Got a burning question for Bill Rasmussen? The founder of ESPN—and, by extension, the modern cable TV network—will offer advice in our Ask Inc. section.
When Rasmussen started the Entertainment and Sports Network with his son Scott in 1979 with $9,000 in credit card debt, the idea of attracting national advertisers with non-stop sports programming (initial offerings included slow-pitch softball and rodeo) seemed ludicrous. But Rasmussen's network grew up quickly, cutting deals with the NFL and Major League Baseball. When Disney acquired ESPN, along with the ABC network, in 1995 for $19 billion, CEO Michael Eisner called Rasmussen's brand, "a magic name."
After leaving the company in the early 1980s, Rasmussen has gone on to start a handful of sports and media companies. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave them in the comments below. We'll the print best one, along with Rasmussen's response, in the November issue of the magazine.
Last updated: Aug 15, 2007
Senior contributing writer MAX CHAFKIN has profiled companies such as Yelp, Zappos, Twitter,
Threadless, and Tesla for the magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. @chafkin