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ESPN to experience massive layoffs of on air talent

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Old
03-12-2017, 06:48 AM
  #126
Radical Realignment
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Boycotting them until Stephen A goes away. I'm guessing he'll be the absolute last person out the door.
Why so?

I find Stephen A to be one of the more entertaining personalities left at ESPN.

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Originally Posted by BattleBorn View Post
If we're going to discuss the ESPN thing from a business sense, we've almost got to touch on the fact that they have spread themselves pretty thin from a business standpoint.

The number of networks Disney has under the umbrella is one thing, the number that ESPN has under their specific charge is something completely different.

They're working with the mothership network, ESPN2, ESPN3/WatchESPN, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, The Longhorn Network, SEC Network, I'm pretty sure they've got a piece of the ACC's Network, plus they've got all the Spanish coverage as well on ESPN Deportes.

They've got all that infrastructure, all those channels to program, the need for more and more content with which to fill the networks, and then they've got to fight the changing landscape of how people are consuming sports events.

While this whole thing may have a little to do with the content of their sports commentary, I think a lot of it just has to do with the changing world of television. That's the real discussion that should take place when things like this happen, at least from a business perspective. The fact that they have determined they'd like to provide some additional commentary that could be perceived as politics may be a poor business decision since they're running the risk of alienating a portion of an already shrinking potential viewership group, but I doubt it's the main reason these things are happening. The world is changing.
This is an insightful analysis. And I have no problem with a network/company shifting its priorities to a new footing in an ever-changing media landscape. But the explicit focus on sponsored (or invested) content (e.g. the near ubiquitous coverage of, say, basketball at the expense of almost everything else) means that the entire enterprise is inherently limited and biased. And as entertaining as its personalities might be ... with their voices and content shackled to sponsored (or invested) content, means diminishing returns, IMO.

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Old
03-13-2017, 11:19 AM
  #127
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Originally Posted by BattleBorn View Post
If we're going to discuss the ESPN thing from a business sense, we've almost got to touch on the fact that they have spread themselves pretty thin from a business standpoint.

The number of networks Disney has under the umbrella is one thing, the number that ESPN has under their specific charge is something completely different.

They're working with the mothership network, ESPN2, ESPN3/WatchESPN, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, The Longhorn Network, SEC Network, I'm pretty sure they've got a piece of the ACC's Network, plus they've got all the Spanish coverage as well on ESPN Deportes.

They've got all that infrastructure, all those channels to program, the need for more and more content with which to fill the networks, and then they've got to fight the changing landscape of how people are consuming sports events.

While this whole thing may have a little to do with the content of their sports commentary, I think a lot of it just has to do with the changing world of television. That's the real discussion that should take place when things like this happen, at least from a business perspective. The fact that they have determined they'd like to provide some additional commentary that could be perceived as politics may be a poor business decision since they're running the risk of alienating a portion of an already shrinking potential viewership group, but I doubt it's the main reason these things are happening. The world is changing.
With all of these channels in need of programming it is pretty stupid of ESPN to alienate, and basically not cover, one of the major sports. While I wouldn't expect them to pay a premium for the NHL they could still cover the sport of hockey with a weekly studio show, broadcast NCAA hockey (more than they already do) on the cheap, and maybe even broadcast CHL games for a small contract. Instead they give us basketball, and more basketball, and commentary, and more commentary.

It's not just hockey either. There are other sports that ESPN could pick up the broadcast that probably wouldn't cost too much to do so as the league would simply be happy to be broadcast on ESPN.

Stick to sports. Broadcast a wide range of sports. Keeps a broad base of customers engaged.

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03-14-2017, 06:57 AM
  #128
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Originally Posted by SCBlueLiner View Post
With all of these channels in need of programming it is pretty stupid of ESPN to alienate, and basically not cover, one of the major sports. While I wouldn't expect them to pay a premium for the NHL they could still cover the sport of hockey with a weekly studio show, broadcast NCAA hockey (more than they already do) on the cheap, and maybe even broadcast CHL games for a small contract. Instead they give us basketball, and more basketball, and commentary, and more commentary.

It's not just hockey either. There are other sports that ESPN could pick up the broadcast that probably wouldn't cost too much to do so as the league would simply be happy to be broadcast on ESPN.

Stick to sports. Broadcast a wide range of sports. Keeps a broad base of customers engaged.
Sure, but rightly or wrongly, the same mindset that has TSN showing a mid-season draft preview over a number of other options is the same one that has ESPN showing 72 hours in a day of "slightly-different but pretty much the same NFL show." They figure the ratings are better(and/or the cost for those ratings) than showing something else.

Sounds like the sports arena of the TV industry has absorbed some of those Michael Crichton was discussing. He said once, "these are really dumb people running TV." Of course, Crichton is a Ph. D. so everyone would seem stupid. "No, I mean 2+2=5 stupid." Yep.

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Old
03-14-2017, 07:06 AM
  #129
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Great news! Hope it shows people are sick of politics being shoved down their throats during their sports programming. Also it would be nice if they discovered there are other sports besides basketball and football.
Agreed with this. (Except for the "great news" part. There are layoffs ya know).

ESPN is garbage and it's funny to watch them continue to be stubborn and continue to raise their cost of access. I haven't had ESPN for over a year now.

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Old
04-25-2017, 06:17 PM
  #130
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...than-expected/

Supposedly layoffs are going to start tomorrow.

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04-26-2017, 09:05 AM
  #131
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Here we go.


http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/espn-bl...network-today/


For my part, my two favorite things on ESPN are 1) the NCAA hockey finals and 2) ESPN FC, the most sane show there.

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04-26-2017, 09:39 AM
  #132
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McDonald, Burnside, and LeBrun all gone so far.

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04-26-2017, 09:39 AM
  #133
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So far LeBrun, Scott Burnside, and Joe McDonald have all confirmed that they're goners.

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04-26-2017, 09:41 AM
  #134
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So far LeBrun, Scott Burnside, and Joe McDonald have all confirmed that they're goners.
Not that I was ever a big fan of Burnside, but at least him & LeBrun cared about the game of hockey. Can't say the same for ESPN, apparently.

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04-26-2017, 09:43 AM
  #135
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04-26-2017, 09:48 AM
  #136
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Burnside is a hack but LeBrun is irreplaceable. Sucks for ESPN.

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04-26-2017, 10:01 AM
  #137
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Maybe next time don't blow 20 trillion dollars on college sport TV contracts and you won't have to fire everybody

"Presently ESPN is on the hook for the following yearly rights payments: $1.9 billion a year to the NFL for Monday Night Football, $1.47 billion to the NBA, $700 million to Major League Baseball, $608 million for the College Football Playoff, $225 million to the ACC, $190 million to the Big Ten, $120 million a year to the Big 12, $125 million a year to the PAC 12, and hundreds of millions more to the SEC. At an absolute minimum it would appear that ESPN presently pays out nearly $6 billion a year to sports leagues just in rights fees."

http://www.outkickthecoverage.com/th...ainable-070616

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04-26-2017, 10:19 AM
  #138
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It should not be a surprise that any from the hockey dept are first to go. Stereotypically, they are the opposite target demographic for the companies current vision.

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04-26-2017, 10:23 AM
  #139
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Glad to see Lebrun still with TSN/RDS. I've always liked his work covering the league.

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04-26-2017, 11:25 AM
  #140
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Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
Maybe next time don't blow 20 trillion dollars on college sport TV contracts and you won't have to fire everybody

"Presently ESPN is on the hook for the following yearly rights payments: $1.9 billion a year to the NFL for Monday Night Football, $1.47 billion to the NBA, $700 million to Major League Baseball, $608 million for the College Football Playoff, $225 million to the ACC, $190 million to the Big Ten, $120 million a year to the Big 12, $125 million a year to the PAC 12, and hundreds of millions more to the SEC. At an absolute minimum it would appear that ESPN presently pays out nearly $6 billion a year to sports leagues just in rights fees."

http://www.outkickthecoverage.com/th...ainable-070616

Which is all a drop in the bucket to the Walt Disney Company, who is a co-owner of ESPN along with the Hearst Corporation..

Wasn't too long ago that Fox Sports laid off nearly all of the local beat writers for their websites and went to using pool media..

With the advent of the internet as a delivery medium the trend seems to be heading towards "doing more with less."

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04-26-2017, 11:33 AM
  #141
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Which is all a drop in the bucket to the Walt Disney Company, who is a co-owner of ESPN along with the Hearst Corporation..

Wasn't too long ago that Fox Sports laid off nearly all of the local beat writers for their websites and went to using pool media..

With the advent of the internet as a delivery medium the trend seems to be heading towards "doing more with less."
It's not a drop in the bucket because ESPN is losing money. All the rest of their other companies are making money. If it wasn't a big deal, they wouldn't be laying off people for the second time.

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04-26-2017, 11:33 AM
  #142
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It should not be a surprise that any from the hockey dept are first to go. Stereotypically, they are the opposite target demographic for the companies current vision.
You're just seeing the hockey guys focused on here unsurprisingly. Notable names in the other sports have been released as well and more will be trickling out over the day. Some of the bigger names so far are Jim Bowden (MLB) and Ed Werder (NFL).

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04-26-2017, 11:38 AM
  #143
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It's not a drop in the bucket because ESPN is losing money. All the rest of their other companies are making money. If it wasn't a big deal, they wouldn't be laying off people for the second time.
And they're going to keep losing money. They've been ripping off people for so long they thought they were invincible and started throwing money at all the leagues with no limits. Now cable subscribers are cancelling service and people who don't are complaining more and more about the bundled channels they don't watch. $7 per subscriber per month is insane when the next highest is like a buck fifty.

These are long term contracts so it'll take a while for everything to play out, but the end result is inevitably lower player salaries

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04-26-2017, 11:43 AM
  #144
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You're just seeing the hockey guys focused on here unsurprisingly. Notable names in the other sports have been released as well and more will be trickling out over the day. Some of the bigger names so far are Jim Bowden (MLB) and Ed Werder (NFL).
Yep. Lots of good college writers canned too.

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04-26-2017, 11:48 AM
  #145
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Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
Maybe next time don't blow 20 trillion dollars on college sport TV contracts and you won't have to fire everybody

"Presently ESPN is on the hook for the following yearly rights payments: $1.9 billion a year to the NFL for Monday Night Football, $1.47 billion to the NBA, $700 million to Major League Baseball, $608 million for the College Football Playoff, $225 million to the ACC, $190 million to the Big Ten, $120 million a year to the Big 12, $125 million a year to the PAC 12, and hundreds of millions more to the SEC. At an absolute minimum it would appear that ESPN presently pays out nearly $6 billion a year to sports leagues just in rights fees."

http://www.outkickthecoverage.com/th...ainable-070616
It's not the college football and basketball contracts that are killers. Those contracts supply a lot of content and college fan bases are loyal, the viewers will be there. It is the absolutely insane MNF contract and the also ridiculous NBA contract that are killing them.

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04-26-2017, 12:08 PM
  #146
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This list is being continuously updated for those looking for a list of layoffs:

http://deadspin.com/a-running-list-o...ffs-1794664091

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04-26-2017, 12:10 PM
  #147
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You're just seeing the hockey guys focused on here unsurprisingly. Notable names in the other sports have been released as well and more will be trickling out over the day. Some of the bigger names so far are Jim Bowden (MLB) and Ed Werder (NFL).
Bowden has a gig over at MLB network. at least on Sirius. he still has work. as do some others.

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Old
04-26-2017, 12:40 PM
  #148
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Dilfer (Terrible at his job) and Stark (Great at his job) the latest

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04-26-2017, 12:42 PM
  #149
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So which contract is worse for them? MNF or NBA? If you are those leagues, do you even care how ESPN fares, so long as you are counting the money for another 10 or whatever years?

When does the cable collapse eventually find its way into team revenues and player contracts?

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Old
04-26-2017, 12:43 PM
  #150
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Dilfer (Terrible at his job) and Stark (Great at his job) the latest

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