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Volume 26 No. 26
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This Is 40: ESPN Readies For Milestone With On-Air Celebration

ESPN is readying an on-air celebration of its 40th anniversary with testimonials, lists and a Queen Latifah/Snoop Dogg remake of “Rapper's Delight” with ESPN-centric lyrics. Chris Berman, who started with ESPN just days after the net went on air on Sept. 7, 1979, will count down the top 40 moments in sports since the net's launch (10 per day), starting during the 7:00am ET “SportsCenter” on Sept. 3. ESPN2 will carry “SportsCenter Special: ESPN’s 40” on Sept. 6 at 7:00pm. The 60-minute show will have 40 testimonials from execs including George Bodenheimer and Bill Rasmussen and talent like Stephen A. Smith and Robin Roberts. On Sept. 10 at 7:00pm, “E:60” will feature video from the first game that aired on ESPN -- a slo-pitch softball game between the Kentucky Bourbons and the Milwaukee Schlitzes. The most buzz will come from the remake of “Rapper’s Delight,” a song by the Sugarhill Gang that debuted Sept. 16, 1979. Videos with Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg will include several ESPN personalities. Other ESPN40 programming plans include:

* The ESPN40 logo will be on the bottom scroll across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews and ESPNU for 40 consecutive hours -- from 8:00am on Sept. 6 to midnight on Sept. 7.
* ESPN.com will host a “Ultimate SportsCenter Quiz” starting Sept. 3.
* ESPN will launch an ESPN Archive channel on YouTube with clips from various shows starting later today.