It is safe to say that Bill Rasmussen changed the face of sports and the face of television. His brainstorm for a 24-hour cable sports television station, born out of adversity, has become the Worldwide Leader in Sports—ESPN. Bill is the man with that dream. He founded ESPN in the summer of 1978, and had his innovative brainstorm for an all-sports cable TV network within days of his firing by the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association on Memorial Day weekend. His idea for an all-sports cable TV network captured his imagination, and he incorporated the fledgling network on July 14, 1978.
A lifelong entrepreneur and sports fan, Bill's innovations in advertising, sports, and broadcasting are numerous and include not only the creation of ESPN, but also the concept for Sports Center, which provides wall-to-wall coverage of NCAA regular-season and "March Madness" college basketball, as well as coverage of the College World Series. He broke the advertising barrier to cable television by signing Anheuser Busch to the largest cable TV advertising contract ever.
Bill's entrepreneurial daring, his irrepressible enthusiasm, and a dash of good luck gave the world the first 24-hour television network. Once unleashed upon sports fans, ESPN's impact forever changed the way we watch television. Bill is the author of the best-selling book, Sports Junkies Rejoice! The Birth of ESPN. Bill tells the inside story of the birth of ESPN in the book.