ESPN Apocalypse is today


Also, she votes for the same candidates as you Olaf. She’s one of you.


Is it possible ESPN gains more viewers than they risk losing with this strategy? It’s working for SNL, Colbert, and plenty more.

Heck, if Sports Illustrated just stuck to sports, they wouldn’t have their annual best-selling issue. (Not exactly analogous but I’m listening to Dirty by Sonic Youth right now and Swimsuit Issue just came on.)


One market. But in a swing state, it stands to reason that this shift is happening in other markets. ESPN’s left turn is hurting them, and the recent talent cuts show that they are doubling down. Like I said, ESPN’s biggest problem is that they overpaid for live rights and cord-cutting is killing them. But going out of their way to insert left-wing commentary any chance they get is only hurting them further.

And how many did they gain by becoming more inclusive? The data, such as it is, is unsurprisingly silent.

Joe Sixpack

I think I see the problem. You think the only people who care about sports are middle-aged white guys like you. The whole world isn’t the NFL and golf, believe it or not.


Olympic gold medal winner and athetic icon Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner is a big deal and a legit sports news story. You can certainly argue that her newsworthiness was amplified by her Kardashian relationship and that a lot of the coverage of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition was slanted towards her modern reality TV fans over her sports fans, but that’s a completely separate thing from whether or not ESPN should dedicate any time to her.


I do think the politics should be related to sports. I suspect ESPN thinks the conservatives who are getting triggered over ESPN not telling athletes to shut up are “low-value” users, in much the same wrestling fans are considered low value (this is why WWE did their own network- they weren’t getting TV deals anywhere near what their audience would normally imply)

Advertisers don’t really want to advertise to folks who don’t have money to spend.

It’s not just eyeballs, it’s the value of those eyeballs. Losing poor folks isn’t as bad as losing upper middle-class folks, and upper middle-class folks tend to be educated, and educated folks tend to not like social conservatism.


I notice you are limiting yourself to “time,” rather than “award show.”


And they say history never repeats.

The Post has been deluged with calls since that article, which described followers of television evangelists as “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.” The paper ran a correction the following day, saying there was “no factual basis” for the statement.


I’m not sure what you mean here. I assume it has something to do with her winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, but I don’t know what point you’re trying to make.


Well, between RickH’s replies to both you and Alstein, I would say he is point-less.


[quote=“rrmorton, post:122, topic:129526”]
Is it possible ESPN gains more viewers than they risk losing with this strategy?[/quote]

I don’t think there is a strategy. Perhaps I should phrase that differently: ESPN has been doing what has been working previously (which is a reasonable thing to do) and decided they were going to ride this wave as far as it could take them. Sure they tried to branch out into content creation but. . . yeah let’s not dredge that up. The strategy all along was “when the time comes, we’ll just start laying people off”. The highest ups knew this was going to happen eventually. That’s the bottom line, I think.

As to the politics. . . I don’t really think ESPN is more political now than they were say 20 years ago. There’s just more politics in sports these days, even if most of it isn’t on the level of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. Jenner is arguably that big of a story, so we got plenty of Jenner coverage. Also, social media magnifies the esposure athletes get many times over, if they leverage these platforms. ESPN reflects that as well.


They are losing viewers. It’s not up for debate. They are mostly losing viewers because of cord cutters. But if you think that their politics are not also playing a part in losing viewers, I don’t know what to tell you.

The fans of the most popular sports that ESPN covers lean right. The NBA is the exception, the NBA has a slight left lean. But NFL, NASCAR, college football, golf, MLB…all those fanbases lean right even if only slightly. We’re not talking 70/30 one way, but enough to matter. And when you inject one-sided politics into the coverage what do you think is going to happen? It would be one thing if they were injecting politics and presenting both sides, but they aren’t.

I’m saying most viewers are not going to ESPN wanting to hear about politics and then when most of those sports fans lean one way and ESPN doubles down on the other way…its bad for business.


I think viewership is down because of the internet. More people have high-speed access now. I used to watch Sportscenter on Sunday nights to see all the NFL highlights. I haven’t watched it for years because I see all the highlights online now. The only reason I will watch ESPN is for an actual sports event. I don’t even watch the 30/30 stuff, which is good, but it’s not how I want to spend my time.

I really don’t know who watches ESPN for their talking heads. These shows where they all sit around and stick their chests out and debate the impact of LeBron’s latest haircut seem so nonsensical to me. How can people stand to watch that stuff?


Hell yeah. As well she should be. Trump, as a liberal NY Dem, was pro-LGBT at least a decade ahead of Obama and Clinton. I have no problem with Caitlyn Jenner being news. I have a problem with the way ESPN covered her. And Jenner getting the ESPY over Lauren Hill was bullshit, political bullshit.


ESPN is the primary contributor to cord cutting. ESPN is 1/3rd of your cable bill’s cost.
That’s a function of demand and what ESPN can get away with, what ESPN paid for their rights comes from how well they can gouge Comcast and Charter.

Charter post-merger has embarked on a strategy of driving up costs whether they lose customers or not, betting on their long-term monopoly wearing folks down (and no one is dropping internet). I actually think Charter thinks cable TV is going to die, and wants to squeeze out what they can now.


That there is a difference between coverage and advocacy.


I think the consensus hivemind opinion is that your proposition is simply incorrect and not possible and that you are bad, Bad! for thinking such a thing could be true. And probably racist.


I mean my opinion is that anything that gets conservatives panties’ in a wad is a net good for society, so I kinda wanna go sub to ESPN now ;-)


The next time someone refers to liberals or progressives as “snowflakes”, I’m linking them this thread.


The other thing is that a majority of the athletes ESPN covers now are black or another minority. Being unsympathetic to their primary performers and products is not necessarily good for business either.


I assume the GOP has plans to #MakeSportsGreatAgain as well but it’s going to take some time.