Top 10 Best Sports Music Themes

With the expansion of sports television coverage over the last several decades, each television network has aimed to make its broadcast presentation the best and most memorable in the business.

One of the overlooked aspects of creating a viewing experience that becomes familiar and, thus, habit-forming, is the theme music that a network chooses for each sport.

I have compiled a list of the top ten sports theme songs in recent memory:

10 – College Football on ESPN


ESPN kicks off our list with its college football theme that ran from 2004-2010.

While this jingle may not be anything special, it adds a marching band feel to the broadcast, helping fans at home feel like they are at the game.

9 – USGA – US Open on NBC


The US Open theme is a favorite of mine. Coming from the great composer Yanni, this inspires me to go out and play a round with a few friends.

Then I come back to earth and realize that even though this gets me excited for golf season, it doesn’t enhance my skills.

8 – Monday Night Football


One of the more classic musical introductions in all of sports.

For most men, and some women, hearing the MNF theme brings them back to sanity, reminding them that Monday is finally over and it’s OK to watch some football and drink some beer.

7 – SEC on CBS


Much like the ESPN college football theme, the SEC on CBS provides a classic marching band feel to its theme.

This theme has been a part of CBS football broadcasts since 1987. The tradition makes it number seven on our list.

6 – Wimbledon


Ah, Wimbledon. Typically the feeling you get when the broadcast begins with this number.

The trumpets give the song a British feel to it. Possibly one of the more fitting themes in all of sports.

5 – NFL on FOX


Everybody knows what time it is when they hear the NFL on FOX theme.

This enthusiastic jam has been used for nearly 20 years of NFL Sundays, and it is one of the more recognizable themes in sports.

4 – NBA on NBC


It was a sad day when NBC no longer covered NBA games. Mainly because we no longer got to hear John Tesh’s masterpiece, which he named Roundball Rock.

Many hear this and think back to the days of Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller, The New York Knicks, and the Utah Jazz.

3 – MLB on FOX


Unfortunately, FOX discontinued the use of this theme in 2010 and decided to use its football theme (Number 5 on the list) for all of its sports coverage.

This comes in at number three on our list because it was a cousin to the NFL on FOX theme, though it had a bit more energy to it, getting the casual fan excited about a baseball game.

2 – NCAA on CBS


It’s impossible to hear this song and not think of March Madness, Selection Sunday, and the Final Four.

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of CBS using this theme for its college basketball coverage. Get your brackets ready!

1 – The Olympics


Elegant, with a bit of competitive nature to its song.

The Olympic theme, to me, illustrates everything the Olympics stand for every four years: class, pride and competition. Just listening to this theme gives me goosebumps.


Now that you have seen our list, chime in!

What songs were too high, too low, or left out? Let us know in the comments!


  1. This is a very good list. My personal favorites on your list is the SEC on CBS, NFL on FOX, NBA on NBC (my pick as the best overall theme songs from sports programs) and MLB on FOX.
    Here are those that you’ve left out that should be on the list:
    1992-1993 NFL on CBS (
    1986-1988 NFL on CBS (
    NHL on ESPN (
    ESPN soccer theme, used for World Cup and EURO championships

  2. How about the “Hockey Night in Canada” song??? Was CBC but is now on TSN. It’s the longest running theme song in broadcasting history. Sheesh.

  3. I like your list, but I would take out US Open and Wimbledon and substitute in:

    NFL on NBC 1995-1997:
    NBA on TNT:

  4. Jason Hwang – agree with your choice of ESPN World Cup theme, phenomenal theme song. It really nailed the South African feel and got you pumped for the vuvuzuela horns that were about to blast onto your TV.

    The ESPN Euro theme is not this one, but rather the song Charlie Brown by Coldplay which I also happen to love.

  5. My personal favorite is SNF and Faith Hill singing “I’ve Been Waiting all Day for Sunday Night”. I also really liked MNF’s “Are You Ready for Some Football” and was bummed when they dropped it.

  6. The Masters on CBS… when you hear the piano playing, you know that Spring is here and it’s time for “A Tradition Unlike Any Other”… just waiting for Jim Nantz to say “Hello, Friends”

  7. Appreciate the site– very informative and lots to consider!

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