TechDirt: Over the last year, ESPN’s decision to laugh off cord cutting has truly come home to roost. The company has had to engage in numerous “belt tightening measures” after losing around 7 million subscribers in just two years. …
A new study commissioned by BTIG Research and analyst Rich Greenfield (registration required) found that 56% of those surveyed would happily ditch ESPN if it meant saving them $8 a month. 60% of females say they would ditch the channel for the $8 discount, while 49% of males would do the same. And while ESPN could pursue a standalone streaming service, 85% of those polled say they wouldn’t subscribe at $20 a month, even if it bundled in all of the additional ESPN channels such as ESPN 2 and ESPN 3.
Over the last 2 years or so, I’ve noticed my ESPN intake plummet significantly. What used to be a daily ritual, a staple in my TV-watching, is now a rare occurrence at best. I remember the days where I’d turn the TV on and immediately tune into ESPN without thinking about it. Now it seems like I’ll only resort to ESPN if there’s nothing else on, and even less if SportsCenter is on. ESPN has become a nuisance, SportsCenter in particular. If it’s not a LeBron love fest, it’s Steph Curry. If it’s not Steph Curry, it’s Peyton Manning. They did an entire segment every Monday during the NFL season where they recapped that week’s games using strictly emojis. It’s unbearable.
The only things I look forward to on SportsCenter are the My Wish pieces in the summer, the Top 10 plays (which I’ve probably already seen on Twitter), and the military reunion bits. They pay tribute to deserving people very well, I will say that. But aside from a watching a game on ESPN, I pretty much don’t ever venture to that station. Around The Horn sucks. Outside The Lines is TERRIBLE. Highly Questionable is maybe the worst show on television. Nobody in history has ever enjoyed the garbage they shove down our throats on weekend mornings. And Sports Center has become annoying and nothing to set your watch to.
My only reason for checking out ANY of the ESPN channels is to watch a game for the most part. Even though I can watch them online or on my phone, I’ll probably never be willing to part ways with ESPN networks completely. But I can understand why, if given the choice, someone would ditch it for a lower price. I miss the old ESPN. I miss Stuart Scott. He would never let emojis earn a weekly spot during football season.