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ESPN Classic shutting down


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I read this and I want to take a moment to share something. I remember watching ESPN Classic, because they used to air some classic ESPN broadcasts from their archives such as USFL football and college basketball. What I enjoyed about these classic broadcasts is the fact that they included the original openings for each telecast. As a matter of fact, I remember them airing some classic SportsCenter broadcasts from the time ESPN was celebrating their anniversary.

I will say this: ESPN Classic was the best place to turn for nostalgic sports programming and it was a nice place to see classic games from years gone by.

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I rarely ever watched ESPN Classic, but I do remember watching reruns of American Gladiators and Celebrity Bowling during their brief runs on the network in the late 2000s and 2010, and enjoying the heck out of them. It's been a long time since I watched ESPN Classic, but I still feel pretty sad about this news and whenever I watched, it was a real good network for its format. 

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ESPN has really winded down ESPN Classic for years now, so this was going to happen sooner or later. The channel's been either dropped completely or pushed to higher-priced packages.

 

I used to watch racing reruns and Stump the Schwab on there years ago.

 

With and the advent of YouTube and league/conference channels showing old games, the channel's purpose has decreased in recent years. Sad to see it go in a way, but not surprised either.

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Not surprising to see them go away.   It seemed in it's later years, many providers elevated it out of reach to the average viewer...

Basically only being available to those who subscribe to the highest tier of service. 

 

To get it on DirecTV used to mean having to subscribe to ALL of the premium channels, whatever tier that was.

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5 hours ago, The Frog said:

 

Sad to see it go (much of my interest in sports history was from watching old game footage and highlights); but it seems once the major sports leagues launched their own channels, there wasn't much reason for ESPN Classic (to say nothing of the "out of sight, out of mind" perspective. Most likely very few people even knew the channel was still around by the time the announcement of ESPN Classic's official demise was made)

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3 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Not surprising to see them go away.   It seemed in it's later years, many providers elevated it out of reach to the average viewer...

Basically only being available to those who subscribe to the highest tier of service. 

 

To get it on DirecTV used to mean having to subscribe to ALL of the premium channels, whatever tier that was.

Yep, I used to watch ESPN Classic before DirecTV elevated it to a tier that was out of reach. At that point, it basically felt like a channel that didn't exist anymore. Back in the early 2000s, I used to enjoy watching their 1990s NASCAR telecasts on ESPN Classic. Their 1990s telecasts were the gold standard of how to do racing coverage right.

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I'm guessing outside of a niche YouTube audience, ESPN Classic is dead to the suits in Bristol, Connecticut. The NFL puts up classic clips on their official channels, and you can watch any big college football highlight going back decades on YouTube...

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14 hours ago, KnoxvilleTVFan said:

What I enjoyed about these classic broadcasts is the fact that they included the original openings for each telecast.

 

Indeed-- one of the best broadcasts I ever saw from there was Game 4 of the 1985 NBA World Championship Series from CBS (what The Finals was known as then, before it started to be called The Finals in 1986). The best part of that broadcast was at the top, w/the remarkably well-done title graphics by Bill Feigenbaum (someone you might not recognize, but I thought you'd want to know about him anyway).

 

Here is that broadcast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-maY5kAlYA

 

8 hours ago, Spring Rubber said:

Yep, I used to watch ESPN Classic before DirecTV elevated it to a tier that was out of reach. At that point, it basically felt like a channel that didn't exist anymore. Back in the early 2000s, I used to enjoy watching their 1990s NASCAR telecasts on ESPN Classic. Their 1990s telecasts were the gold standard of how to do racing coverage right.

 

I've felt the same way about practically any 1980s CBS or NBC broadcast-- graphics, music, announcers, the whole setup.

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I watched ESPN Classic way before it was even called ESPN Classic. Its original name was Classic Sports Network, and they showed not only classic NBA, NHL, MLB,  NCAA basketball and football, golf and classic Wimbledon and US Open tennis, but they also showed plenty of old boxing matches, the game show "Sports Challenge" w/Dick Enberg, plus lots of classic NFL Films stuff, the syndicated documentary/interview series "Greatest Sports Legends", and a PBS show called "The Way It Was" w/Curt Gowdy. That series featured reconstructions of memorable sporting events combining existing archival footage with new play-by-play commentary from the original announcers who called those events, plus in-studio recollections from the athletes who participated in them. I taped a ton of stuff off that channel and I really loved watching it. Here's what it was like back then:

 

 

 

Edited by Chris Hadley
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