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Thread: ESPN losing subs - fast

  1. #31
    Bingo Award Winner! Media Boy's Avatar
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    I think ESPN has issues as many of you have pointed out. They are far too heavy on personalities that just talk about sports. However, that probably didn't just happen because some exec in Bristol thought it would be cool to shove this idea down the throats of viewers. You have to assume there were trends, viewer studies, ratings, etc. that went into their programming shift from showing a lot of live sports to showing a lot of talking heads pontificating on sports. You could argue that the same thing happened with MTV which started out as radio for the eyes and eventually turned into reality tv (among other things). I also think that these stations share the divide and conquer mentality where they want a multitude of brands all owned by the same conglomerate to be the main choices offered to consumers (i.e. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc.--and I didn't even mention, "The Ocho"). The same can be said for owning as much shelf space as possible on the grocery store aisles.

    There's also the OTHER issue that this isn't really about ESPN. It's more of a reflection of people today who consume the streaming of video content in a totally different way. So, it's probably not just ESPN that's hurting. I would assume this goes back to all of the top 50 stations that are available on the leading cable and satellite tv offerings across the country.

    Now, this was far too much of an actual examination of the subject at hand. So, let me just add, "h" and that I voted for potato salad.

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  2. #32
    Inside(he)r Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Media Boy View Post
    I think ESPN has issues as many of you have pointed out. They are far too heavy on personalities that just talk about sports. However, that probably didn't just happen because some exec in Bristol thought it would be cool to shove this idea down the throats of viewers. You have to assume there were trends, viewer studies, ratings, etc. that went into their programming shift from showing a lot of live sports to showing a lot of talking heads pontificating on sports.
    They also have a lot of time to fill during weekday mornings/afternoons when there aren't any live sports. They could keep showing replays and highlight shows, or they could try to provide some original programming that generates buzz.

    So I don't blame them for trying talk shows. I just wish they wouldn't be so loud and obnoxious (and often overtly political) about it.
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  3. #33
    Insider beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    They also have a lot of time to fill during weekday mornings/afternoons when there aren't any live sports. They could keep showing replays and highlight shows, or they could try to provide some original programming that generates buzz.

    So I don't blame them for trying talk shows.
    I just wish they wouldn't be so loud and obnoxious
    (and often overtly political) about it.
    The political stuff I can tune out or turn off, take it or leave it. It is when I simply want the scores and highlights but instead all I get is loud and obnoxious cute catchy schtick stuff that just grates on me.
    "My favorite time of the day at the Speedway during the month of May was just after dusk, after the track had closed down for day, I used to go out and sit on the pit wall and just listen and think"~ Dick Ralstin

  4. #34
    Bingo Award Winner! Media Boy's Avatar
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    I can have most of them on in the background with the exception of Stephen A. Smith. I don't understand how he has a job on the air.

  5. #35
    king for a night rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    The political stuff I can tune out or turn off, take it or leave it. It is when I simply want the scores and highlights but instead all I get is loud and obnoxious cute catchy schtick stuff that just grates on me.
    Along the lines of Media Boy's thrilling analysis of the television landscape, ESPN has determined that the majority people are not turning to their station for highlights and scores. They are getting scores from apps and are seeing just the highlights that they want to see via apps, social media and other internet-based outlets. Doesn't seem likely to go back that direction.

    Potato Salad on the other hand ... never going away.
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  6. #36
    Insider beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex View Post
    Along the lines of Media Boy's thrilling analysis of the television landscape,
    ESPN has determined that the majority people are not turning to their station for highlights and scores
    . They are getting scores from apps and are seeing just the highlights that they want to see via apps, social media and other internet-based outlets. Doesn't seem likely to go back that direction.

    Potato Salad on the other hand ... never going away.
    Perhaps they didn't get the memo that the majority of the people are turning away from their station period

  7. #37
    king for a night rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Perhaps they didn't get the memo that the majority of the people are turning away from their station period
    The memo they got was that people are turning away from all stations. Including them. Best they can do is slow down the bleeding while they try to come up with a successful over-the-top solution. While they have had ESPN 360, I wouldn't call it successful. And they were in denial of this need for a long time. The executives have just recently starting making public comments in the past 6 to 8 months on OTT.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Media Boy View Post
    I can have most of them on in the background with the exception of Stephen A. Smith. I don't understand how he has a job on the air.
    You mean Screamin' A. Smith.

  9. #39
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoparsRule View Post
    A guy that works for my wife has feeds on his that show live sports - not sure what all is available, but he seems to be saying that he gets quite a few live streams.
    I was a single parent from the time my son was 3-on and he was a big fan of two movies Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. He watched them so many times he would sit there and recite the dialogue as the movie was playing. They were my babysitters I could sit him in front of the TV with one of them on and go across the parking lot at the apartment complex we lived in at the time and do our laundry and come back and he didn't move.

    Anyways... anytime someone mentions live streams it reminds me of the time I was in the bathroom taking the pause that refreshes and my son comes running in saying he's got to go and crowds in next to me and starts peeing. I'm a little startled but I'm cool headed enough to warn him to not cross the streams.

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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Media Boy View Post
    I can have most of them on in the background with the exception of Stephen A. Smith. I don't understand how he has a job on the air.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepcheap View Post
    You mean Screamin' A. Smith.
    I know why, but we shan't delve into that here.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex View Post
    Along the lines of Media Boy's thrilling analysis of the television landscape, ESPN has determined that the majority people are not turning to their station for highlights and scores. They are getting scores from apps and are seeing just the highlights that they want to see via apps, social media and other internet-based outlets. Doesn't seem likely to go back that direction.
    Last month, FS1 sacked their Sportscenteresque Live show. Prior to that, they changed the format away from your standard highlights show to more of a talkie thing with those Canadian guys. It didn't help and the ax came. The fact the move barely registered just underscores as much is ESPN struggles, FS1 is in a world of hurt.

  12. #42
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    I thought the reason ESPN had Stephen A. Smith was that he was the only one willing to appear on camera with Skip Bayless...

    Now I have no freakin' idea why he's still there.

  13. #43
    Fact is that 95% of the value in ESPN, or any of its immitators, is in live games. The vast majority of the other 5% is in highlights (which they do not even do anymore). They could show reruns of the previous night's games, off-beat foreign stuff, exercise videos, or Bugs Bunny prior to 6 PM ET weekdays and no one would care. All of the money spent on these arguers is money wasted.

    Memo to ESPN:

    - The NBA is REALLY NOT THAT POPULAR. Give it the amount of time its ratings indicate. Which is about 5% of the time you current spend on it.
    - If you have real concerns about college athletes not being paid, football players getting concussions, car racing being dangerous, or any other social issue, then STOP WATCHING SPORTS. I don't care. I don't care what your opinion is.
    - Keep your coastal politics to yourself. Not the place for it.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Media Boy View Post
    I think ESPN has issues as many of you have pointed out. They are far too heavy on personalities that just talk about sports. However, that probably didn't just happen because some exec in Bristol thought it would be cool to shove this idea down the throats of viewers. You have to assume there were trends, viewer studies, ratings, etc. that went into their programming shift from showing a lot of live sports to showing a lot of talking heads pontificating on sports. ..
    Sorry, I don't have to believe that. That's always the excuse when people try to claim there's no media conspiracy. There is way too much evidence to that we aren't dealing with innocent coincidences when it comes to what the media/entertainment industry put out.

  15. #45
    Political correctness gone haywire?

    Doug Adler, who began working for ESPN in 2008 covering the world’s biggest tennis matches, came under fire for a comment on Jan. 18 when he said Williams used “the guerrilla effect.” The comment went viral because it was pushed along by the New York Times on twitter labeling it as the “appalling” term “gorilla,” which “ignited the flames of anger and hatred” against Adler, the lawsuit said.
    Adler was fired two days later.
    He claims he was using a well-known term to describe aggressive play yet ESPN has destroyed his career...

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/02/15/espn-sued-for-wrongful-termination-by-announcer-after-venus-williams-match-call



  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Anderson View Post
    Sorry, I don't have to believe that. That's always the excuse when people try to claim there's no media conspiracy. There is way too much evidence to that we aren't dealing with innocent coincidences when it comes to what the media/entertainment industry put out.
    Wait, what?
    Eff LBD!

  17. #47
    Bingo Award Winner! Media Boy's Avatar
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    ^^^ What he said.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamC View Post
    Fact is that 95% of the value in ESPN, or any of its immitators, is in live games. The vast majority of the other 5% is in highlights (which they do not even do anymore). They could show reruns of the previous night's games, off-beat foreign stuff, exercise videos, or Bugs Bunny prior to 6 PM ET weekdays and no one would care. All of the money spent on these arguers is money wasted.
    PTI gets about 800,000-900,000 viewers every weekday, so certainly would not be wise to shut it down in favor of indycar races.

  19. #49
    Depends on how much profit there is to be made from it. PTI (the best, IMHO, and the highest rated of ESPN's plethora of sports argument shows) does OK, but as you work your way backwards up the schedule, the returns get less and less every half-hour. By mid-day, ESPN is hemoraging money, which is why the next round of cuts are coming. ATH gets about 400K, Screaming A gets about 250K, LeBatard gets half of that.

    But, of course, gross numbers are not the be all and end all. After all ESPN's highest rated show (NFL games) loses money. The point is how much does the programming cost? Bugs Bunny doesn't cost a thing.

  20. #50
    Johnny Drama saidhead's Avatar
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    How is the new 'SC6' doing? Because it seems like they put a lot of effort into promotion for that. Just curious if the PTI viewers are immediately turning at 6 or not.

  21. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by mstove View Post
    Wait, what?
    Try one of these, it might help.


  22. #52
    A friend of Hal. midtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamC View Post
    Bugs Bunny doesn't cost a thing.
    ESPN would have to pay Warner Bros. Better off with reruns of Mickey.
    It's a Hoosier thing, you wouldn't understand...

  23. #53
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    Today at the ARF Annual Conference in New York City, ESPN’s Fan and Media Intelligence group presented key viewership findings from the first full year of Out of Home (OOH) data. ESPN has been a first mover in OOH, working in collaboration with Nielsen Media Research, and was the first network to ever secure advertising deals that include OOH as part of overall audience measurement. The findings released today cover a period from Dec. 28, 2015 to Dec. 25, 2016 and include the following:

    Out of Home: It’s not just bars and restaurants.

    In fact, an ESPN survey revealed that 75 percent of OOH viewing occurrences and instances are at places other than bars and restaurants, including health clubs, waiting rooms, college dorms, airports and hotels.

    ESPN networks saw a significant lift in viewership when including OOH, with the highest lifts among younger demographics.

    In 2016, OOH increased ESPN’s total day audience by 6.2 percent, while ESPN2 saw a 4.1 percent increase
    .
    Specifically among people 18-24, OOH lifts for ESPN and ESPN2 were 9.1 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

    People 18-34 accounted for 31 percent of all ESPN/ESPN2 OOH viewing. ESPN OOH viewership is 27 percent more highly concentrated with people 18-34 than the in-home audience.
    http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-re...g-millennials/

  24. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by stnkypete View Post
    Try one of these, it might help.

    Better than...


  25. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Media Boy View Post
    ^^^ What he said.
    Why? Are you a denier that there's conspiracy by the media/ entertainment industry? I would suggest you are a bit naive. You think everything they put out is "because the market wants it"? Um, ok.

    At the very least, I would hope you could acknowledge that the market research is naturally going to skew in the direction of the preferences or prejudices of those conducting it.

  26. #56
    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Media Boy View Post
    I think ESPN has issues as many of you have pointed out. They are far too heavy on personalities that just talk about sports. However, that probably didn't just happen because some exec in Bristol thought it would be cool to shove this idea down the throats of viewers. You have to assume there were trends, viewer studies, ratings, etc. that went into their programming shift from showing a lot of live sports to showing a lot of talking heads pontificating on sports.
    Maybe. Or maybe it was some exec who invented a theory - remember, NASCAR went from concentrating on car brands, Ford vs Chevy vs Pontiac/Olds, to promoting drivers because they did not want the auto companies to be in control.

  27. #57
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    The only show I watch at all... once or twice a week is PTI... And at least one of the hosts is full of poo on every issue they talk about.

    Sometimes both of them.

  28. #58
    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    Everything goes fine unless Jason Whitlock guest hosts. Can't deal with him.

  29. #59
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    The one show I like on ESPN2 (Mike & Mike) is being blown up.

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  30. #60
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    I listened to LeBatard a few weeks back and he was talking about the issue of talent leaving ESPN and how they do afterwards. He is not one to shy away from pointing the finger at his own employer....that's part of his whole show. I kinda like it that he's allowed that latitude....

    Anyway, he listed the big time personalities that have recently left ESPN: Colin Cowherd, Bill Simmons, Skip Bayless...and earlier ones like Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, etc.

    His point was this, at least for radio and a bit for tv....
    Name the people who have gone from ESPN to have great careers. Dan Patrick was one, Rich Eisen was another. He mentioned Keith Olbermann but for different reasons (politics and even he's struggling)
    Meanwhile, others have fallen off the radar. FS1 is still struggling in the ratings compared to ESPN.

    His whole point was this. If you leave ESPN, as a radio host, you will most likely be tuned off. LeBatard said that the power of ESPN still draws listeners, and despite recent defections will continue on as such. Again this is mostly the radio side.
    I like LeBatard but he sometimes gets too liberal for me...though he is quick to acknowledge it.
    And I think he's right. Name other hosts that have had massive ratings and success besides DP and a few others.

    His whole point was that ESPN still rules the (radio) market. People still tune in to Mike and Mike, LeBatard, Russilo and Kanell, Bomani Jones (can't stand him) etc.
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