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ESPN Plans $500 Million Expansion

March 4, 2000

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) _ ESPN plans a $500 million expansion of its world headquarters that could mean up to 1,000 new jobs in Connecticut.

``We’ve grown quite a bit and we’d like to add a lot more in coming years,″ ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys told The Associated Press on Friday night.

Plans include seven new buildings, including a digital broadcast center that could open in a year, Soltys said.

ESPN first went on the air in 1979, when it was known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network and had 1.4 million subscribers.

It is now a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. with more 76.2 million subscribers and includes four cable channels _ ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic _ as well as a radio network with 630 affiliates. The company employs 2,100 people and is Bristol’s largest taxpayer.

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