ESPN in Trouble

December 11th, 2016 Posted in TV Related, Web Related


In an article from the Washington Post they describe the fact that Disney owned sports network ESPN has their investors worried. Like many cable television networks, viewership is declining at an astonishing rate as people cut the cord and gravitate toward online streaming services. According to the article the Nielsen rating system expects ESPN to lose 555,000 subscribers in this month alone and has already lost 9 million in the last 3 years. While ESPN is owned by Disney who is financially stable, investors are worried that keeping ESPN under the brand umbrella could curt the other business ventures. Some believe that Disney should sell ESPN while others think that they should not be too quick to make a decision. 

This is not a new trend for the television industry. Less people are plugged into cable as the costs have dramatically increased in recent years. People do not want to pay for something they don’t use. Similarly they also mentioned that the cost of broadcasting live sports has increased as well and ad revenue is not what it one was on this medium. Other television networks are in similar situations however they in most cases do not have strong parent companies behind them to back them up in times of trouble. They are struggling to capture the attention of the new generation which is continuing to dismiss this medium. Many networks are bringing their content to online platforms.

As people transition to web based television I expect that ESPN will have to follow. However, I do not believe that that ESPN will go away anytime soon. It is too popular for Disney to get rid of. They also have a strong web and radio based presence across the country. I expect that they will stream the live event online and people will have to pay a subscription fee. Similarly I believe that they should add a pay wall for their website as they are arguably the most popular sports website.  

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.   

  1. 3 Responses to “ESPN in Trouble”

  2. By Kyle on Dec 11, 2016

    It’s funny because I figured ESPN was one of the most secure of the cable news channels because a) people prefer to watch sports on TV and b) people prefer to watch sports live (unlike most other TV). But what you write makes sense.

  3. By CHRISTOPHER FOWLER on Dec 11, 2016

    I have seen this before and it was crazy to me. Like the previous comment by “Kyle,” I thought that ESPN was extremely secure but it also doesn’t surprise me because I can barely handle to watch more than 20 minutes of ESPN nowadays. It is very political in ways.

  4. By Dan Mahoney on Dec 11, 2016

    I am surprised that the numbers of subscribers are going down as fast as they are. Whenever there is breaking sports news ESPN is the first place most people go to. Maybe people are losing interest in sports, the NFL has been losing ratings at an alarming rate. But as you brought up I’m sure ESPN will do fine because they write amazing stories online and they have a radio station in every major city.

Post a Comment