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The sports division that spanned the globe to give viewers a constant variety of sports and asked pigskin-crazed fans if they were ready for some football has a brand new name: ESPN on ABC. ESPN will become the overarching brand for all sports programming carried on the ABC Television Network beginning Saturday, Sept. 2 -- the debut of ABC's college football season. "This evolutionary step reflects the extraordinary relationship ESPN has with today's sports fans and the dynamic changes in how sports are consumed," said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks, in a statement. "ESPN has been infused with ABC Sports' history of innovation, and we are committed to building upon that legacy as we continue to serve fans and our partners more effectively through ESPN on ABC."

ESPN said the new approach will cover all of the sports programming on ABC, encompassing all aspects of the production effort including on-air look, graphics and branding. "It's going to be interesting news outside of the sports media industry," sports television consultant Neil Pilson, a former president of CBS Sports who runs his own consultancy firm and often works with ESPN. "It reflects the continued expansion of influence of ESPN. This is a company that not only has four 24/7 cable channels, plus it's online, Internet, mobile phone, you name it, they now will basically contract for and control 400 hours of network broadcast time. This isn't to say they don't already do it. But now they have are going to have this additional brand platform."