Forward/Rewind: Highlighting some of ESPN’s 2014 milestones

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Editor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2015/2014 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives and their properties throughout ESPN for views on what transpired in 2014 and a glimpse into 2015. It was a monster year for ESPN, with the success of the World Cup; the phenomenal launch of the SEC Network; the opening of Digital Center 2, the new home for SportsCenter and NFL Studio shows; and so much more. We can never encapsulate all the amazing things ESPN did this year, but the Forward/Rewind does its best to recognize the moments we’ll all remember.



1. ESPN Deportes

General Manager Lino Garcia on ESPN Deportes’ 10th-year anniversary: “In only one decade, we have built and established a sports brand that serves Hispanic fans with culturally relevant content across many platforms. We are very proud of our achievements and continued growth, and we look forward to greater success for years to come.”

Behind the scenes of the ESPN Deportes 10th Anniversary special, Jan. 7, 2014 in Miami. (Rodrigo Varela/ESPN Images)
Behind the scenes of the ESPN Deportes 10th Anniversary special, Jan. 7, 2014 in Miami. (Rodrigo Varela/ESPN Images)

2. SEC Network

The launch of ESPN’s new network in August attracted crowds of all sorts.

3. X Games

Vice President, X Games Events and Content, Tim Reed: “It was extremely rewarding for the X Games franchise to reach the 20-year milestone this summer at X Games Austin.”

4. ESPN Digital

Editor-in-Chief Sambit Bal on ESPNcricinfo’s 20th anniversary: “The preparations for our 20th-anniversary celebrations took us closer to our roots and brought us in contact with some of the remarkable characters who brought the world’s favorite cricket site to life.”

5. ESPN Marketing and Ad Sales

ESPN used a familiar face to launch a campaign to explain how the inaugural College Football Playoff system works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayN6tB9uJec

6. NFL

Vice President, Production and MNF Producer, Jay Rothman: “What I’m really looking forward to is next season – the 25th season with my partner MNF director Chip Dean. That’s a big deal to me. I don’t know how many producer-director teams have worked together for as many years as we have and I’m really proud of that.”

7. ESPN Latin America

ESPN programming in Argentina received several “Martín Fierro” awards from APTRA (the Argentine TV & Radio Journalists Association).

(L-R) The Pura Química team celebrated winning a "Martín Fierro" award: Mex Urtizberea, Eugenia Tobal, Mariano Zabaleta, Germán Paoloski, producers Lucila Latorre, Pablo Ucha Olmedo and Carlos Ghio and (crouching below) José Chatruc. (Prensa Magazine Artear)
The Pura Química team celebrated winning a “Martín Fierro” award: (L-R) Mex Urtizberea, Eugenia Tobal, Mariano Zabaleta, Germán Paoloski, producers Lucila Latorre, Pablo Ucha Olmedo and Carlos Ghio and (crouching below) José Chatruc. (Prensa Magazine Artear)

8. Golf

Vice President, Production, Mike McQuade on U.S. Open coverage: “What we did for that event from a studio production standpoint was really unparalleled. There were no hour-long shows devoted to one sport, to one round of golf, before we did it.” This year ESPN aired its last U.S. Open telecast, ending the event’s 33-year-run with the ESPN/ABC family of networks.

9. NASCAR

Vice President, Motorsports, Production, Rich Feinberg on the end of ESPN’s live NASCAR race coverage after 28 years on the network: “On a personal level, I consider myself both privileged and blessed to have had the opportunity to be a member of the team, and for a certain portion of the ride lead the team that featured so many wonderful people.”

10. Soccer

Senior Vice President, Production Innovation, Jed Drake, on the end of ESPN’s live FIFA World Cup coverage: “It was a sad day to see the 2014 trophy be hoisted, because we knew that was the last time we’d see it on ESPN for at least eight years. The challenges and the demands of this event were immense, but the outcome for our viewers and our company was even greater.”

ESPN Transitions In 2014

The following is a mere sampling of the significant changes occurring in the vast ESPN universe in 2014:

*SportsCenter moves from DC-1 to state of the art DC-2, which aired its first SC at 11 p.m. ET, June 22

*The NBA formally announced a new nine-year-deal with ESPN and Turner

*ESPN aired the last BCS National Championship Game before preparing to cover the first College Football Playoff

*ESPN’s eight-year deal to present live NASCAR race telecasts expires, but the network’s commitment to auto racing coverage continues

*ESPN Pioneer, CTO Chuck Pagano announced his retirement; Aaron LaBerge named successor

Gaby Nunez, Gracie Blackburn, Danny Chi, Paul Melvin, Kristie Chong Adler, Kevin Ota, Ana Livia Coehlo, Amy Phillips, Bill Hofheimer, Allison Stoneberg, Mac Nwulu, Ardi Dwornik and Andy Hall contributed to this post

Next: Applauding

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