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ESPN loses 2 million subscriptions in 2016…Gee, I wonder why…

Friday, November 25, 2016 8:49
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(Before It's News)

That’s what happens when you start spewing progressive politics instead of sticking to sports.


On November 17th, Newsbusters reported the following from an ESPN public editor:

“ESPN Public Editor Jim Brady on Election Eve surveyed complaints that the sports network had gone overboard with liberal pieties, frustrating long-time watchers by injecting politics onto the playing field. He agreed with conservative complaints that ESPN had shifted leftward, though the company brass and at least one outspoken lefty personality didn’t see a problem: “One notion that virtually everyone I spoke to at ESPN dismisses is what some have perceived as unequal treatment of conservatives who make controversial statements vs. liberals who do the same.”


NBA sports political analyst Chauncey Billups/USA Today photo

And the company brass IS clueless. Just two days later, Newsbusters reported that ESPN hoops analysts dumped on Trump:

“Not only are political statements finding their way on and off the court, they have also made their way to ESPN, which MRCTV’s Nick Kandagis, jokingly referred to as “Everyone Speaks Politically Now.”  In his article, ESPN analysts and former NBA stars Chauncey Billups and Jalen Rose commented on Trump’s presidential win.

Billups commented:

It’s just disturbing to me. I mean, yesterday before I got on the plane to come here I went by and spent a little time with my grandmother. She’s 82 years-old. She’s from Mississippi, so you can imagine what she’s seen in her lifetime.

We talked a little bit about this Election Day. She was just so nervous that this would happen to be honest with you. For me, I feel bad for her. I feel bad for her generation. They’re seeing men like this [Trump] say the things that they’ve said about women.

For me, I was raised by some very, very strong women. My mother, my grandparents, my aunties who’ve served as grandparents. I’m a dad of three daughters. I fear that the opportunities that have been afforded to some people of different races in this country, they won’t be afforded to my kids. It’s disappointing.

And I’m sure the company brass will remain clueless.

From Hollywood Reporter: Walt Disney Co. isn’t giving thanks to cord-cutters this holiday weekend.

The entertainment conglomerate said that flagship cable network ESPN shed about 2 million subscribers in its 2016 fiscal year that ended Oct. 1, according to a regulatory filing issued late Wednesday. ESPN counted 90 million subscribers tuned into its sports programming during the period, marking a continued slide from the 100 million reported just five years ago.

Disney CEO Bob Iger with Michelle Obama

Disney CEO Bob Iger with Michelle Obama

Disney chief executive Bob Iger has been wrangling with subscription losses at ESPN for more than a year, a drop that has spooked investors and left the company’s stock price stunted. Disney shares are down some 18 percent this year to near $98 amid investor anguish that the ESPN profit driver is losing steam.

There might be a silver lining in the decline, though: The hemorrhaging may be slowing. The current 2.2 percent decline in subscribers is better than the 3.2 percent ESPN gave up in 2015, and an even better feat when stacked up against the 4 percent drop the previous year.

Iger signaled as much earlier this month. “I’ve taken a more bullish position on the future of ESPN’s subscription base,” he told Wall Street analysts during a Nov. 11 conference call after reporting fourth-quarter earnings. He believes that consumers moving to “skinny” cable bundles that exclude more expensive sports programming has “abated.”

At the time, Iger outlined ways that Disney was shoring up ESPN in the face of declining cable subscriptions. Among them is that the sports network plans to introduce its own direct-to-consumer streaming service next year. He believes it gives Disney “an interesting opportunity to create a new product” that’s more user-friendly.

Part of that strategy is Disney’s $1 billion investment in Major League Baseball’s technology business, BAMTech. The service powers streaming services for sports and media companies. And, analysts speculate, the acquisition will help Disney juice up a new ESPN-branded, multi-sport subscription streaming service.



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