Why I Like ESPN:
They air over 80% of all televised games. That reason only outweighs every negative reason I think I could come up with. I also like them because they employ extremely intelligent people. Some get lost in the shuffle, but you can’t say that the majority of ESPN’s employees aren’t hard workers. I like ESPN for PTI, Scott Van Pelt, Brian Kinney, Rece Davis, Mike Tirico, Chris Fowler, and for some reason still……Bill Simmons.
Why I Hate ESPN:
Hate is such a strong word which is why I use the term “strong dislike”. Contrary to popular belief I don’t hate everything ESPN (as evidenced above), but I do loathe a lot of what they do. They’ve gone from a staple of Sports Reporting to a corporate monopoly with Disney interests taking precedent over the game and the players. I “strongly dislike” ESPN for Who’s Now, Colin Cowherd, Chris Berman, Monday Night Football In-Booth Guests, Emmitt Smith, Around the Horn and for some reason still……Scoop Jackson.
I’m not breaking any new ground there and I’m sure many of you all feel the same way. Well I didn’t know this at the time but SBD was putting together an article about this mysterious Power Point presentation that has been making the rounds at League Offices and Ad Buying Institutions.
Entitled “The Emperor’s New Clothes: How ESPN’s Multi-Platform Strategy Hasn’t Improved Ratings”, the Power Point presentation looks into many things about the “Leader” but none more damning than ESPN’s newest league acquisitions. The PP claims that ESPN has not helped leagues like the NBA, NASCAR, and the NFL grow since taking over rights to those league’s games, and has even caused huge ratings declines in some cases. It even prompted ESPN to create their own Power Point in rebuttal called “ESPN Myth and Reality”. Here is a brief snippet from SBD’s review of the Power Point…..
It’s clear that ESPN, the 800-pound gorilla of the sports media marketplace, has a bull’s-eye on its back.
Rival networks are tweaked by the size, scope and perceived arrogance of the self-described “Worldwide Leader in Sports.”
Leagues also are critical of ESPN, complaining that ESPN’s vaunted marketing machine does a better job of promoting ESPN rather than its sports. Surprisingly and naively, they still are irked by ESPN’s news division, which often presents unflattering stories about various properties. This is a concern that is being voiced more frequently these days, as the company beefs up its editorial operation — TV, online and print — with top-flight journalists.
Just two weeks ago, NBA Commissioner David Stern publicly blasted ESPN The Magazine for a package of stories leading up to the NBA All-Star Game.
On the buy side, ad executives have expressed frustration with what they call a bureaucratic process of buying time. They complain that ESPN doesn’t offer enough prime positions and is much more difficult to work with than broadcast shops.
The whole thing is an amazing read and you should be able to access it through the link below. The current state of ESPN always makes me think of a Henry Demarest Lloyd quote I first heard in a High School Economics class, “Monopoly is business at the end of its journey”.
It’s a shame really.
Taking aim at Bristol (Sports Business Journal)