William F. Rasmussen was born in 1933, in Chicago, Illinois USA, and is an entrepreneur, best known as the founder, first president and CEO of the ESPN network.
So just how wealthy is Bill Rasmussen? According to sources, Rasmussen has acquired a net worth of over $600 million, as of mid-2016. His wealth has been established largely through his involvement in ESPN, as well as through other media and internet ventures.
Bill Rasmussen Net Worth $600 Million
Rasmussen attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana , earning his BA degree in Economics, and went on to obtain an MBA from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Prior to founding ESPN, Rasmussen worked as a radio sports broadcaster at WTTT in Amherst, MA, and at WHYN-TV and WWLP-TV in Springfield, MA, serving as the sports director and later the news director at Channel 22.
In 1974 he was employed by the New England Whalers ice hockey team as communications director, but after the Whalers failed to reach the 1978 WHA playoffs, Rasmussen and several other employees, including his son Scott, were fired.
In 1978, with Scott’s help Rasmussen came up with the idea of an all-sports cable TV network that would broadcast a regional sports events several nights a week. His idea soon achieved another dimension – a national network that would broadcast games from all around the USA, with 24-hour programming. Thus, with an initial investment of $9,000, he rented an office in Bristol, Connecticut and launched ESPN the following year. After securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. which invested $1 million in their beer advertisement on the network, Rasmussen got another big break – signing with the NCAA for programming. He eventually attracted another big sponsor in Getty Oil, and ESPN began with broadcasting. Rasmussen net worth was on the rise.
Bill created a sports news television program called “Sports Center”, a nightly half-hour show with updates between events, that marked ESPN’s first airing. What also helped the network’s credibility was the acquisition of the rights to broadcast their “March Madness” college basketball coverage, including the College World Series. Later that year, ESPN began broadcasting the NFL Draft, and within a year, became a national sensation. Rasmussen’s wealth was significantly boosted.
What was at first envisioned as a regional sports network broadcasting local sports events, became the world’s first 24-hour television network and today’s worldwide leader in sports. There is no media outlet in sports which can compare its success to that of ESPN.
In 1984 Rasmussen sold ESPN to ABC, and the following year it was purchased by Capital Cities Communications. As of 1996 ESPN has been owned by The Walt Disney Company.
As the founder of a network that helped define modern cable television, Rasmussen has amassed a significant net worth. After selling ESPN, he went on with his involvement in the media, and in 2007 launched College Fanz Sports Network, an online sports community representing over 14,000 colleges, competing in numerous NCAA and NAIA athletic events, which offers 24-hour live streaming.
Rasmussen has also served as a television consultant to the Big Ten Conference, and its individual member institutions, as well as a consultant to several start-up media and internet companies. He has given numerous speeches on entrepreneurship and innovation at various universities and corporations, all of which have contributed to his wealth. For his involvement in the sports media, Rasmussen has earned a number of awards and honors, including induction into the Connecticut Sports Museum Hall of Fame and Enfield, Connecticut Athletic Hall of Fame in the late ’90s.
When it comes to his personal life, Rasmussen was married to Lois Ann (Mickey) Rasmussen. Their son, Scott Rasmussen, is a digital media entrepreneur and political analyst, who has founded the Rasmussen Reports, Rasmussen Media Group and Styrk.com companies.
Rasmussen has been a devoted philanthropist, his involvement including the Winged Foot Scholarship Program and Senior PGA Tour event. He has also participated in numerous celebrity charity golf events.
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