 66th Street
    New York, NY 10023