This afternoon from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Cable Show in Los Angeles, ESPN and LA2015, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee, announced that the network is now the official broadcaster of the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event, which begins on July 25, 2015.
ESPN will be covering the World Games in English and Spanish via its networks and platforms in the U.S., Mexico, Spanish-speaking Latin America, the Caribbean, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As part of this, ESPN will produce the Opening Ceremony live as well as a nightly highlights program. KABC-TV will also play a role in the coverage for the Los Angeles market. Specific programming and coverage details will be announced in the months ahead.
“ESPN’s reach and caliber of coverage made them a natural partner for the Special Olympics World Games,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015. “ESPN’s legacy of work with Special Olympics and our shared values of athletes first, competition, and unity among others, strengthen the foundation we’re building for the Games and access to them for fans and athletes around the world.”
Disney and ESPN have a long relationship with the Special Olympics, which recently has included a global two-year, multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment supporting the Special Olympics Unified Sports initiative in September 2013, and ESPN3 providing live coverage of the third-annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game in February 2014. Last year, Disney became a Founding Champion of the LA2015 World Games, while ESPN previously provided coverage of the 2011 World Games in Athens on ESPN3.
“This agreement to become the official broadcaster of the LA2015 Special Olympics World Games reflects a belief in sport as a powerful vehicle to showcase and promote acceptance and inclusion,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “We have a history with Special Olympics that we are very proud of, and that demonstrates our commitment to highlight the power of sport to positively impact people of all ability levels.”