ESPN's Erosion May Derail Disney

ESPN has lost more than 11 million paid subscribers since 2011, including more than four million in the last year alone, according to the latest Nielsen data Opens a New Window. . At present, the Connecticut-based sports network has about 88 million subscribers. The precipitous drop in viewers has generated a loss of more than $1 billion in revenue over that span, according to estimates, leaving Wall Street skeptical about Disney’s ability to reverse the trend.

I just curious but why are they losing so many viewers?

People are cancelling their cable. Cable has gotten stupidly expensive an easy way to save $150 a month is to cancel it.

I haven’t had cable/satellite in almost 15 years and don’t really miss it. Any time I want to see a cable televised game, I go to a local sports bar or to a friend’s house. No sense in me paying for cable when everyone around me does.


wow, talk about a poineer! I’m also a cord cutter, but much more recent than that!

Well, in full disclosure, the first 3 of those years I was in law school and didn’t have money for such a luxury or time to watch anyway. That made those years a bit easier to let go. After that, I just didn’t miss it anymore.

I haven’t had cable in 9 years. Everything is streaming through “skinny bundles.” Had never heard that term before this article.

Disney’s buying a 33% stake in video streaming firm BAMTech for $1B. BAMTech had been formed by Major League Baseball and as part of the transaction has been separated from MLB Advanced Media. That will form the basis for an ESPN direct-to-consumer service. Disney will pay in two installments and could take majority control in the future.

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ESPN is just going to bypass cable and go straight to these services like Vue, Sling and direct to consumer. I think it will be a transition and they may downsize a bit but by no means do I think ESPN will be going out of business anytime soon. They will broadcast the same stuff over a stream instead of or in addition to cable providers.

Ultimately this cord cutting is going to hurt the cable companies and smaller, niche channels the most.

This reminds me of the creation of digital music. The bug music labels were so stubborn and didn’t do anything to adjust to the new technology. Until it became so popular that it had to start suing individuals because they were slow to react. Now digital music dominates. The same thing is happening for tv its moving rapidly. While I think satellite is superior because you don’t need a cable. Streaming is cheaper and the infrastructure is there already. Think how far we have come since UH vs UTEP and Rhoades comment about our expectations. Lol. That game was brutal to watch.

Kinda off-topic, but this is the best place for it …

We talked about conspiracy theories earlier. Here’s a conspiracy theory for y’all. Bitter about the expansion money grab, ESPN is already trying to paint the Big 12 as the Big East 2.0.

The best way to end this would be for Houston to beat OU. Then the SEC should push the aggies to accept Houston and seal up the SE texas area.

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Trotter does a pretty fair job of painting both sides of the coin in regards to the “OU to SEC” scenario, but I see your point.

I do, however, believe that OU/Boren want to save the conference. They have to feel the best way to have control and a good path to the playoff is the Big 12 and in the end, those two factors trump others.

OU is also a FOX team so it is much more likely that they go B1G or PAC 12.

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