A Really Bad Day In Bristol
On Wednesday Last a seismic shockwave hit The American Sports Scene. Its epicenter was the bucolic Connecticut village of Bristol.
Bristol is one of a handful of towns that need no further description to 95% of sports fans in America. Others being Cooperstown, Green Bay, Augusta, and Lewiston ….. Lewiston ???
Surely you’ans know why Lewiston (ME.) I famous. May 1965 Ali – Liston Rematch. The all-time most famous boxing photo of Muhammed Ali taunting a downed Sonny Liston took place in Lewiston before 2,400 spectators. …. I digress.
Bristol is the world HQ of The Worldwide Leader of Sports Media – ESPN. The CEO of ESPN is Lexington NC native and UNCCH alum (’75) John Skipper. If you have read at least five columns here you know that.
Apparently “a lot” of ESPN viewers “hated” Danny Kanell. How come? Probably the same reason “a lot” hate Kirk Herbstreit, Joe Buck, Jay Bilas, their pro team’s GM, their college team’s AD, their boss and their next door neighbor.
Why sports fans “hate” is simply “because”. Like why do fans still bring those “D – Fence” signs to games.
There were a dozen or so others laid-off of lesser renown and another 80 known only to family, ESPN associates, and former high school classmates who boasted about “my old friend who works at ESPN”. Now he or she doesn’t any more.
The reason for the layoffs (i.e, firings) was multiple quarters of substantial decreases in profit at the Disney-owned media behemoth… with no indication of profit/loss trend reversals.
ESPN is not “losing money” but is simply not “printing money” as Disney suits and stockholders had come to enjoy.
When a “Goliath” in any industry stumbles the rest of the Philistines gather ‘round and pontificate the whys with lots of tongue clucking and “I told you soing”. When the industry is “the media” the pontificating is thru the roof.
Assuming you heard about the ESPN layoffs, you likely saw articles on the various “whys” in some sort of numerical ranking.
“Cord cutting” is either #1 or #2 on most “why” lists. ESPN has been getting $7 per subscriber per month from every cable system in America as part of a “basic package”. It (ESPN) is not an ala carte option.
Enough of your fellow Americans are “cutting their cable/satellite cords” for various reasons that ESPN has lost 10% of their monthly subscriber revenues in recent month. John Skipper keeps saying that “cord cutting” is not an issue but his Disney bosses say otherwise.
Millennials are decidedly trending towards NOT cable life styles. Uh oh.
“Cord cutting” continues as America finds other viewing systems beyond cable/satellites. “Other viewing systems” seem to sprout up daily.
Further ESPN issues is that cable/satellite subscribers who are not “cutting their cable” are choosing to NOT watch ESPN in the high volume they used to. This greatly impacts advertising revenue as rates are based on eyes on the ads.
Yet another “issue” that contributed to Danny Kanell and 99 others being “let go” is the exorbitant “rights fees” that ESPN is contracted to pay for televising NCAA Football / Basketball, NFL, NBA and various other sports leagues around te world.
Those long-term contracts – in the BILLIONS – were negotiated based on projected ad revenues based on projected # of viewers…. Which are not materializing. Meanwhile dozens of whozit players particularly in the NBA are making eight figure salaries because the NBA owners have those ESPN $$$ guaranteed.
OK… you don’t really care about cord-cutting, viewership, and rights fees do you? You’ve read this far waiting for me to “go ballistic” about John Skipper and his gang of quite rabid SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) using their ESPN bully pulpit to cram their political ideology down viewers’ throats.
John Skipper’s ESPN Mission Statement…. We at ESPN Hate Donald Trump and all those 65,000,000 mouth-breathing racist bigots that voted for him. All 65,000,000 of whom have TVs… and a high % are sprts fans.
Sounds like my pen pal “Very Angry Alex The Author”…. Huh?
Since I’ve been alerting you to this for well over a year, I shouldn’t have to any more.
John Skipper’s SJW Hit Squad is led by Jamele Hill – a corn-rowed Angela Davis wannabee and hard-core BLM activist. Jamele is poised to be “The Face of John Skipper’s ESPN”.
Then there’s Michele Beadle – with the on-air persona of a potty-mouth trollop – who can and does say pretty much anything she pleases. Ya think Beadle’s target audience of pimply-faced “Bart Simpsons” in soiled Fruit of The Looms is Progressive and Geico’s customer base ???
Then there is Rachel Nichols who compared HB2 to “Jim Crow”. Rachel is also ESPN’s raging feminist ever alert to real or imagined gender slurs.
It is widely reported that Skipper is pursuing FoxSports1’s notorious “potty mouth trollop” persona Katie Nolan. This piece-of-work makes Michelle Beadle look “high class” by comparison. The “Bart Simpsons” Whoopi Cushion crowd REALLY like this gal. She once did WHAT for a tray of Oreos !!!! OH MY!
Both Jamele and Bomani come across as “intellectually savvy”… likely much more so than CEO Skipper. Subtle intimidation of Skipper for their purpose is not inconceivable. Not uncommon within “the American Left”.
Assorted other “angry millennials on a mission” are scattered across ESPN’s day time marathon of indistinguishable scream-athons.
That any human actually watches more than ten minutes of all those shows combined would cause Charles Darwin to apologize to monkeys for associating simians to homo sapiens. I’m sure neither Adam nor Eve claim any relation either.
It should be noted that nary a one of Skipper’s SJW Gang was “let go” last week. He has no plans to trim back on the overt in-yo-face on-air insulting of a VERY high % of American sports fans.
If, and it will NOT happen, ESPN actually went belly-up, the ONLY program I would miss would be College Football Gameday.
What could happen is the Disney suits canning John Skipper (UNC’75) and bringing in someone else to chart a different direction for ESPN. I can see THAT happening in the months to come
IMO, ESPN’s “direction” should not have any socio-political identity whatsoever. Of course I recommend the same for Roy Williams’ press conferences…. Without much success thus far.
Maybe ESPN cans Skipper and then UNCCH hires him as YET ANOTHER Vice Chancellor of Ridiculous Bureaucratic Excess…. IF Roy approves of course.
Fans of BILLIONS were treated to a HUMDINGER episode this past week. YOWSA !!!!