ESPN Loses 4 Million Subscribers In Past Year

Throwing this up here as it applies to the current college football situation and really sports in general. Basically, the current sports media rights fees can’t continue under the current construct as more and more folks do without cable.

ESPN Loses 4 Million Subscribers In Past Year

If you have cable, you’re paying $21.50/yr for Monday Night Football and $30/yr for the NBA.

Can’t come soon enough. I hate that so many of us are obsessed with getting a share of unconscionable amounts of money for amateur sports - and moreso that our “inability” to provide commensurate value has been one of the biggest propaganda points against our inclusion all this time.

If P5 teams took all that money they brought in and used it to fund charities or financially support the rest of their universities, then it would make sense. The fact that all this money gets wasted on huge coach salaries, Club Med locker rooms, and piles of logo stickers rather than being used for something positive and far-reaching is terrible. Then all the fans have the nerve to demand the money for their schools, when they themselves will never see a dime of it. Oh by the way, all the money comes from their cable bills, along with those of all the other people who will never watch a single football game or hour of Pardon the Interruption.

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IF you feel that strongly that all these schools are wasting money then you must really hate UH for burning through school & student money to try and get to a point where we can waste even more money like the rest of the loathsome P5.

if you think this is waste, go check out what our government does with trillions of dollars a year… there’s so much more important, awful, and wasteful things to complain about in this world.

Well ESPN has gone political and they do suck, if not for games i would not watch.

Well it is hard for me to rectify. I try to just enjoy the games and consider realignment for the competition aspects, but every mention of the money makes me barf a little.

As for government waste, I just got out of the navy. I think I have a decent idea about that. I’d rather waste my breath on things that are entertaining rather than depressing.

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So ESPN including ESPN8 … the Ocho … famous for its dodge ball championship …

Is losing customers because …

the loss is happening three ways, 1. death, 2. cord nevers and 3. cord cutters.

Seems we old geezers are packing it in and no one to replace us … eh

So just what are the young’uns watching these days anyway

Are they out partying … watching those neanderthal reality shows … who knows … but if they aren’t watching ESPN then they aren’t watching Fox sports or NBC sports …

then that only means DivIA football is doomed to obscurity

That is basically what we are to believe based on this article.

NOW … how many REALLY believe that.

NOPE ESPN is NOT losing watchers … just $$$$ … when their mother ship Disney reeled them in last year they cut down their spending shut down their bank accounts and took away their credit cards … and turned them into …

Uncle Scooges … :anguished:

And the LHN was a banner investment, wish I had bought stock in that!

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They will adjust. See the streaming options.

But, you see the problem is that when it goes to steaming, only those people who want to watch ESPN will stream it. Currently, ESPN has the highest subscriber fee of any cable channel.

The grey haired old grandmother who uses cable to watch old reruns of tv shows and doesn’t care about sports, still pays for ESPN. The millions of people who are not sports enthusiasts still pay for ESPN. Why, because ESPN is a basic cable channel.

Think of some basic cable channel you wouldn’t be caught dead watching. For some people, that’s ESPN. Actually, I watch ESPN in the morning while working out. I’ll watch for college football. NFL football if my team is on. Baseball, I have the MLBTV package. That’s a lot less than what I used to watch, While the NHL my not be hot in the Houston area, in the Northeast and Midwest it’s big. NBCSN took a chunk of programming away from ESPN when it got the NHL. In the winter months, if it’s not Sportscenter or Cougar basketball, I don’t watch ESPN.

As conferences start developing their own content, fans will start looking at sources other than ESPN for their content.

The LHN is going to be an albatross for years to come for ESPN. As cord cutting becomes more prevalent, so are some of these conference rights contracts. We are already seeing this with the squawking by ESPN of the BIG XII adding 4 teams.

When I saw the LHN on my tv guide last year, I called Direct TV to try to cancel all my ESPN channels but was told I couldn’t because it was part of my basic package. Was anyone else told that ?

Everyone loves to point to ESPN losing subscribers and how it is their death because, well they are the biggest on the block. But remember that when cord cutters finally make that cut, they are also cutting Fox Sports, NBC sports and CBS sports. They are all losing subscribers and that free money pile is getting smaller and smaller.

I would love for Fox Sports to be more competitive to keep broadcast right up for the leagues but everything they add for their growth just increases costs. Those are costs to them, costs to distributors and costs to the consumer. If you look at their recent plays all they are doing is trying to do is out ESPN…ESPN. They have committed near $250 mill/yr for half of the B1G and I think that is a solid move. But they have also committed nearly $20mill/yr for Skip Bayless, Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd. They paid a premium for those guys while ESPN was more than happy to have those salaries off their books…to go along with the cash sinkhole Grantland & Bill Simmons became.

I don’t see rights dropping for the top media properties, but I do see more of a focus on core properties from ESPN. In college sports they have the SEC locked up for quite some time, they just extended the ACC and added a conference network and they will get the other half of the B1G. What happens with the Big12 and Pac12? I am not sure there but if I were the middle and bottom producers in those conferences I would be really concerned. It won’t happen today or any time in the immediate future, but I can see a time where the top of the Pac12 and Big12 combine to get a big deal leaving the rest behind to make what they can out of it.

Well whether we like it or not there is a paradigm shift and it’s well underway. Today’s Chronicle is just one of a number of stories I have seen in the past couple of weeks:

We may not know yet how this will all shake out but it has to make a difference and is probably one of the reasons ESPN hit the brakes about Big 12 expansion. Mind you, I’m not totally excited about this. I want UH to be able to scoop up a pile of this loot while it’s still there. There’s no way we can make up the estimated $400 million that’s been paid out to schools like Tech and Baylor. But any little bit helps.

On the other hand, if the money dries up the bottom feeders in the Big 12 are going to be in a world of hurt. But at least the playing field will be more level. And since Big 12 schools feed off of third tier media rights UH should be sitting pretty when that time comes. Remember also UH is the third most followed team among Texas schools. That only adds to our cache when negotiating media rights. That’s going to be a real butt hurt for schools like TEch and Baylor.

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They added it to my package. So whether or not we like it we’re underwriting the LHN, while they beat us over the head with the money we pay them. Anyone else concerned about that?

Just for the record, Tech did something similar not once but twice. I forget his position at Tech but the former President of Texas AT&T funneled over $50 million of YOUR phone bill into the updating of their football stadium. No painful fundraising campaign, or inflated ticket deals. Nope. Just “here take this and upgrade your playpen” and screw Texas telephone service subscribers. Don’t it make you just giggle?

Part of that saga can be found at

You are claiming a corporate sponsorship is now funneling money to a school?

Dude, we gotta stay on one thread or I’m going to get lost in the banter. I’m talking about a public utility that you and I paid real money into. And it was well in excess of $50 million, which ain’t chump change even to a major corporation. He was spending OUR money. There was no accountability. Let the CEO of BMC try that and he’ll be answering to both his board and to the shareholders. Big difference.

Or the owner of the Astros leveraging our ticket and TV revenue into a bigger sales price and funneling that to Baylor?

SBC/AT&T wasn’t a public utility is was a competitive telecom after de-regulation in '96. $50 million is chump change for companies that generate $50-100+ billion like SBC/AT&T. I assume you also hate that they have naming rights deals for Cowboys Stadium at SF Giants stadium. I also assume you hate the Reliant/NRG naming rights here in Houston and the fact that we are charging our students additional fees to fund stadium construction.

Look, we are all consumers and we are indirectly paying for stadiums all over the country whether it be from being a customer of random companies or paying taxes or sending your kids to a university.

In the end, this is going to hurt cable companies more than ESPN. ESPN will shift to stand alone streaming, getting money directly from viewers at $10-15/month. When this happens, even more will leave traditional cable. The broadcasting will just move from one platform to another but still under the ESPN umbrella.

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You sure make a lot of assumptions. They didn’t pay to build the Cowboys’ stadium. But most of those funds were accumulated during their time as s public utility. Doesn’t bother you? I can live with that.

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