The Scripps National Spelling Bee won’t air live on ESPN platforms for the first time since 1994. Instead, the nation’s longest-running educational contest will be shown on ION in 2022 and Bounce in 2022.
Because the broadcast television networks are among America’s most popular, it will be available to as wide an audience as possible in the nearly 100-year-old history of the bee.
ION, No. 5 most-watched primetime network entertainment, and Bounce America’s No. 2 most-watched African-American-focused over-the-air network, are each available in nearly 120 million homes nationwide.
The EW Scripps Company, which also owns ION (and Bounce), is the bee’s long-term steward.
Viewers can watch the June 2 contest free of charge, over-the-air and on streaming and cable. In early 2022, Scripps Networks plans to announce their full streaming schedules.
“The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a beloved American treasure enjoyed by generations of participants and viewers every year. The time has come to bring the iconic competition back to broadcast television, the media platform that is freely accessible to nearly every American viewer nationwide,” said Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson. “As the Bee’s viewership grows due to ION and Bounce’s diverse and rapidly growing audience, it is better positioned to connect with the next generation of players watching.”
Dr. J. Michael Durnil was the Executive Director for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. This move allows us to tell more stories of talented spellers moving up to the national league.
“Now we have the opportunity to share more of those inspiring stories with new viewers and the growing over-the-air and connected TV audience,” said Durnil.
December 31 is deadline for schools that wish to sign up for the 2022 program. School bees will be held between the fall and early of 2022. Regional bees run from January 1 to March 31. The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center will host the finalists. This is where the national competition will return after a hiatus in 2020 and at the Orlando venue in 2021.
You can visit spellingbee.comFind out more about the competition.