If you are a sports fan, then you will be pleased to know that ESPN is returning to covering sports instead of politics.
I am old enough to remember when ESPN had the radical idea that a sports network should cover sports.
I know, that’s a crazy idea! How dare they.
ESPN has become MSNBC with footballs.
Over the past few years the network has increasingly moved away from showing highlights and covering sports-related stories. The network has sounded more like the press office of the
Democratic Party rather than a network dedicated to sports.
Thankfully, that has begun to change.
There is a new sheriff in town: His name is Jimmy Pitaro.
Pitaro took over as president of ESPN last year. He inherited a struggling network.
The network has been plagued by subscription losses, layoffs, and the perception that it is hurting its parent company, Disney.
The network has seen its subscription base shrink — drastically.
In 2010, the network had 100 million subscribers; in 2018, the number of subscribers had plummeted to 85 million — a loss of 15 million in just eight years.
ESPN has been forced to lay off hundreds of workers
The network’s viewers have grown sour on the network. It was reported in December 2017 that only 41% of viewers had a positive view of ESPN.
What caused the drastic decline?
Answer: Coverage of politics.
Jimmy Pitaro has recognized this and is taking actions to change it.
ESPN’s Fans Want the Network to Cover Sports
The drop in sentiment occurred following the network’s endless coverage of the Charlottesville riots. Despite there being no sports-related reason to cover the event, ESPN decided to cover it.
Consumer sentiment declined from 62% to 41% within a short period of time following the endless coverage.
The channel has also focused on politically charged stories, the most noteworthy example being the Colin Kaepernick/national anthem controversy.
Pitaro has recognized that the political coverage is hurting the network.
The Los Angeles Times published a story documenting the changes he wants to make to the network.
They reported that “Pitaro has also satisfied ESPN’s more traditional fans by steering commentators away from political discussions on-air and on social media, which heightened during President
Trump’s criticism of NFL player protests against social injustice during the playing of the national anthem.”
“Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics,” Pitaro said. “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused.”
Translation: He told them to shut up about politics and talk about sports.
It’s about time!
As a sports fan myself, I welcome his actions.
I, like many in my generation, grew up watching ESPN. Waking up early to watch highlights before school was part of my routine. I was immensely entertained by the likes of Chris Berman, Stuart Scott and Dan Patrick. It was the time of day that I could shut my mind off from the news of the day and just be entertained.
The Left ruined ESPN like it has ruined so many other things Americans enjoy.
It is exciting to see that someone in a position of authority at the network feels the same way and is taking action to remedy the situation.
I hope he is successful.