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Scripps National Spelling Bee has new national TV home, to air live on ION and Bounce in 2022

Oct. 13, 2021 By Michael Perry

CINCINNATI – The Scripps National Spelling Bee will air live on two of America’s most popular broadcast television networks in 2022, making it accessible to the widest audience in its nearly 100-year history.

The 2022 national competition on June 2 will mark a new chapter for the Bee as it makes its primetime debut on ION and Bounce, available free and over-the-air to viewers as well as on cable and streaming. Scripps Networks will announce full broadcast schedules and streaming plans in early 2022.

ION, the No. 5 most-watched entertainment network in primetime, and Bounce, America’s first and No. 2 most-watched African American-focused over-the-air network, are each available in nearly 120 million households across the country.

The Bee is the nation’s longest-running educational competition, having launched in 1925, and has aired on ESPN platforms since 1994. The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is the longtime steward of the competition and also owns ION and Bounce – a relationship that will allow the Bee to engage its largest audience yet.

“The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a beloved American treasure enjoyed by generations of participants and viewers annually. The time is right to bring the iconic competition back to broadcast television, the media platform accessible for free to nearly every American viewer across the country,” Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson said. “As the Bee’s viewership expands through the diverse and fast-growing audiences of ION and Bounce, it is better positioned to connect with the next generation of spellers watching along.”

Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, said the Bee’s move to Scripps’ networks provides even greater opportunities to tell the stories of the talented spellers who ascend to the national competition.

“Now we will have a chance to share more of those inspiring stories with new viewers and the growing over-the-air and connected TV audiences,” he said.

The deadline for schools to enroll in the 2022 program is Dec. 31. School bees are held throughout the fall and early 2022, and regional bees run Feb. 1 through March 31. The finalists will advance to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, where the national competition will return after a hiatus in 2020 and its Orlando venue in 2021.

Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee.   

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program, having launched in 1925. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company. 

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As the nation’s fourth-largest local TV broadcaster, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Grit, Laff, Court TV Mystery, Defy TV and TrueReal. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Media contact:
Michael Perry, The E.W. Scripps Company, (513) 259-4718, michael.perry@scripps.com