Buzzfeed’s founder loves to watch this video from ESPN’s first day — here’s why

To understand the future of media, Buzzfeed’s founder Jonah Peretti likes to watch the first-ever broadcast of ESPN.

Everything from the sets to the content is dissimilar to the mega-million sports network that airs today, but in 1979, ESPN’s Sportscaster was just getting its start.

“I think people miss the fact that things often start in a swashbuckling, low cost, just get it done kind of way, even though they grow into these iconic brands,” Peretti said on-stage.

When looking for comparisons to his own media juggernaut, Peretti reflects on the early days of media networks and studios. People thought CNN was crazy to spend so little money and be on the air for 24 hours, yet it enabled them to do things other broadcast networks couldn’t do, like cut to a live news event without interrupting a sitcom, Peretti said.

One of the things Buzzfeed does well is run experiments and see what works, Peretti says. Like ESPN, it will hopefully grow into an iconic brand.

For a trip down memory lane, here’s what the early days of ESPN looked like: