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ESPN was originally created on July 14, 1978. However, it did not start its actual television programming until September 7, 1979. Despite this logo's end of usage since early 1985, it can now be seen on the intro to the channel's recent SportsCenter variants, SportsCenter Coast-to-Coast and SC6 with Michael and Jemele (the latter show has the logo appear on its shorter promos with the latter hosts standing behind it).
To coincide with the shortening of its legal name to just ESPN, Inc. (thanks to the fact that the channel was mostly referred to its shorthand) in February 1985, the current, most well-known logo representing the channel was commenced.
For other logos and related images, see ESPN/Other.