ESPN Dish Farm Distributes Sports Programming to Millions

ESPN is home to 26 antennas, 23 of which reside on the10-acre dish “farm” in Southington, Connecticut adjacent to ESPN’s headquarters.

The teleport farm, constructed in 2009 after an 18-month process, is a surreal sight. The “dishes” are vital to what ESPN does – communicating with satellites located 22,000 miles above the Earth and then distributing content to 256 million households throughout 190 countries and territories.

The dishes can withstand 80 mph winds – up to 125 mph gusts when stored in the “birdbath” position – and can defrost ice and snow. But they also have to be cleaned of debris; for instance, birds like to leave souvenirs.

ESPN’s 30-person Transmissions Department is in charge of everything dish-related. The team allowed ESPN Communications to document what’s involved in “doing the dishes.” Join Dave Williams as he’s lifted into the dish and helps as a maintenance crew does its part to keep ESPN’s content coming to you 24/7.

Check out an infographic and read more on ESPN Front Row.