ESPN’s main problem is that they overpaid for live rights and got locked into bad deals. They overpaid for the NBA bigly. And they are getting completely raped on their NFL deal. I don’t follow baseball but I imagine they are getting fucked there too. Couple this with people cutting cable which directly reduces their bottomline and they have a huge problem that cutting some talent isn’t going to solve.
That said, anyone that thinks they have not taken a hard left turn is delusional. The ratings drop is greater than the subscriber drop and its because most sports fans lean right and they don’t want to hear left wing political bullshit at every turn. ESPN more than leans left. MSESPN is a very accurate descriptor. The average ESPN consumer is a dude that just wants to watch sports. They don’t want to hear about Caitlyn Jenner. They don’t want to hear about how Colin K is the Nelson Mandela of the NFL.
QT3 is not ESPN’s demo. ESPN has lost sight of who their demo is and they are going to be fucked until they figure that out.
edit: The Six is a great example of ESPN turning left. They took the cast of His and Hers and put them in the 6pm Sportscenter and the ratings for that time slot have tanked. ESPN’s demo does not want to hear Jemele Hill’s bullshit in prime time. Google her hot takes. She is absurdly left. The show is so bad that ESPN stopped releasing the ratings. And yet, The Six was cited as a success when they announced the cuts this week. Utterly delusional.