John Skipper is the President of ESPN, Inc. The Washington Post adoringly paints him as one-time Southern hippie who studied literature, wanted to write the Great American novel, and enjoys late night “high level sophisticated conversations about American literature, Faulkner’s place in it, [and] the influence of alcohol and race. . . .”
You probably know the type.
In a commencement address at the University of Central Florida, Skipper bemoaned the fact that, according to a recent survey, the average American spends three hours a day in front of a television and just 19 minutes reading. “Please watch a little less television,” the TV executive implored.
I would modify his plea slightly. Please watch less ESPN.
Why? Because, as I discussed here, ESPN has taken the side of the political left.
It’s ESPY award ceremony was, in the words of one critic, “filled with about as much race-baiting, left-wing politics as the Democrats convention in Philly. . .”
Meanwhile, the network suppresses opposing viewpoints. It fired Curt Schilling for speaking out on his Facebook page about transgender bathroom laws. It fired Ray Lewis shortly after he put out a video arguing that African-Americans should focus primarily on blacks killing blacks, not on the rare instances in which a bad white cop kills a “brother.”
The good news is that, according to the Washington Post, ESPN is struggling in the shifting media landscape. The Post explains:
[T]he business model upon which ESPN was built may be going away. Millennials especially are deciding they don’t need cable and are instead turning to on-demand services and buying their programming a la carte. ESPN’s subscription numbers are dropping, a trend that is costing Disney, its parent company, hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The whole industry is struggling with the right answer,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst with BTIG Research. “We have all these people growing up and deciding they don’t need to spend the money. The tide is going out on the whole sector.”
The problem may be more pronounced for ESPN, which has made more money off subscription rates than any other network. . . .Last August, the network disclosed it had lost 7 million subscribers over the previous two years, and investors panicked, triggering a $22 billion selloff in Disney stock. The subscription drain has continued, and the total is now below 90 million for the first time in a decade.
I’m addicted to sports viewing, but can do pretty well without ESPN. Other than the two Monday Night Football games involving the Washington Redskins and perhaps a couple of big college football games, I won’t be tempted to watch ESPN this Fall.
If you’re a sports fan and a conservative, you should consider watching less ESPN or none at all.
UPDATE: ESPN carries the NBA, another left leaning outfit (from the Post’s article about Skipper, it seems that he and NBA commissioner Adam Silver are friends). But many sports fans pay little attention to pro basketball until the playoffs. And they can watch their home team on local outlets.