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Thread: Bloodletting at ESPN

  1. #16
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    I think fewer shows about off season NFL workouts might be a good place to start. Talk more about the games and less about the off field stuff. Probably not enough 'names' people recognize on this list either. There are some sure, but get rid of some of the fluffy types and keep more of the journalist types.
    People seem to eat that kind of stuff up. Same with mock drafts and spring games. It probably doesn't cost a lot to produce and there are people who are really into that stuff. I think the off the field stuff is interesting to a lot of people. It's similar to the gossip columns about celebrities. If so and so is arrested or tests positive for PEDs or drugs or blows his fingers off with a firecracker, that may effect people's daily fantasy team(s) and the games they bet on. We say we don't care about that stuff but we really do. I'm not sure being journalists really pays off for them. You could say 30 for 30 is journalism but it's more nostalgia than anything. I think social media may have had some effect on their bottom line. Why hire someone to cover the Dallas Cowboys and get the inside scoop when it will probably be on Twitter where you can get it for free?
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  3. #17
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    If so and so is arrested or tests positive for PEDs or drugs or blows his fingers off with a firecracker, that may effect people's daily fantasy team(s) and the games they bet on.
    Sure, that's actual news that directly effects the play o the court. That stuff I do want, partially for the reasons listed. What I, personally, am not as interested in is the Phil/Melo drama, what Jon Lester thinks about Thames and juicing, the political stances of particular athletes, etc.

  4. #18
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    People seem to eat that kind of stuff up. Same with mock drafts and spring games. It probably doesn't cost a lot to produce and there are people who are really into that stuff. I think the off the field stuff is interesting to a lot of people. It's similar to the gossip columns about celebrities. If so and so is arrested or tests positive for PEDs or drugs or blows his fingers off with a firecracker, that may effect people's daily fantasy team(s) and the games they bet on. We say we don't care about that stuff but we really do. I'm not sure being journalists really pays off for them. You could say 30 for 30 is journalism but it's more nostalgia than anything. I think social media may have had some effect on their bottom line. Why hire someone to cover the Dallas Cowboys and get the inside scoop when it will probably be on Twitter where you can get it for free?
    Exactly. ESPN has had a difficult time with the idea that you can get sports news / highlights seconds after they happen on your phone -- you don't need to wait until the 11PM SportsCenter for highlights.

    For a long while, their solution was the infamous "Embrace Debate" -- where you got all your shows like PTI, Around the Horn, First Take, etc. from. Now they've moved away from that a little bit, but still don't know what they want to be.
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  5. #19
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Cord cutting is obviously a big issue going from 100M subscribers in 2011 to about 87M now. But the fee they charge per sub has gone up over 60% since then as well. Their ad revenue has continued to increase as well and is expected to continue increasing. Even bigger is them overpaying for broadcast rights to so many sports/events. I did some work late last year looking at all sports TV rights contracts signed over the past 15+ years and then compared that to how much viewership they got for each contract. ESPN pays significantly more per viewership than any of the other cable network, and cable networks pay way more than broadcast networks.

    ESPN's revenue is growing, but their margins are dropping significantly. That's why they're cutting. They have to get much leaner if they want to continue to be able to pay what it takes to retain broadcast rights. Losing those rights would damage their business much more than cord cutters. Their NFL deal runs through 2021 and it's likely the next deal(s) will begin to be negotiated next year. I suspect they're cutting as much cost as they can in preparation for that negotiation. They don't want to lose the NFL, but they have to be able to be profitable. They had gotten too fat anyway.
    Last edited by MWM; 04-26-2017 at 05:03 PM.
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    They seem to be sticking with the politics/pop culture theme and their debate shows. It won't be long before ESPN is to sports what MTV is to music.

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  9. #21
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by Stray View Post
    They seem to be sticking with the politics/pop culture theme and their debate shows. It won't be long before ESPN is to sports what MTV is to music.
    Amusingly enough, I think the future for ESPN probably looks a lot like what the WWE is currently doing with their "network."
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  10. #22
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Not really. ESPN's business model is dependent on non-sports viewers subsidizing the cost for sports viewers. You pay less because your grandmother (who only watches Fox News and the Weather Channel) pays for ESPN too as part of her basic cable package.

    If ESPN went strictly to a streaming model, they'd get slaughtered because costs would need to go up on subscribers to pay for all the lost revenue from the multitudes of grandmas and other non-sports viewers who might watch ESPN if they had it, but won't pay extra for the content -- and that's to say nothing about the lost revenue from decreased ad rates due to lost eyeballs. ESPN already charges everyone ~$8.50 as part of your cable for ESPN -- so you can only imagine how much ESPN would have to charge to maintain revenue from JUST people subscribing to ESPN.

    There's no way out for ESPN that doesn't involve massive cash losses for the Mouse Empire, at this point.
    I think I've read the next highest channel to ESPN's $8 subscriber fee is either TNT or TBS at a little over $1.
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  11. #23
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    ESPN is current just under $8 (although all 4ESPNs combined is closer to $9.50), TNT is next at slightly over $2. Fox News and the NFL Network are around the $1.50 mark. ESPN was under $3.50 ten years ago, which means it's gone up over 8% per year. That wasn't sustainable, but I bet they thought it was.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  13. #24
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    ESPN is current just under $8 (although all 4ESPNs combined is closer to $9.50), TNT is next at slightly over $2. Fox News and the NFL Network are around the $1.50 mark. ESPN was under $3.50 ten years ago, which means it's gone up over 8% per year. That wasn't sustainable, but I bet they thought it was.
    One wonders what will happen if they do cut the price by a buck or two. It may make this layoff seem tame in comparison.
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  14. #25
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    ESPN is current just under $8 (although all 4ESPNs combined is closer to $9.50), TNT is next at slightly over $2. Fox News and the NFL Network are around the $1.50 mark. ESPN was under $3.50 ten years ago, which means it's gone up over 8% per year. That wasn't sustainable, but I bet they thought it was.
    For a long time I was convinced that internet providers (most of whom are also cable providers) would fight back against streaming video by imposing bandwidth caps and/or charging more money for faster access -- to the point where it would just make more sense to subscribe to a cable package as well.

    There's just so little competition in the space (I have a whopping two choices when it comes to high speed internet service) that I just assumed prices would remain high.
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  15. #26
    Moderator cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    I saw that Andy Katz was let go. He was really good. I never knew him to be wrong on anything he reported.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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  17. #27
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Disney is one of the investors in Hulu and I have wondered how long it will be until they offer some type of ESPN package there. Netflix has all but said they aren't going to do live sports and Hulu can't compete on content or original programming, seems like this will happen sooner or later.

  18. #28
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRed27 View Post
    Disney is one of the investors in Hulu and I have wondered how long it will be until they offer some type of ESPN package there. Netflix has all but said they aren't going to do live sports and Hulu can't compete on content or original programming, seems like this will happen sooner or later.
    Amazon Prime is going to do (some) Thursday night NFL games this season so Netflix may get in the game.
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Amazon Prime is going to do (some) Thursday night NFL games this season so Netflix may get in the game.
    https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Li...x-Nope/1015691

    They said on their Q1 earnings call about 2 weeks ago that they weren't going to do that. Now that may change, but not in their plans right now.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/02/b...vice.html?_r=0

    Hulu did announce a "skinny" bundle streaming service that includes ESPN last year, but unless I've missed it I don't think it has launched or had any other details come out.
    Last edited by BuckeyeRed27; 04-27-2017 at 01:13 PM.

  20. #30
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Bloodletting at ESPN

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRed27 View Post
    https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Li...x-Nope/1015691

    They said on their Q1 earnings call about 2 weeks ago that they weren't going to do that. Now that may change, but not in their plans right now.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/02/b...vice.html?_r=0

    Hulu did announce a "skinny" bundle streaming service that includes ESPN last year, but unless I've missed it I don't think it has launched or had any other details come out.
    Well, I was talking in the future. If Amazon is doing it and Hulu is doing it, they may eventually get into the act. If ESPN is still doing poorly, maybe they buy the rights for the Monday night games off them.
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