ESPN Is Pathetic

nattysez

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Steve Young and Matt Hasselbeck as well.
All of these people fired and Mark Jackson is still employed. Unreal.

Kimes seems to be one of the few people who knows how to navigate this uncertain terrain. She seems solid on the substance side, but knows how to let a hot take really rip.
100% agree. I think part of her magic is that she works hard. She isn't exactly at SAS levels, but she creates A LOT of content for ESPN.
 

mauf

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It’s just more doubling down on hot takes, which they started to do when they gave the keys to. SAS. I will say it again: I don’t think it is remotely sustainable, but given how badly some of their long term trends look, I suspect they are focusing more on engagement.
My teenage son says you and I are old. He says that serious sports fans today go to podcasts or The Athletic, and that the people who watch ESPN other than for games are there for the hot takes, even if they’re hate-watching (he says not many people actually like SAS or Kellerman).

Wonder if that means Mina Kimes is headed elsewhere when her contract is up. She’s one of the few individual talents who would get me to check out a platform I didn’t visit before, so I think she’s worth more to an outfit like The Ringer than she is to ESPN.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I was a big Suzy Kolber fan early on from the "Deuce's" launch with Keith Olbermann and X Games coverage then when she stepped into Monday Night Countdown. Was also very disappointed when Samantha Ponder got the Sunday Countdown gig rather than Kolber, for what I think is a more desirable slot as an announcer. (Since the relative upgrade of the MNF schedule, maybe this is starting to turn.)
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Wonder if that means Mina Kimes is headed elsewhere when her contract is up. She’s one of the few individual talents who would get me to check out a platform I didn’t visit before, so I think she’s worth more to an outfit like The Ringer than she is to ESPN.
John Skipper's Meadowlark Media is scooping up all former "friends of Le Batard" that fall out of the ESPN orbit, so they would have the inside track on Kimes I'd think.
 

ifmanis5

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My teenage son says you and I are old. He says that serious sports fans today go to podcasts or The Athletic, and that the people who watch ESPN other than for games are there for the hot takes, even if they’re hate-watching (he says not many people actually like SAS or Kellerman).

Wonder if that means Mina Kimes is headed elsewhere when her contract is up. She’s one of the few individual talents who would get me to check out a platform I didn’t visit before, so I think she’s worth more to an outfit like The Ringer than she is to ESPN.
This is a good take, honestly.
ESPN generally serves Lakers and Cowboys and men shouting at the clouds. Dick Schaap is not walking through that door.
 

Cellar-Door

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"Online anger" is what pays the bills over there.
More accurately it's what they think pays the bills, but can't quantify then they wonder why the bills aren't getting paid.

ESPN reminds me of Sony not realizing that engagement means nothing if it's people mocking you and re-releasing Morbius to bomb a second time. That people love to pile on your tweets of clips of Perk or SAS saying something immensely stupid doesn't mean they'll actually watch the show.
 

RIFan

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I was a big Suzy Kolber fan early on from the "Deuce's" launch with Keith Olbermann and X Games coverage then when she stepped into Monday Night Countdown. Was also very disappointed when Samantha Ponder got the Sunday Countdown gig rather than Kolber, for what I think is a more desirable slot as an announcer. (Since the relative upgrade of the MNF schedule, maybe this is starting to turn.)
Same here. She helped make the X Games when they started off in Providence. I'm sure (hope) she was making a ton at this point in her career, but that seems like a mind boggling choice for a layoff.
 

joe dokes

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More accurately it's what they think pays the bills, but can't quantify then they wonder why the bills aren't getting paid.

ESPN reminds me of Sony not realizing that engagement means nothing if it's people mocking you and re-releasing Morbius to bomb a second time. That people love to pile on your tweets of clips of Perk or SAS saying something immensely stupid doesn't mean they'll actually watch the show.
Yes. This is better. But as described above (by @mauf's teenage son), I think they now know that their audience for not-games is hot-take onanists who can't figure out how to work a radio to get the same satisfaction. (insert chicken-and-egg question here). That is obviously a smaller slice of the human pie than "all sports fans, including those who aren't knuckle-dragging morons." ESPN brass *has to* understand that simple math. From that, I think we have to conclude that it's intentional, and they are just trying to significantly lower the cost of producing the blazing hot garbage they spew when games aren't on, which, as the numbers seem to show, actually attract a smaller audience.

As for the games themselves, they are likely right that there really is no need to pay big money for announcers if the viewer can't watch the game anywhere else. If the cheap announcer sucks, people will hit the mute button, but probably not the channel button.
 

joe dokes

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So why did they just spend a fortune on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman?
Good question. I will never understand why they pay announcers that much money. Publicity? They are idiots? NFL said "shitty games unless you get more famous announcers"? (but see Al Michaels on Thursday).

EDIT: And lets not forget "I could be completely wrong."
 

Archer1979

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Really sad about Suzy Kolber. Always displayed a passion for the sport, whatever the subject matter. Very knowledgable, always did her homework. She was hired at a time when female sportcasters when their sportscasting talent wasn't the criteria for women (that's really on us and not her) and she knocked it out of the park . She handled the infamous Joe Namath episode with far more diplomacy and tact than a normal person should have been expected.

Great talent. Great person.
 

Van Everyman

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Good question. I will never understand why they pay announcers that much money. Publicity? They are idiots? NFL said "shitty games unless you get more famous announcers"? (but see Al Michaels on Thursday).

EDIT: And lets not forget "I could be completely wrong."
No, I think you’re onto something. It’s just that I continue to believe that ESPN has no idea what they’re doing and are kind of winging it based on a combination of bad trends, incomplete data, and no feel whatsoever for what makes a network great. Whoever said up thread that the cable news networks are struggling with a lot of the same issues was spot on. The difference with ESPN is that they are also paying a fortune for live sporting events.
 

johnmd20

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Really sad about Suzy Kolber. Always displayed a passion for the sport, whatever the subject matter. Very knowledgable, always did her homework. She was hired at a time when female sportcasters when their sportscasting talent wasn't the criteria for women (that's really on us and not her) and she knocked it out of the park . She handled the infamous Joe Namath episode with far more diplomacy and tact than a normal person should have been expected.

Great talent. Great person.
She's awesome. It is incredible she's been working in sports for 38 years. That is quite a run.

And these firings are a bloodletting. Truly cleaning house. ESPN does this every few years but people like Perk being kept on while actual talent is being let go is kind of crazy.
 

Vinho Tinto

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So why did they just spend a fortune on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman?
There has been talk that the NFL does insist that the networks use premium talent for their top announcers. They don't want it to look second rate. Not sure if this was before or after Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser were on MNF.
 

joe dokes

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There has been talk that the NFL does insist that the networks use premium talent for their top announcers. They don't want it to look second rate. Not sure if this was before or after Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser were on MNF.
Signs of the apocalypse:
When I come close to making shit up, and it turns out to be maybe right.
 

cornwalls@6

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David Pollack has been let go per Andrew Marchand.
For all the bigger names getting the axe, Pollack is the only one I kind of care about. And that’s only because College Gameday is the only non-live game programming I watch on there anymore, and I thought he was pretty good on it. So much of the rest of it is just manufactured hot takes/dudes yelling at clouds. I will say the money Buck and Aikman got from them was absurd, and they should be embarrassed about whatever role those overpays are playing in all these other people losing their jobs.
 

Humphrey

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What the hell does Mark Jackson add to a game? For all of Van Gundy's faults, at least he makes it seem like he watches basketball. A Breen/Jackson broadcast is about as boring as you can get.
The best thing the NBA could do for the viewing public is have one of their franchises hire Jackson as its head coach.
 

Patriot_Reign

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I will say the money Buck and Aikman got from them was absurd, and they should be embarrassed about whatever role those overpays are playing in all these other people losing their jobs.
Never apologize for how much your employer is willing to compensate you.
 

joe dokes

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I will say the money Buck and Aikman got from them was absurd, and they should be embarrassed about whatever role those overpays are playing in all these other people losing their jobs.
The assumption here is that if they gave back some of the money, ESPN would keep other employees. More likely, it would go right into shareholder pockets.
 

Patriot_Reign

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To be clear, I meant ESPN should be embarrassed for those ridiculous contracts. Not Buck and Troy. Don’t expect them to give one penny back.
Oh for sure, I can't ever think of a time when I tuned into a game because of who the announcers were. Granted some are much better then others, but for something like MNF you're going to pay through the nose when your game is the only one on? Nobody gives a shit who's talking when it's a week 7 Indy/ Houston barn burner.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Oh for sure, I can't ever think of a time when I tuned into a game because of who the announcers were. Granted some are much better then others, but for something like MNF you're going to pay through the nose when your game is the only one on? Nobody gives a shit who's talking when it's a week 7 Indy/ Houston barn burner.
ESPN got a much better schedule when they had a better announcing crew. It’s no coincidence, even if it doesn’t move the needle with ratings- it makes a difference with the league and with advertisers.

With the NBA rights up for negotiation, I imagine the dismissal of JVG may be at the suggestion of the association; or at least a move that the WWL thinks will curry them some favor with the league.
 

Auger34

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I really can’t fathom how Mark Jackson still has a job there. He’s legitimately awful and he’s not a “hot take” guy, he’s just a fucking moron. I also imagine his salary is way up there
 

Van Everyman

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For all the bigger names getting the axe, Pollack is the only one I kind of care about. And that’s only because College Gameday is the only non-live game programming I watch on there anymore, and I thought he was pretty good on it. So much of the rest of it is just manufactured hot takes/dudes yelling at clouds. I will say the money Buck and Aikman got from them was absurd, and they should be embarrassed about whatever role those overpays are playing in all these other people losing their jobs.
I realize you didn’t mean this but now I’m imagining what that call between Steve Young and Troy Aikman would be like if the latter called the former telling him he was going to give up money to keep him on.


ESPN got a much better schedule when they had a better announcing crew. It’s no coincidence, even if it doesn’t move the needle with ratings- it makes a difference with the league and with advertisers.

With the NBA rights up for negotiation, I imagine the dismissal of JVG may be at the suggestion of the association; or at least a move that the WWL thinks will curry them some favor with the league.
I find some of these takes about JVG to be odd. I do think he’s gotten more candid as he’s gotten older, but I’ve never thought of him as a guy who hates the product or doesn’t love the NBA. And while they have slipped from their heyday but Breen/JVG/Jackson was a pretty entertaining squad at their best and Jackson has always been the weak link.
 

kenneycb

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ESPN got a much better schedule when they had a better announcing crew. It’s no coincidence, even if it doesn’t move the needle with ratings- it makes a difference with the league and with advertisers.

With the NBA rights up for negotiation, I imagine the dismissal of JVG may be at the suggestion of the association; or at least a move that the WWL thinks will curry them some favor with the league.
Games that Buck calls “feel” big and important. More so than generic CBS announcer 3 and James Lofton. It’s an admittedly stupid distinction that is partially driven by circular logic (it feels big because they’ve called a bunch of big games which make them feel big) but it helps with the home atmosphere when watching the game. The NFL realizes that.
 

yeahlunchbox

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For all the bigger names getting the axe, Pollack is the only one I kind of care about. And that’s only because College Gameday is the only non-live game programming I watch on there anymore, and I thought he was pretty good on it. So much of the rest of it is just manufactured hot takes/dudes yelling at clouds. I will say the money Buck and Aikman got from them was absurd, and they should be embarrassed about whatever role those overpays are playing in all these other people losing their jobs.
I only watch games and College Gameday as well. Shocked that Pollack was let go, but even worse was letting go Gene Wojciechowski. Punts McGillicutty is fine on the show, though overpaid for what he brings to the table overall and somehow Desmond Howard is still on over Pollack.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Watching Wimbledon (Alcaraz vs Jarry) this morning and the commercial break jumps back to middle of the SECOND point of this game right before a winner to make it 30-0. You had one job...
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Just reading over the last handful of posts in this thread, it's weird how all the folks here aren't connecting the dots.

So why did they just spend a fortune on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman?
Which network did Buck and Aikman broadcast on before coming to ESPN? What state did Aikman play professional football?

SAS isn't the face of ESPN because his audience loves him. It's because he does such a good job collecting vitriol from a certain audience as an "angry black man".

SoSH is losing its fastball. This shit is right in your wheelhouse.
 

Ale Xander

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why Buffalo and not U of C?
edit: beaten by AB
Edit: this Buffalo guy is clearly not an attorney
 

nattysez

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This whole article is worth a read. It feels like some truly seismic changes are coming quickly to the TV and streaming landscape.

Disney is open to potentially selling an equity stake in ESPN and is looking for a strategic partner in the business as it prepares to transition the sports network to streaming, CEO Bob Iger said Thursday.
Disney has held early conversations with potential partners that could improve an ESPN streaming service by extending its distribution and adding content, Iger said. He declined to name specific partners.
Iger said he had become more certain in his thinking about when ESPN will launch its complete direct-to-consumer offering. He declined to say when that will happen.
Iger’s comments about finding a strategic partner suggest he believes ESPN may function better in a streaming environment if paired with other companies’ sports content. CNBC reported earlier this year that ESPN wants to be a hub for all live sports programming if it can agree to partnerships with other media companies.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday called Iger’s comments about the future of ESPN, and the inevitability of it becoming a direct-to-consumer platform, a positive for the league.
He pointed to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” deal with Amazon’s Prime Video, where it is exclusively aired, adding that this possibility for ESPN was considered when inking the latest rights deal.
“We contemplated this in the context of our ESPN deal when we did that a few years ago,” Goodell told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. “So we think this will be a positive change for our consumers. I think our content is going to be a big part of that.”
 

Over Guapo Grande

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"Ozzie Albies blows game open with 3-run HR " - Title of video when Albies hits a 3r HR in a ....0-0 game. In the middle innings.

As of now, Red Sox up 4-3
 

Lose Remerswaal

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So I taped the Steinholding competition on the Ocho. It started five minutes late because footgolf ran long, but they got the ladies competition in fine, then started the men. Just under five minutes in they cut to commercials, came back almost five minutes later, interviewing the second place and winners. Didn’t even show the Top 10 getting eliminated or the final two. Ridiculous.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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So I taped the Steinholding competition on the Ocho. It started five minutes late because footgolf ran long, but they got the ladies competition in fine, then started the men. Just under five minutes in they cut to commercials, came back almost five minutes later, interviewing the second place and winners. Didn’t even show the Top 10 getting eliminated or the final two. Ridiculous.
I have to say, for all the shit that ESPN deservedly gets, I love the crap they put on the Ocho. The other night I watched the table hockey championship, last night the pillow fight championship. And the slippery stairs is always a highlight. The commentary for these things is the best.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I have to say, for all the shit that ESPN deservedly gets, I love the crap they put on the Ocho. The other night I watched the table hockey championship, last night the pillow fight championship. And the slippery stairs is always a highlight. The commentary for these things is the best.
Totally Love these. Savannah Bananas on Thursday night was awesome. Two days, twice a year would be great for this. And SHOW the sports. They have a couple “personalities” who seem to be front and center a bit too much.