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ESPN finally getting its shit together- no more politics

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https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/21/jimmy-pitaro-espn-la-times-politics/ 

 

ESPN PRESIDENT JIMMY PITARO SAYS FANS ‘DO NOT WANT US TO COVER POLITICS’

10:10 AM 05/21/2019 | SPORTS
David Hookstead | Reporter

ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro is doing everything in his power to end politics seeping into the network’s coverage.

Over the past couple years, politics consumed the network and ratings fell off of a cliff. Former president John Skipper resigned, and Pitaro is taking things in a very smart direction, which is something he’s hinted at before.

“Without question, our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics. My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused,” Pitaro told the Los Angeles Times in an article published Monday.

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Say whatever you want about ESPN, but Pitaro is clearly a smart dude. He’s also 100% correct. Your average sports fan doesn’t give a damn about the political opinions of ESPN hosts and pundits. They just don’t.

They want to drink beer, watch the game, discuss the game and then move forward. They don’t need to hear from Jemele Hill about how Donald Trump is a white supremacist. (RELATED: Here’s How Much ESPN Will Pay Jemele Hill To Go Away)

 

Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.

 
 
 
 

 

I really cut back on my ESPN viewing when Skipper was running the show. It was a disaster, but it’s starting to get back to normal.

Pleasing your average sports fan is shockingly simple. It really is. I do it every single day, and I’m far from Albert Einstein (but not too far).

Give them the game, give them some entertaining analyzes, keep things fun and it will be insanely simple from there.

Throw in a beer, and it only gets better from there.

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Major shoutout to Pitaro for clearly having a good head on his shoulders. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the old regime

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No way can they fucking stop.

I will be shocked if it happens longterm.

 

The funny people were threats.  Turns out they WERE bigger than ESPN

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I want ESPN to cover sports and do in depth nerd analysis like they did back in the 1990s, all while not taking themselves too seriously. Then they started thinking they were hot shit and they were the story instead of the sports being the story.

And they can say whatever they want about Donald Trump or whomever on Twitter I just don't want that shit in my sports coverage.

I mean I barely care what political pundits have to say about to say about politics, much less sports ones.

Edited by Valmy77

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To me, the politics were a symptom of a larger problem, but good for them if they go through with it, I guess.

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The young people have already abandoned them for streaming services, they might as well double down on the "stick to sports" crowd.

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3 minutes ago, Valmy77 said:

 

I mean I barely care what political pundits have to say about to say about politics, much less sports ones.

It's like I have a brother!

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Stop pretending to be cool. You’re not cool. You like sports stats. You didn’t just drop an album. 

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I never believed people on here when they said they never watched ESPN because of the politics, and I won't believe anyone who claims they started watching again now that it's less political.

ESPN is having a natural downfall due to people just having other places to go.  People will tune in to live sports and that's why ESPN spends so much on rights.  But Barstool, Bleacher Report, The Ringer, House of Highlights, and their ilk as well as general chord cutting had more to do with declining ratings than politics.

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10 minutes ago, TexArcher said:

Sarah Spain's tits are the only good thing left on ESPN.

I'd like to do bad bad things to Lisa Kerney. Is she still at ESPN?

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16 minutes ago, Machinator said:

To me, the politics were a symptom of a larger problem, but good for them if they go through with it, I guess.

Bingo, especially if you're saying the larger problem was spending more time showing people talking than actual competition.  

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9 minutes ago, fellside said:

I never believed people on here when they said they never watched ESPN because of the politics, and I won't believe anyone who claims they started watching again now that it's less political.

ESPN is having a natural downfall due to people just having other places to go.  People will tune in to live sports and that's why ESPN spends so much on rights.  But Barstool, Bleacher Report, The Ringer, House of Highlights, and their ilk as well as general chord cutting had more to do with declining ratings than politics.

Personally, I bailed long before then; became a bunch of shows I had no interest in. If its not a game or match, not much reason to watch imo.

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It was surprisingly easy to quit ESPN when they started sniffing their own farts. I don’t remember the last time I checked in there unless a sporting event was on or a 30 for 30 that seemed compelling was playing. It’s got to be a decade+. I don’t see my habits trending back in their direction. I can get highlights with ease anywhere I want. They can fuck right off with what they did to something beautiful. 

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The problem with ESPN is not that they have allowed politics to bleed into what they do. The problem is, they started sucking really, really badly at what they do. If they did sports well, they probably wouldn't have time for the other crap, but it wouldn't bug people as badly when it did crop up. But if you suck at what you do AND you're talking about something you know nothing about, there's only one inescapable conclusion:  you suck.

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Good for them.

I stopped watching CGD 2 years ago and their other 'shows' 3 or 4 years ago. I used to set my phone alarm on sat morning to watch CGD at 8. Tired of their schtick.

I'm good with recording games on Saturday they show that I want to see and FF through commercials.

Honestly, I watch ESPN in the fall for college football and some mlb and NHL otherwise. Haven't watched sports center in years. Fuck that network.

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ESPN's days are gone and they aren't coming back. And I don't think political commentary has or had much to do with their ratings decline. They just fucking suck and the alternative options are vast these days, especially for distinct coverage. 

You think Pitaro is a genius? Go catch two hours of Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman struggling to pretend that they care enough to have 7 different debates on a single episode over innocuous bullshit until Smith feigns going into high pitch, screech mode like a physical version of a catch phrase. The programming is garbage.

In their glory days sports dominated the coverage in highlight form. That was the simplicity that worked. The game selling itself rather than six meatheads screaming at the same time. Love or hate Chris Berman, for instance, but if you remember his version of the show 'NFL Prime Time,' 90% of it would be highlights with commentary in the background. Each game was covered with about 6 minutes straight of in depth highlight footage. And not just big plays, a couple of scores and then hurriedly getting back to the studio. They'd show almost every turnover and fourth down attempt. You'd watch mostly the human movement of the game rather than some asshole in a loud suit. Every show is the opposite of that now as the focus is now on the broadcasters. The simplicity that you're talking about is making sure the sport is the focus. They aren't doing that. It's mostly bland people trying way too hard to be animated personalities by gesturing wildly to display their "passion." It's celebrity culture first and a cerebral approach pretty much never. 

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I’m a somewhat liberal guy and I cannot fucking stand Jemele Hill. Michael Smith & Bill Plaschke are right behind her on my hate meter. Plaschke is probably one of the stupidest people I’ve ever heard speak.

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4 minutes ago, Chooky said:

In their glory days sports dominated the coverage in highlight form. That was the simplicity that worked. The game selling itself rather than six meatheads screaming at the same time. Love or hate Chris Berman, for instance, but if you remember his version of the show 'NFL Prime Time,' 90% of it would be highlights with commentary in the background. Each game was covered with about 6 minutes straight of in depth highlight footage. And not just big plays, a couple of scores and then hurriedly getting back to the studio. They'd show almost every turnover and fourth down attempt. You'd watch mostly the human movement of the game rather than some asshole in a loud suit.

Man I loved that show, Berman's silly nicknames and all. And then they started fucking with the formula for some reason. But that was a long time ago now. They started shortening and truncating those shows for some reason.

NFL Primetime and Baseball tonight were required viewing during their respective seasons and nothing else has really replaced them. 

Edited by Valmy77

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12 minutes ago, markstanco said:

Honestly, I watch ESPN in the fall for college football and some mlb and NHL otherwise. Haven't watched sports center in years. Fuck that network.

Yep.  I watch college football and the Astros when they're on.  That's about it.

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It was pretty arrogant to think that they could take a very controversial topic and infuse a partisan view into their sports coverage and that people who didn't agree with them would sit there and take it.  If people want politics, they are going to go to the source that supports their particular view. 

I do agree though that their viewership has dropped for other reasons too.  There are too many sources of information and entertainment.  While I'm not nuts about the politics and virtue signaling, in my case, I really just stopped caring about sports other than Longhorns and occasionally other Texas teams.  I'm not trying to get more interested in soccer or NHL.  If I'm bored, I'm going to Hulu or PlutoTV. 

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1 minute ago, Valmy77 said:

Man I loved that show, Berman's silly nicknames and all. And then they started fucking with the formula for some reason. But that was a long time ago now.

I really didn't care for Berman, but he was a good broadcaster and that was a good show. The format of that show is what was great. The constant highlights. The game. 

And the old shows with coaches film to show the whole field -- dominant pass protection with blitzes being picked up long enough to watch a safety get manipulated. That shit was fun. 

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22 minutes ago, Walden Ponderer said:

The problem with ESPN is not that they have allowed politics to bleed into what they do. The problem is, they started sucking really, really badly at what they do. If they did sports well, they probably wouldn't have time for the other crap, but it wouldn't bug people as badly when it did crop up. But if you suck at what you do AND you're talking about something you know nothing about, there's only one inescapable conclusion:  you suck.

Great post. Yeah they were a joke back when they had USC playing 1945 Army and shit.

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You’d have to try really hard to ruin what ESPN was in the 90s. I suppose they did. Checking in as someone else who watches only live sporting events that interest me and the occasional 30 for 30.

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To all the nostalgic people who blame ESPN for losing their soul, do you really believe the 90s model works in an era where people can check scores and get highlights immediately?

I would watch SC highlights not knowing who won the game back then. I had to watch in the morning before school to find out if my team won the night before. Hell, I would wait around for ESPNEWS to get to my teams' highlights and get pissed if they didn't get enough attention. They had a monopoly.

This isn't complicated. The only product they offer in high demand and low supply are their live rights.  A Twitter account, a few podcast subscriptions, and YouTube videos cover the rest.

Edited by fellside

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1 hour ago, 927 E. 41st said:

It's like I have a brother!

I was going to tell you about him son, I just didn't know how to bring it up with you. that and I kind of hoped your mom would have let you know sooner or later.

Love,

Dad

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40 minutes ago, Fuck Tim Beck said:

 No way the mouse let's this happen long term. And jamele Hill is a racist cunt 

FTFY

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I will say I like SC with SVP. Generally leave it on for a bit after watching an NBA game. 

Everything else is garbage. PTI is still okay. Around the Horn kind of sucks now. 

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here is what I see as fucked up besides them thinking I wanted to hear some biased, nobody, asshole tell their one sided opinion on some mostly non issue

tonight while all the college baseball tournaments are going on right at prime time they are showing fucking softball RERUNS from the other day...WTF

now sure the Big 12 is on Fox so ESPN does not have that, but the SEC SEC SEC was over on their own network and I have no clue where the ACC was or the PAC 12

this is the total dogshit they had on today between 3 and 7 pm

sure people like 30-30, but that is shit you watch later in the evening or there are about 10,000 hours out there when sports is not on to show that.....and who wants to watch pardon the interruption.....that should be called pardon us while we charge you $5 a month to not cover sports and show bullshit and really talking about the fucking NFL....NOW?

and of course the softball RERUNS

worse is the ESPN "news" is just the shit they showed on ESPN at a different hour for several hours

what a shittastic lineup

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Edited by ButtFumble

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ESPN was at their best when they showed Magnus von Magnuson in the morning and Patrick and kilborn in the evening. 

It's like when mtv quit showing music videos. I don't want to watch Stephen Smith yell at Woody Paige. I want live sports (whatever sport), and then Dan Patrick and olberson making fun of each other. That's it. Leave everything else to some other channel. 

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I hope so. I like to have sports shit on in the background when I'm working and when political shit comes on it ruins my zen.

The first instance I remember is Keith Olbermann. I used to watch him as a kid on SportsCenter. He wasn't bad. But then he's on MSNBC taking potshots at conservative politicians like a parody of his ESPN days. Then he's back on ESPN. 

You spend enough time taking argumentative positions and you become associated with them. I hated seeing him on ESPN after that and I'd change whatever show he was on. 

Then ESPN got a whole new crop of talking heads just like him. 

If they move on from that I say it's a good thing. But so long as the news media reports on whatever is trending on Twitter, we're doomed to politics being mixed up in everything it doesn't belong in. 

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15 minutes ago, fellside said:

To all the nostalgic people who blame ESPN for losing their soul, do you really believe the 90s model works in an era where people can check scores and get highlights immediately?

I have no idea. They stopped being great so long ago I do not have access to the alternative timeline that has both things existing at once.

I will say that maybe I can do those things, but I don't. I don't see all the highlights and all the scores of all the games anymore and see how all the players are doing. There is no nice entertaining place that can all happen in a short time anymore. I get the highlights and scores for my teams that is it. 

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5 minutes ago, Disco Missile said:

I hope so. I like to have sports shit on in the background when I'm working and when political shit comes on it ruins my zen.

The first instance I remember is Keith Olbermann. I used to watch him as a kid on SportsCenter. He wasn't bad. But then he's on MSNBC taking potshots at conservative politicians like a parody of his ESPN days. Then he's back on ESPN. 

You spend enough time taking argumentative positions and you become associated with them. I hated seeing him on ESPN after that and I'd change whatever show he was on.

Well that is your fault. You didn't have to watch MSNBC. He was fine on ESPN. I mean surely you do not demand people have no political positions at all? So long as they do not do them where it is not appropriate I am fine.

Edited by Valmy77

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10 minutes ago, fellside said:

To all the nostalgic people who blame ESPN for losing their soul, do you really believe the 90s model works in an era where people can check scores and get highlights immediately?

Back in the 90s, if I flipped it on ESPN, I had a decent chance of seeing either an actual sport being broadcast, or scores/highlights.  Yes, here in 2019 we can get that stuff pushed to us on our phones without any intervention from us. At some point, they began injecting way too much in-depth analysis (where the politics crept in) and the like.  Keep that shit on ESPN3 or News or whatever.

 

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20 minutes ago, fellside said:

To all the nostalgic people who blame ESPN for losing their soul, do you really believe the 90s model works in an era where people can check scores and get highlights immediately?

I would watch SC highlights not knowing who won the game back then. I had to watch in the morning before school to find out if my team won the night before. Hell, I would wait around for ESPNEWS to get to my teams' highlights and get pissed if they didn't get enough attention. They had a monopoly.

This isn't complicated. The only product they offer in high demand and low supply are their live rights.  A Twitter account, a few podcast subscriptions, and YouTube videos cover the rest.

I think they can. It was fun to watch. Even if you knew the score. Obviously it is different than when it began, but they were basically the third late night show after Letterman and Leno. I think that market still exists. 

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Sports network stopped doing sports. MTV stopped showing music videos. Food Network stopped cooking food. I don't know what to make of it all. Pretty sure that yankees are involved in this mess.

Edited by Thetexashammer

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17 minutes ago, Valmy77 said:

Well that is your fault. You didn't have to watch MSNBC. He was fine on ESPN. I mean surely you do not demand people have no political positions at all? So long as they do not do them where it is not appropriate I am fine.

This is a strange position. Olbermann was a big name on MSNBC. You don't have to watch Rachel Maddow to know who she is and what she stands for. If tomorrow she's recapping the day's sports, you wouldn't just forget her MSNBC days. 

I mean. Why does that need to be explained?

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Are they still going to have endless shows of two or more ex-jocks trying to out alpha each other as they debate sports topics, always on polar opposite sides of the argument, moderated by a super hot chick who plays the straight man, occasionally dropping opinions which the two jocks never rebut? 

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It might be the politics, I wouldn’t know. Haven’t watched anything but a live sporting event there in years and years. 

They mtv’d themselves. MTV went from we show music videos to we show bullshit. 

Espn, which used to seek out sports to air at all hours like pro bowling, lesser tennis tournaments, college baseball, and then do highlight shows like baseball tonight and sc and nfl prime time, decided instead to spend several hours a day on talk shows and then also have those hosts spend valuable minutes on the highlight shows in lieu of more highlights. 

I never have and never will give a rat’s about the opinions of skip bayless, Steven A Smith, Jason Whitlock, Tony kornheiser, Shannon sharpe, Kirk herb street, or any of the others. On espn or 300 words a day at their local birdcage liner. 

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MTV quit showing music videos and started airing stupid shows.  I quit watching probably 20 years ago.

ESPN went the same route.  They started airing all of those sportswriters shows (Around The Horn, PTI, etc).  My viewing had already tapered off years before they really got political.  I called them out on it in 2016 with a sternly worded email complaining about their website plastering that guy's predictions of the election. 

I still use espn.com but even that is rarer now.  I don't have cable, so they don't get any of my money that way. 

I agree with the previous poster who said NFL Primetime and Baseball Tonight were required viewing back in the day.  They kept the sportswriter BS to one show, I think.  Can't remember the name, but it was like 5 writers on Sunday morning discussing the hot topics of the week. 

Getting rid of politics is a good first step.  Getting rid of most of those sports journalist shows would be the next step.  Maybe then I'll consider coming back.

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