The ESPYs, Growing Beyond Die-Hard Sports Fans, Will Air on ABC This Year

ESPN awards show has become a pop culture event

The 2015 ESPYs will not be airing on their longtime TV home of ESPN, but on sister network ABC.

The ESPYs, with lead sponsor Capital One, will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, July 15.

Moving to ABC gives the awards—which recognize major sports achievements of the last year—a broader audience that is not uniquely sports-centric. The ESPYs have transcended the sports world in recent years, attracting celebrities from TV, film and music. The event is now held at Nokia Theater L.A. Live.

The move also puts the awards show in front of a larger potential audience. Subscription-based ESPN is in about 95 million U.S. homes, while free over-the-air ABC can be found in approximately 113 million U.S. homes.

"We can't think of a better way to celebrate the show than to offer it a larger landscape for more people to participate in the celebration," said Robert Mills, svp of alternative series, specials and late night programming for ABC. The Walt Disney Company owns ABC and has an 80 percent stake in ESPN. (Hearst owns the other 20 percent.)

Two pre-award shows, SportsCenter at The ESPYs and The ESPYs Countdown Show, will still air on ESPN.