George Bodenheimer

Sports Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, ESPN Executive George Bodenheimer describes his early interest in sports. He talks of attending Denison University and getting a job in the mailroom at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. He outlines his early years at the burgeoning cable network, moving up through the ranks from the mailroom to working in Sales and Marketing in several affiliate markets, then becoming VP of National Affiliate Sales, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, and finally becoming President of the network. Bodenheimer chronicles the growth of ESPN, discussing the launch of ESPN2, ESPN.com, ESPN-HD, ESPNW, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN-3D. He explains the culture at the network, and explores how ESPN has changed both sports and the cable industry. He speaks of seminal programs SportsCenter and Monday Night Football, the latter of which came to ESPN when Disney acquired the network, and talks of important deals with the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA. Chris LaPlaca conducted the interview on November 1, 2010 in New York, NY.

"It's a very competitive business we're in... but our culture at ESPN is something we can control. I like to think of it as-- always operate with integrity, respect for your co-workers, and passion about what we're doing here."

Highlights
George Bodenheimer on the culture of ESPN
01:03
George Bodenheimer on televising the NFL draft on ESPN
01:31
George Bodenheimer on ESPN televising the America's Cup sailing event for the first time in 1987
02:06
George Bodenheimer on the importance of ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter
00:58
George Bodenheimer on Monday Night Football and its legacy for ESPN since moving there from ABC
01:10
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in sports; on attending Denison University
08:50
On his interest in sports and entertainment and first hearing about ESPN; on getting a job in the mailroom and being a driver at ESPN; on memories of ESPN's original headquarters in Bristol, CT
14:02
On the early years of cable television; on the growth of ESPN and the network being mistaken for a Spanish network
06:59
On ESPN's business model; on televising the NCAA Basketball Tournament; on ESPN's first executives; on Getty Oil's investment in the company; on the culture of ESPN
11:21
On televising the NFL draft on ESPN; on working in sales and marketing in the affiliate market in Dallas; on people's passion for sports
10:54
On the launch of ESPN2; on working in several major affiliate markets; on Saturday Night Live spoofs of ESPN
06:59

Chapter 2

On ABC and other corporate owners of ESPN; on televising live college football; on ESPN televising the America's Cup sailing event; on the technology used to record events
10:41
On ESPN acquiring a contract with the NFL; on ESPN in the late '80s and early '90s and becoming VP of National Affiliate Sales; on the reasoning behind launching ESPN2
15:18
On the ESPY Awards and the V Foundation; on ESPN's philanthropy; on changes to the ESPY Awards over the years
10:10
On the ESPN brand; on becoming Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at ESPN; on extending the ESPN brand with the radio network and ESPN.com; on the launch of the X-Games
10:11
On Disney acquiring ABC and the effect on ESPN; on becoming President of ESPN
12:00

Chapter 3

On his time as President of the network; on launching ESPN-HD and ESPN-3D; on his strategy as President of ESPN
07:29
On ESPN's short-lived fictional series Playmakers; on SportsCenter; on ESPN's NBA deal and agreements with the NFL and NHL; on international agreements
09:10
On televising women's sports and the creation of ESPNW; on ESPN Deportes; on the documentary "ESPN: 30 for 30"; on overseeing ABC Sports
06:58
On Monday Night Football and its legacy on ESPN; on multiple platforms and ESPN commentators; on ratings
09:01
On how ESPN changed sports; on the network's international impact; on World Cup; on career highlights
09:52
Shows

Monday Night Football

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George Bodenheimer on Monday Night Football and its legacy for ESPN since moving there from ABC
02:06

Saturday Night Live

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George Bodenheimer on Saturday Night Live spoofs of ESPN
01:08
George Bodenheimer on Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers hosting The ESPY Awards
00:56

SportsCenter

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George Bodenheimer on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter
04:05
Topics

Coverage

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on Chet Simmons' televising the NFL draft on ESPN
01:35
George Bodenheimer on televising the NCAA Basketball Tournament
01:27
George Bodenheimer on ESPN televising the America's Cup sailing event for the first time in 1987
06:49
George Bodenheimer on ESPN acquiring a contract with the NFL
00:52

Diversity in Television

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George Bodenheimer on the importance of female sports fans
00:37
George Bodenheimer on televising women's sports and ESPNW
01:34
George Bodenheimer on ESPN Deportes
01:07

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on ESPN televising the America's Cup sailing event for the first time in 1987
06:49

Minorities

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on ESPN Deportes
01:07

Network Creation

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on ESPN's business model
02:04
George Bodenheimer on the culture of ESPN
01:03
George Bodenheimer on the reasoning behind launching ESPN2
06:52
George Bodenheimer on extending the ESPN brand with the radio network and ESPN.com
00:52

Sports

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on Chet Simmons' televising the NFL draft on ESPN
01:35
George Bodenheimer on televising the NCAA Basketball Tournament
01:27
George Bodenheimer on ESPN acquiring a contract with the NFL
00:52
George Bodenheimer on Monday Night Football and its legacy for ESPN since moving there from ABC
02:06
George Bodenheimer on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter
04:05

Technological Innovation

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on launching ESPN-HD
02:09
George Bodenheimer on announcing ESPN-3D and a conversation with Disney's Bob Iger
01:45

Television Industry

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on ESPN's business model
02:04
George Bodenheimer on the culture of ESPN
01:03
George Bodenheimer on the reasoning behind launching ESPN2
07:00
George Bodenheimer on extending the ESPN brand with the radio network and ESPN.com
01:17
George Bodenheimer on how the TV industry has changed over the years
01:26

We Celebrated

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on ESPN televising the America's Cup sailing event for the first time in 1987
06:49

Women

View Topic
George Bodenheimer on the importance of female sports fans
00:37
George Bodenheimer on televising women's sports and ESPNW
01:34
Professions

Cable Executive

View Profession
George Bodenheimer on cable TV during its early years
01:15
George Bodenheimer on ESPN's business model
02:04
George Bodenheimer on the culture of ESPN
01:03
George Bodenheimer on becoming VP of National Affiliate Sales at ESPN
01:13
George Bodenheimer on becoming Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at ESPN
04:46
George Bodenheimer on becoming President of ESPN
07:18
George Bodenheimer on his time as President of ESPN (since 1998)
02:07
George Bodenheimer on his strategy as President of ESPN
01:13
George Bodenheimer on advice to aspiring sports executives
00:35
Genres

Sports

View Genre
George Bodenheimer on ESPN's business model
02:04
George Bodenheimer on the culture of ESPN
01:03
George Bodenheimer on Chet Simmons' televising the NFL draft on ESPN
01:35
George Bodenheimer on televising the NCAA Basketball Tournament
01:27
George Bodenheimer on ESPN televising the America's Cup sailing event for the first time in 1987
02:06
George Bodenheimer on the reasoning behind launching ESPN2
06:52
George Bodenheimer on the launch of the ESPY Awards
00:46
George Bodenheimer on Monday Night Football and its legacy for ESPN since moving there from ABC
02:06
George Bodenheimer on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter
04:05
People

Michael Eisner

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George Bodenheimer on Disney acquiring ABC and the effect on ESPN
04:42

Bob Iger

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George Bodenheimer on Disney acquiring ABC and the effect on ESPN
01:43
George Bodenheimer on announcing ESPN-3D and a conversation with Disney's Bob Iger
01:45

Seth Meyers

View Person Page
George Bodenheimer on Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers hosting The ESPY Awards
00:56

Bill Rasmussen

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George Bodenheimer on ESPN's founder Bill Rasmussen and the company's first executives
04:25

Chet Simmons

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George Bodenheimer on ESPN's founder Bill Rasmussen and the company's first executives
04:25
George Bodenheimer on Chet Simmons' televising the NFL draft on ESPN
01:35

All Interviews

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