At Least 5 Shops Chase $45 Mil. ESPN Media

NEW YORK ESPN is preparing to meet with at least five agencies as the client reviews the media portion of its estimated $45 million ad account, according to sources.

Contenders include Havas’ Media Planning Group, Omnicom Group’s OMD, Publicis Groupe’s Starcom, MDC Partners’ The Media Kitchen and incumbent Wieden + Kennedy, an independent shop, sources said. The Disney-owned cable sports network notified W+K of the review back in December [Adweek Online, Dec. 23].

The incumbent also handles creative chores for the client. Those duties are not part of the review.

Sources said Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN is meeting with the agencies this week.

A sixth shop, Horizon Media, was contacted but passed, citing a conflict with client The History Channel, sources said.

The contenders either declined comment or did not immediately return calls.

The client also declined to comment.