ESPN has been facing a crisis of sorts over the past year-plus as they have seen three different waves of layoffs sweep through Bristol and beyond. With the ever-declining number of subscribers, the sports media giant is faced with new challenges (that all major networks are facing) with regards to cable-cutting and more and more people consuming their news and even live sports online.
While the layoffs have been tough to watch and extremely unfortunate, the narrative around ESPN’s demise has been, for the most part, overblown. ESPN still brings in an incredible amount of revenue, it’s just not as much as it once was and they will continue having to pivot in figuring out how to better monetize digital to slow the bleeding some.
ESPN wants to change that narrative, but they face an uphill battle in doing so, simply because there is significant push back against them from conservative outlets, which are insistent that ESPN’s struggles are the result of their personalities bringing up politics (with a lean to the left) and race in discussion of sports. Those in Bristol have been trying to figure out how to challenge that narrative and show people that, despite losing subscribers, the sky isn’t falling for ESPN.