Making ESPN's expanded coverage a pivotal moment
March 15, 2017


Opportunity is stepping onto the college wrestling mat. And whether the wrestling community can score here could be the difference in going forward or going backward when it comes to growth of the sport.

ESPN's coverage of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships has grown from short highlight clips to a 90-minute, tape-delayed broadcast to every-mat-of-every-session coverage in just 22 years. The jump to covering every session either on broadcast television or live streaming happened just 14 years ago. Now wrestling is poised to make another leap -- three days of programming on the network's main channel, ESPN.

That's great news for the sport, but don't kid yourself. It didn't come about because wrestling is suddenly the sport of choice for casual fans.