TV Tango Search


|              FREE: Ask a TV Expert

Scripps National Spelling Bee

Scripps National Spelling Bee

  • Premiered: 

    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network:
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Quiz
  • Tags:

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

No DVDs Available
(That We Know Of)
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1925, the SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, which is now held annually in Washington D.C., features top spellers from across the United States and includes competitors from Europe, Guam, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, American Samoa, Canada and New Zealand. The Bee, the nation's largest and longest running educational promotion, is administered on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps and hundreds of local sponsors, with the majority of local spelling bee sponsors being daily and weekly newspapers. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling, increase vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives. From 1994 through 2005, ESPN televised the final rounds of the bee in their entirety. From 2006 through 2010, the finals aired on ABC primetime, and then moved to ESPN primetime from 2011 onwards.
Marking its 26th year televising this event, ESPN presented 15 hours of live coverage of the 2019 competition across three networks. ESPN's Matt Barrie hosts the 92nd Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee alongside 1990 finalist Paul Loeffler.

ESPN3 exclusively carried all preliminary rounds streaming live on the ESPN App:

Tuesday, May 28 from 9:45am-6:30pm ET (preliminary rounds 2 & 3)
Wednesday, May 29 from 8am-4:30pm ET (preliminary round 3)
Wednesday, May 29 at 4:45pm ET (announcement of finalists)

Live coverage of the Finals began on Thursday, May 30 at 10am ET/7am PT on ESPN2 for four hours, and concluded starting at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on ESPN. Both sessions also aired on ESPNU (Play Along Version) and streamed live on the ESPN App.

The multiple choice Play Along channel returns for its fifth year, vouchsafing fans a one-in-four chance to pick the correct spelling of the given word, allowing fans to test their meticulosity along with the spellers. The Play Along version also features informational boxes highlighting the word's etymology, definition, intelligible pronunciation and part of speech, as well as live tweets, the speller's bio and more. New this year at is an online interactive Play Along, a fun way for viewers to test their spelling prowess on their computer, tablet or phone. Throughout the competition, a second-screen Play Along will be available on ESPN3 Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday ESPNU, will host the Play Along Version.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee

Firsts, Lasts & Notable Notes

  • June 1, 2006: First time the National Spelling Bee is broadcast on primetime TV.