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ESPN finally getting its shit together- no more politics

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10 hours ago, Rockethorn1978 said:

Holy Shit I totally forgot about those 11am body workout videos! I used to beat off as a 11-12 year old to Denise Austin. Damn I miss the simplicity of the 90's.

no telling how many billions she helped kill off back in the day

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10 hours ago, Baconboy said:

Add The History Channel to the list. Might as well be The American Pickers Channel.

You want some?

Mike-Wolfe-and-Frank-Fritz.jpg

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Best her ig had to offer (left)
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She's cute I guess. Assuming you were referring to the "junk" in the "trunk" however. 

There’s usually a few good looking women playing softball.

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If a sports person is frowning or acting like what they are talking about is really important( I’m looking at you Howie Long) I’m done with that show. I’m changing the channel, whatever channel it may be. ESPNs yelling and arguing shows were a huge turn off

Edited by Chico_SA

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3 hours ago, Sock Drawer said:

I just respect Stephan A Smith for what he is and what he’s asked to do.

You respect a guy for being a loudmouthed troll?  So you're the guy who is giving Hugo Stiglitz and futureman all of their rep?

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1 hour ago, tx 3 putt said:

NFL network and MLB network have much more to do with the downfall of espn than politcs 

Eh, ESPN gave them an opening.  

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Watching the Cubs on ESPN about a week ago.

"There's a single by Contreras...Contreras is  from Venezuela...here's an info graphic about the evil deeds of the current Venezuelan regime.  Subtext-These poor Venezuelans should let us install our guy as leader and he will help them liberate their oil.   I mean, people.  I meant to say people, not oil."    

I'm trying to watch fucking baseball and relax, but ESPN can't resist posting an info graphic about an oil-rich South American country that won't bend to our will.     

I hope I'm wrong, but the people that now run Disney aren't going to stop using ESPN to spread their messages.    They'll subsidize the entire network if it gets them in front of a demographic that they can't reach through their other networks.  

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While they are making changes to the shit show that is ESPN stop searching out sad stories to air before every freaking big game.  The last thing I want to watch is some sad story when I am getting drunk and pumped up to watch my team kick ass.  

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14 hours ago, alincoln said:

ESPN's decline is attributable to many causes.  Injecting identity politics into Sportscenter certainly didn't help its cause given the target demographic, but eliminating politics discussion isn't going to address cord cutting and the associated pressure on ESPN's carriage fees or bring back the sophisticated fans who left years ago after ESPN "dumbed down" their content.

ESPN is sports media intended for the ignorant masses of American society who watch television between 9 - 5 on weekdays.  UT alumni are not the target demo for its non-live sports programming.   

When exactly was ESPN ever considered "high minded" in the past? Outside of the NFL matchup show (which comes on at like 5AM Sunday mornings) and a few other segments on Sports Center, ESPN has never embraced anything resembling sub surface programming. I agree with @Huckleberry, If ESPN feels they need the punditry shows they would do well to mix things up and offer some shows that have an analytical perspective as well. I think there are plenty of people who would be interested in stuff like that. And especially in this day and age when there's so much analytical data available and when niche programming can be more successful that one would think, it's a wonder why ESPN hasn't done much in this area. Somewhat ironically Max Kellerman used to be great at this when he hosted an ESPN radio show with Brian Kenny way back in the day about 10 to 15 years ago. They were really into sabremetrics and all sorts of analytical data with different sports. Now Kellerman has gone to the opposite end of the spectrum with dumbed down, manufactured, you take that side, I take the other "debate".

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Why waste hours a day listening to shitty hot takes on shitty debate shows on ESPN when instead I can just spend hours a day on Surlyhorns reading even shittier hot takes?

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On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 7:39 PM, Valmy77 said:

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.

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 9:26 PM, 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.

With however many channels + streaming they could quarantine the strategy talk in one place and Athlete 90210 in another.  

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They lost me when the discontinued their Saturday morning outdoor block, especially Jerry McKinnis' "The Fishin' Hole" and "Walkers Cay Chronicles".  

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6 hours ago, Uncle Boobs said:

Why waste hours a day listening to shitty hot takes on shitty debate shows on ESPN when instead I can just spend hours a day on Surlyhorns reading even shittier hot takes?

Yeah, at least our shittier hot takes come with gifs, memes, boobs and Derka. 

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On 5/22/2019 at 11:26 PM, 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.

100% this.

When I was in college we used to watch headline news at: 08,18,28,38,48, and 58 because that was the only way you could find out what the scores were on games going on out of our area that we had bet on. 

I agree the 90's ESPN model is dead and would never work but that really isn't their problem. Their problem is aside from their live coverage and a few pregame shows their other programming has been AWFUL the last 20 years. They did have a monopoly and they fucked it up by putting out shitty programming back when they had all the viewers in the world to take advantage of. 

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As of last year, 33 million people have cancelled cable and not re-subscribed.  6 in 10 people aged 18-29 only watch streaming services. 

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/cord-cutting-2018-estimates-33-million-us-study-1202881488/

It gets worse.  People younger than that hardly watch any live TV viewing at all.  Not even with Hulu Live or YouTubeTV.  They almost exclusively watch YouTubers or Netflix original content or old shows on Netflix.

Attributing ESPN's decline to politics is like attributing the cause of the Great Depression to Babe Ruth's dieting habits.  And no matter how may times this gets pointed out, people are going to respond with, "Yeah but ESPN let all that happen by ruining how great it used to be!"

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49 minutes ago, fellside said:

As of last year, 33 million people have cancelled cable and not re-subscribed.  6 in 10 people aged 18-29 only watch streaming services. 

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/cord-cutting-2018-estimates-33-million-us-study-1202881488/

It gets worse.  People younger than that hardly watch any live TV viewing at all.  Not even with Hulu Live or YouTubeTV.  They almost exclusively watch YouTubers or Netflix original content or old shows on Netflix.

Attributing ESPN's decline to politics is like attributing the cause of the Great Depression to Babe Ruth's dieting habits.  And no matter how may times this gets pointed out, people are going to respond with, "Yeah but ESPN let all that happen by ruining how great it used to be!"


And 20 million people watched a paid subscription channel last Sunday night. It's about content. Regardless of source if you make good whatever, people will consume it. That's where ESPN fucked themselves. Their content outside of live games has been shit for years. They like cable companies assumed incorrectly that people would always pay to have access to their channels for the live sporting events alone.

Politics wasn't their downfall and neither was cable cutters, it was shitty content outside of access to their live game rights.  

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59 minutes ago, fellside said:

As of last year, 33 million people have cancelled cable and not re-subscribed.  6 in 10 people aged 18-29 only watch streaming services. 

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/cord-cutting-2018-estimates-33-million-us-study-1202881488/

It gets worse.  People younger than that hardly watch any live TV viewing at all.  Not even with Hulu Live or YouTubeTV.  They almost exclusively watch YouTubers or Netflix original content or old shows on Netflix.

Attributing ESPN's decline to politics is like attributing the cause of the Great Depression to Babe Ruth's dieting habits.  And no matter how may times this gets pointed out, people are going to respond with, "Yeah but ESPN let all that happen by ruining how great it used to be!"

We quit cable about 6-7 years ago. Streaming only. We share subscriptions. We pay for Netflix, parents pay for HBO, friend gives me his basic cable password, brother pays for Hulu. Everyone shares. 

Sometimes when we watch a show on the FX app, for instance, there will be limited commercials. My kids are fucking flummoxed. They get so angry whenever there's a commercial saying "why can't you fast forward through this commercial?! I don't like commercials!" They're have no idea how spoiled they are. 

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12 hours ago, bmbmd said:

They lost me when the discontinued their Saturday morning outdoor block, especially Jerry McKinnis' "The Fishin' Hole" and "Walkers Cay Chronicles".  

Thankfully you can find a ton of that old stuff, including a lot of Bill Dance, on YouTube.  Plus there’s a shit-ton of new fishing shows on YouTube that are pretty solid, covering every little niche there is.  

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Just now, atomheartbevo said:

Thankfully you can find a ton of that old stuff, including a lot of Bill Dance, on YouTube.  Plus there’s a shit-ton of new fishing shows on YouTube that are pretty solid, covering every little niche there is.  

Jerry fishing with Bobby Knight in the Boundary waters may be the best outdoors episode ever.  Who knew Bob Knight had a sense of humor?  Most of the Walker's Cay episodes are available on the Hells Bay Boats web site.  Sucks for me because I run a Beavertail.....

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The whole ESPN+ thing is interesting. They continue to put more game content on their to get people to pay $4.99 a month for it yet they are losing money with only 2 Million subscribers. 

The company said that its direct-to-consumer and international segment lost $136 million in the quarter on revenue of $918 million.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/05/disney-says-espn-has-2-million-paid-subscribers-but-is-losing-money.html

 

It will be interesting to see how things play out. As a sports fan (obviously) I would have probably watched the EPL playoff over the weekend between Derby County and Aston Villa but didn't because it was on ESPN+. I know most on here are sports fans but there are a shit ton of people that never watch ESPN and plenty of sports fans that won't pay for secondary league or sports games.  

 

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ESPN is to sports as MTV is to music. It was great in the early years when they were honoring their industries, but they eventually ruined everything when they put themselves above it.

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:54 AM, bmbmd said:

They lost me when the discontinued their Saturday morning outdoor block, especially Jerry McKinnis' "The Fishin' Hole" and "Walkers Cay Chronicles".  

Walkers Cay was the shit. Guy fishing and talking about life and nature and whatever. Loved it.

I miss the lumberjack stuff as well. I always expected to see a guy chop off his foot. 

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For the last year or so I have watched nothing but streaming. It wasn’t really a conscious choice. They just show what I want to see. Never thought about what espn  was or wasn’t airing

 

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Dinosaur here, but it sounds like 75% of ‘cord cutting’ still relies on somebody somewhere to have a cable/satellite subscription, at least for live sports.

Are there really that many people out there sponging off of their parents for their Spectrum login?

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On 5/23/2019 at 11:26 PM, longhornmatt said:

Tom Rinaldi is an emotional vampire

 

Tom Rinaldi is the Chuck Todd of Tom Rinaldis.

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11 hours ago, Ignatius said:

Dinosaur here, but it sounds like 75% of ‘cord cutting’ still relies on somebody somewhere to have a cable/satellite subscription, at least for live sports.

Are there really that many people out there sponging off of their parents for their Spectrum login?

There seems to be a plethora of people streaming sports, particularly ones that don't play dozens or undreds of games a year. The reddit dot com slash r slash XXXstreams forums usually have lots of links to streamers, particularly when XXX is CFB or NFL, but others as well. 

I've run into several folks who share rather than sponging - one couple has a Netflix account, which they share with their two kids. One of the kids has a Vue account, the other has a Prime and a Hulu - all shared. Is "the cord" cut? Maybe not, but it's damn sure stretched out. 

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15 hours ago, DougO said:

ESPN is to sports as MTV is to music. 

As in, everyone reminisces about it being greater than it really was when actually we just had nowhere else to get sports highlights/music videos. 

They should have never gotten rid of the niche shows. Maybe they got self conscious when Dodgeball came out and mocked them with the whole "ESPN 8: The Ocho" bit. 

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:54 AM, bmbmd said:

They lost me when the discontinued their Saturday morning outdoor block, especially Jerry McKinnis' "The Fishin' Hole" and "Walkers Cay Chronicles".  

Yeah...

 

Nothing more exciting than watching two guys fishing.......

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I’m still paying $200+  monthly for Spectrum (3 cable boxes around the house) we only DVR programming from maybe a dozen channels. Am not sure how this streaming stuff works. 

We do have a 4g wireless router for the tablets and new Samsung smartass 4K TV. I did finally figure out (with Surly help) how to get the Internet on said TV. Did see all those icons for the subscription services, but don’t have a clue how those work or how to pay for them.

Edited by Armybrat

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On 5/23/2019 at 6:55 PM, Foosters said:

Which shows are you talking about? The old sportscenter and baseball tonight models? Majority highlights with commentary on top?

If so, there's not much left. Quick Pitch on MLB TV is somewhat like that.

For me, instead of watching sportscenter on Sunday night to see what happened in the NFL, I go to Reddit/r/NFL where every play that's worth seeing is posted within minutes of it happening. Same for college football.

 

MLB TV is the best sports channel available and I can’t even think of a close second. They cover the game from all angles and play nothing but highlights, games, commentary and analysis on the season, and baseball films. 

Anyone saying politics didn’t play a role in ESPN gargling balls is pushing their own bullshit agenda. 

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1 hour ago, Armybrat said:

I’m still paying $200+  monthly for Spectrum (3 cable boxes around the house) we only DVR programming from maybe a dozen channels. Am not sure how this streaming stuff works. 

We do have a 4g wireless router for the tablets and new Samsung smartass 4K TV. I did finally figure out (with Surly help) how to get the Internet on said TV. Did see all those icons for the subscription services, but don’t have a clue how those work or how to pay for them.

tv.youtube.com

You can do a 1-week free trial.

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:18 AM, Junior Miller said:

Political commentary didn't do shit to ESPN. ESPN's problem isn't anything ESPN has done really. Their problem is the internet. They were the typewriter and got hit with the PC revolution. They used to be the only place for sports coverage. Now there's 10 billion places and every sports entity on the planet has anywhere from 100 to 1,000,000 websites dedicated to it. 

Are you sure it’s not the damn Yankees and their views?!?!  Lol

And seriously when I was a kid in the late 80’s / early 90’s, I craved sports, any sports.  It was hard getting your fix.  It’s a completely different world and they’ve adapted poorly... but it’s not like they’re struggling that much worse than other traditional TV outlets.  

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Television viewers are creatures of habit. They'd have kept ponying up for cable and watching ESPN if they liked the content. They didn't, and part of the reason is, the vast majority of sports viewers don't want political content or commentary mixed in with their diversionary entertainment even in small doses.

If you don't understand that last, you have surrounded yourself with the kind of weirdos that think Designated Survivor got good when it moved to a drama about domestic policy compromise.

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I think it goes deeper than politics as well. I stopped watching the shows because it was over-the-top. Everything had to have a message. Everyone had to scream. I can check my phone for scores and get highlights off of their app with less desire to vomit.

I turned on Golic and Wingo this morning on my drive to work. I actually liked the first segment that they did, but then they played a clip of Stephen A screaming about Magic Johnson that went on for at least 60 seconds. I had to flip back to MLB Radio Network.

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14 minutes ago, Capn81 said:

I think it goes deeper than politics as well. I stopped watching the shows because it was over-the-top. Everything had to have a message. Everyone had to scream. I can check my phone for scores and get highlights off of their app with less desire to vomit.

 

 

Yep, they became cable news networks. 

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42 minutes ago, Capn81 said:

I think it goes deeper than politics as well. I stopped watching the shows because it was over-the-top. Everything had to have a message. Everyone had to scream. I can check my phone for scores and get highlights off of their app with less desire to vomit.

Absolutely. There's no single answer. Better, more convenient content that doesn't insult people and costs less? That's going to appeal to most people; most people will slowly migrate to it; the priority will differ for everyone.

I think it is asinine to say or imply any of those things can't be or weren't factors, and honestly I don't see how anyone can argue it without a pretty strong ulterior motive-- i.e., "sure ESPN got political but they got political in a way I like so I'm going to argue it didn't play a role in people tuning them out" (and thus losing a huge reason for NOT cutting their cable).

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4 hours ago, closetojumping said:

MLB TV is the best sports channel available and I can’t even think of a close second. They cover the game from all angles and play nothing but highlights, games, commentary and analysis on the season, and baseball films. 

Anyone saying politics didn’t play a role in ESPN gargling balls is pushing their own bullshit agenda. 

 

I agree. I'm not even a diehard watch-everything baseball guy, but MLB is great. They do what the NFL Network formerly did before they sold out and started emphasizing more personality driven argument drek and stupid lists that mean nothing. The NFL Network has been devolving into something more ESPN-like, unfortunately, but wiht occasional glimpses of its former usefulness. I used to be glued to it every day, now I can hardly bare to watch the mostly same bullshit, different channel.

 

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Bring back the Wide World Of Sports. You know, a show about sports that is all about actual sports, some of it different stuff that we're not already bombarded with daily, some fun stuff, some foreign stuff, some just really good familier type sports action, but another level. It's just so crazy it might work. They already have the damn theme song. It doesn't even have  to be live, so it could be fairly cheap in this day and age.

Edited by DougO

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Agreed on having some variety as well. I would absolutely tune in to watch the Scottish Highland Games. Who doesn't love a good caber toss competition?

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On 5/24/2019 at 8:58 AM, fellside said:

As of last year, 33 million people have cancelled cable and not re-subscribed.  6 in 10 people aged 18-29 only watch streaming services. 

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/cord-cutting-2018-estimates-33-million-us-study-1202881488/

It gets worse.  People younger than that hardly watch any live TV viewing at all.  Not even with Hulu Live or YouTubeTV.  They almost exclusively watch YouTubers or Netflix original content or old shows on Netflix.

Attributing ESPN's decline to politics is like attributing the cause of the Great Depression to Babe Ruth's dieting habits.  And no matter how may times this gets pointed out, people are going to respond with, "Yeah but ESPN let all that happen by ruining how great it used to be!"

I guess my point was they had already ruined it long before all this happened. No matter how many times I point this out, I get this response. It seems like we are having two different conversations here. Good content is still desired by all, but TV as we know it is on its way out. Those things can both be true.

ESPN could still thrive in a post-TV world if they were producing good stuff.

Edited by Valmy77

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7 hours ago, Armybrat said:

I’m still paying $200+  monthly for Spectrum (3 cable boxes around the house) we only DVR programming from maybe a dozen channels. Am not sure how this streaming stuff works. 

We do have a 4g wireless router for the tablets and new Samsung smartass 4K TV. I did finally figure out (with Surly help) how to get the Internet on said TV. Did see all those icons for the subscription services, but don’t have a clue how those work or how to pay for them.

Son with Vue says it's $70-something for pretty much everything - ESPN all but +, everything Fox has, all the xxxSports (CBS, NBC...), etc. All via your internet. I use FireStick with the very big dumb screens, and straight to 

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