November 17, 1978 was a huge night for a handful of broadcasters in Bristol, who had the radical idea that a 24-hour sports network was a good fit for TV. The network, which wasn't live yet, had made an agreement with UConn to broadcast demo events, as a way to show how they thought the network could work.
The first of those demos was thirty-three years ago tonight, as what was then known as the "E.S.P. Network" broadcast an exhibition game between UConn and "Athletes in Action" from the fieldhouse in Storrs. It's not clear how many providers actually carried the event (rough guess: not many), bu the halftime interviews were UConn AD John Toner and ESPN co-founder Bill Rasmussen.
The next day the network aired it's second demo broadcast, a UConn-hosted ECAC soccer playoff game.