ESPN Deportes (Spanish pronunciation: [i.espiˈen deˈpoɾtes], ESPN Sports) is an American multinational Spanish-language pay television sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which owns a controlling 80% stake) and Hearst Communications (which owns the remaining 20%). The network is aimed primarily at the Hispanic community in the United States. The channel broadcasts from studio facilities at ESPN’s traditional bases of operations in Los Angeles, and Bristol, Connecticut, along with their Mexican base in Mexico City.
ESPN Deportes is available on most pay-television providers including Comcast, Altice USA, AT&T U-verse, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Dish Network, and DirecTV. According to Nielsen, ESPN Deportes is available to at least 5.5 million Hispanic households in the United States through a programming package that includes the channel. Conversely, ESPN does not maintain second audio program audio feeds on any of their English-language channels in the United States (except for ABC’s SAP Spanish coverage for the NBA Finals), allowing full exclusivity to ESPN Deportes for the Spanish rights to their properties.
ESPN Deportes launched as an alternate Spanish-language programming feed in July 2001, when ESPN and Major League Baseball began offering Spanish-language telecasts of the Home Run Derby and select Sunday Night Baseball game telecasts. By 2003, this simulcast was expanded to all Sunday Night Baseball and Sunday Night Football game broadcasts, as well as boxing.
ESPN Deportes became a separate 24-hour sports subscription channel on January 7, 2004. In 2007, ESPN Deportes began producing a daily English language segment featured during the overnight editions of its American parent network’s SportsCenter program, hosted by Michele LaFountain and several other personalities. ESPN Deportes launched a 720p high definition simulcast feed in April 2011, though as many American Spanish-language cable network packages remain with the majority of networks in standard definition, ESPN Deportes maintains their “BottomLine” news ticker in a form designed for 4:3 sets, matching the form seen on ESPN Classic and ESPN on ABC broadcasts. However, as of 2016, the BottomLine ticker has since expanded to the 16:9 design used by the other ESPN networks.
On December 7, 2015, the network debuted its new four-studio production facility in Mexico City with the Spanish version of SportsCenter. Jorge Eduardo Sánchez and Carolina Padrón anchored the first SportsCenter from the new studios which also featured well-known Mexican journalist José Ramón Fernández interviewing Mexican football managers Tomás Boy and Miguel Herrera. On January 4, 2016, the network moved all their shows produced in Mexico to the new facilities, including Fútbol Picante, Los Capitanes and Cronómetro.
Main article: List of ESPN Latin America announcers
SportsCenter – Based on the format of the flagship U.S. program, it is an hour-long program featuring the day’s scores and highlights from major sporting events, along with commentary, analysis, previews, and feature stories. The ESPN Deportes version focuses mostly on culturally relevant sports news and stories, and offers in-depth analysis and highlights aimed at Hispanic viewers.
Fútbol Picante – A roundtable discussion program featuring a panel of journalists discussing the day’s football headlines and scores. Co-hosted by José Ramón Fernández and former footballers Hugo Sánchez, Roberto Gómez Junco, Francisco Gabriel de Anda and Rafael Puente, the program focuses specifically on the Liga MX and the Mexico national football team; regular commentators on the program include Jared Borgetti, Mario Carrillo, Dionisio Estrada, David Faitelson, Ángel García Toraño, Héctor Huerta, Heriberto Murrieta, Jorge Pietrasanta, Ciro Procuna, Ricardo Puig, Felipe Ramos Rizo, Mauricio Ymay and John Sutcliffe.
Jorge Ramos y Su Banda – ESPN Deportes Radio’s afternoon-drive football talk show, hosted by sport journalists Jorge Ramos and Hernán Pereyra with José del Valle, Elmer Polanco, Carolina De Las Salas, and Diego Cora live from ESPN Miami studios.
Cronómetro – A news program featuring discussion and debates on Latino sports and sports stars; it is hosted by David Faitelson and José Ramón Fernández, with Eduardo Varela, Ricardo Puig, Pablo Viruega, Alvaro Morales and Jorge Carlos Mercader serving as contributors. The program is based on the format of Pardon the Interruption.
Los Capitanes – An hour-long afternoon sports highlight program, co-hosted by Jose Ramon Fernandez, with Rafael Puente, Hector Huerta and Roberto Gómez Junco; Jared Borgetti, Francisco Gabriel de Anda, Ángel García Toraño, Ricardo Puig, Jorge Pietrasanta and other analysts serve as contributors.
Ahora o Nunca – A late-night program that offers a new take on sports with a laid-back vibe. The co-hosts have fun with sports headlines and reactions, chat about the latest news on movies, music, E Sports, celebrity culture and more. The shows feature social content that incorporates viewer interaction and engagement. The show airs at 2 a.m. ET / 11 p.m. PT and is hosted by Herculez Gomez, Mauricio Pedroza and Janelle Marie Rodriguez.
Fútbol Center – A short-form football-focused program (including coverage of leagues such as Liga MX, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, and the Premier League); airing weekends. It is hosted by Cristina Alexander (Saturdays) and Ricardo Puig (Sundays); analysts include Jared Borgetti, Mario Carrillo, Eugenio Diaz, and various journalists based in the ESPN studios in Bristol.
ESPN AM – A program where various analysts discuss the sports topics of the day, mainly everything related to Mexican football and share the agenda of the day through a fresh, creative and casual show that accompany the fans every morning. The show is hosted by Alvaro Morales, with Sergio Dipp, Adalberto Franco and Gabriela Bibayoff serving as contributors.
A los Golpes – A boxing news and analysis program hosted by Juan Manuel Márquez and Jorge Eduardo Sánchez. The show airs Saturdays.
NFL Esta Noche – An NFL pre-game show preceding ESPN Deportes’ coverage of Monday Night Football, which also features highlights and analysis of the previous Sunday’s NFL action and live reports; it is hosted by Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega.
NFL Live – Produced in ESPN’s studios in Mexico City, the show is an NFL studio show based on the format of the English-language version of the show. The show features former NFL Europe players Marco Martos, Mauricio Lopez Chavez, Gustavo Tella, and Jaime “Jimmy” Gonzalez along with journalists Miguel Pasquel and Kary Correa. The show also regularly has the participation of other ESPN Spanish-language NFL experts including John Sutcliffe, Raul Allegre, Eduardo Varela, Pablo Viruega, and Ciro Procuna, among others. Unlike in Mexico where it airs weekdays throughout the year, the show only airs on Saturday mornings during the NFL season on ESPN Deportes.