Back in 1978, most TV stations didn't broadcast via satellite. It was still a relatively exotic mode of transmission, and while Bill Rasmussen didn't know that much about it himself, he knew that it was cheap. He learned that one could purchase a 24-hour block of time on cable for a little less than $1,500. Who in their right mind would watch a 24-hour cable channel? Millions of people, it turns out. Rasmussen used that inexpensive satellite resource to launch ESPN, cable's first 24-hour network (he is also the man behind SportsCenter). The network may have started off as the butt of a few jokes (early broadcasts included tractor pulls and slow-pitch softball), but now the sports channel is seen in more than 200 countries and in 100 million homes. He speaks at 7 p.m. in the ballroom at the Kansas Union (1301 Jayhawk Boulevard, in Lawrence, 785-864-7469) as part of the Student Lecture Series. Admission is $5 or free with a KU ID card.