ABC Sports fields new name

The venerable brand known as ABC Sports will disappear Sept. 2 under the new moniker “ESPN on ABC.”

Decision was inevitable because over the past few years ESPN has taken over the production of ABC’s sports programming, as well as the ad sales; media buyers pony up for 30-second spots in sports events and series on ESPN and ABC in one package deal.

What triggered the timing of the announcement was a massive research study of 1,000 sports fans. The report concluded that ESPN is by far the best-known and most-respected sports entity in the U.S., way ahead of the sports divisions of the broadcast networks.

ESPN will stamp its logo across all aspects of ABC’s sports production, including the on-air look, graphics and branding. The lower-right-hand corner of the screen, however, will still carry the ABC Network symbol. And none of the programming will change: ABC will still carry 500 hours of sports a year, including the NBA Finals, Indianapolis 500, Rose Bowl, Belmont Stakes, British Open and the World Cup.

The end of “ABC Sports” becomes official with “College Football Countdown” at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 2, followed by regional games in the afternoon and the primetime “Saturday Night Football” telecast of the Notre Dame/Georgia Tech game.

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