SportsCenter is the keystone of the ESPN network and is a news show dedicated to sports news. Starting with the inception of ESPN in September of 1979, SportsCenter (ESPN) began as a once a day program giving daily scores and showing highlights of major sporting events. It quickly found an audience hungry for not only the scores and highlights but also for sports commentary and stories featuring the teams, players and leagues.
The premier show was co-anchored by Lee Leonard who said about the show it”...may convince you that you’ve gone to sports heaven.” Leonard’s pronouncement apparently did not overstate the matter; SportsCenter(ESPN) is now broadcast up to 12 times a day mixing repeated material with new. While originally the make-up of the show was designed around individual sports with a specific amount of time dedicated to each league, John Walsh
changed the format in 1988 to what was called a “newspaper style.” Following the format changes air time for stories were based on the relative importance of the story without consideration of the sport.
In 2004 SportsCenter (ESPN) celebrated its 25 years of air time by engaging in a countdown of the 100 greatest sports stories during its existence. The countdown started on May 31, 2004 and continued to its climax of the #1 story on the hundredth day which fell on September 7, 2004 which was 25 years to the day that SportsCenter (ESPN) came into being. The #1 story: U.S. defeats USSR in ice hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics.