ESPN in the era of politics and cord cutting

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Plutonius, May 24, 2018.

  1. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    New Hampshire, USA
    #1
    The Wall Street Journal has a pretty good article about ESPN.

    One thing I found to be interesting is that in 2014, ESPN's research department claimed that cord-cutting was unlikely to be widespread. Based on that assessment, they splurged on spending.

    I'm curious if people here still watch the ESPN channels and if politics mixed in with sports is making you less likely to watch ?
     
  2. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #2
    To be brutally honest, the only reason I have watched ESPN anytime in the past 20 years has been for the Professional Bowlers Tour. I've been an avid bowler since I was 3 (full ride scholarship to college with it), and when ABC cancelled the PBA tour on Saturdays and moved it to ESPN, that was the only time I ever really watched it, outside of the hour long highlights show of Australian Rules Football. Outside of that, the "Total Sports Network"... the "World wide leader in sports" is absolute crap. the PBA Tour, PWBA Tour, and collegiate bowling have all moved to CBS Sports Network, and Fox Sports' digital tier shows live AFL matches, so I haven't watched ESPN in years. The Tennis Channel has better coverage of the Grand Slams and other tournaments, and let's face it: Half of the day is spent on those useless "sports talk shows" that it's absolutely boring anyway.

    Politics to a degree is okay in sports, but as far as ESPN goes, I can go out to a local sporting event and get better coverage than they'll ever show.

    BL.
     
  3. 1madman1 macrumors regular

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    #3
    I cut the cord about 6 years ago. In the prior years when I had cable I watched the various sports channels approximately zero times, only had them because I didn't have a choice.

    The one cable channel I miss is the BBC World News service, but it's not worth the $90 or so per month that it cost me.
     
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #4
    ESPN went way too political for me awhile ago. I stopped watching their channels and deleted their apps from my iPhone.
     
  5. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

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    #5
    I don't care about ESPN and their political points of view either way.

    I simply have no need to watch them unless they happen to be airing a game I care about, usually a college football game.

    The rest of what they offer simply doesn't appeal to me anymore, and hasn't for about 15 years.

    I don't need Sportscenter in this day and age and I can't stand all the "arguing about things" shows that so many seem to like. I'm literally only interested in the actual live sports.
     
  6. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #6
    I enjoy playing sports, watching sports, especially on TV not so much. Aside from the Olympics, the SuperBowl, and the occasional major game (maybe World Series finals if the Yankees or Redsox are playing), I seldom watch televised sports.

    That said, I don’t want politics to be involved with spectating sports. I feel that would be even more true for people who really enjoy sports.
     
  7. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    #7
    It's really hard to ask a network not to comment on topics that have social relevance.

    That's not the same thing as being political.

    Only in America, if you express a view on a topic do you get painted into someone else's box as a leftist pink-o commie, or a far right fascist, racist, sexist, xenophobe......

    Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen ESPN being political, I have seen them engage in topics like school shooting.

    How can we expect them not to say anything when people are walking into schools every other month and shooting kids at will?

    Still yet, it's not like they said what should be done about it, they merely raised the same questions anyone would, we all know something should be done.
     
  8. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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  9. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #9
    Only watch ESPN when the Vikings are playing football on whatever night it is they have now. Outside of that useless.

    They got rid of Chris Berman for God sakes.
     
  10. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I only watch actual games, the rest of their programming is utter garbage.
     
  11. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    #11
    I used to watch SC sometimes, but after cord cutting years ago, I didn't miss it at all.

    With all the political crap they have on their now (going by what I have read about it), I miss it even less, if that is possible. From the news reports, it is obvious that politics and a PC culture has corrupted ESPN.

    They have lost millions of viewers, and they probably won't get them back.
     
  12. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #12
    We’ve been cord cutters for about two years now (have tried since 2014). If WatchESPN couldn’t be streamed, cord cutting would not have been viable for me.

    I don’t particularly care for most of their commentary and generally avoid it, but I’m a college football fan and not having ESPN would have been a no-go.
     
  13. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    PC culture is like a cancer, it’s infecting every aspect of society. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they cancel the Super Bowl and give every team a participation trophy to ensure that nobody’s feelings are hurt.:confused:
     
  14. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

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    #14
    ESPN mixes politics in with their sports? That should tell you how often I watch ESPN. ;)
     
  15. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #15
    Yes, you’ve missed it.

    They literally have articles linked to their site straight from FiveThirtyEight.

    I mean, I like FiveThirtyEight but it’s clearly a generally political site.

    Because it’s a sports network. Unless the social commentary somehow intersects with sports, it shouldn’t be on a sports network. It should be somewhere else.

    Read some of Jamelle Hill’s pieces. She absolutely tells people what needs to be done about things.
     
  16. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    #16
    There no law barring them from doing and saying what they want, if they think that brings in more viewers, they are likely going to do it.

    I question the wisdom of becoming partisan, but it their network, and if they want to do it, that's just too bad for me.
     
  17. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #17
    Of course it’s their network and obviously it’s legal. No one has said that it isn’t. If they want to become CNN or MSMBC or FOX News or whatever, that’s their prerogative.

    But you said you didn’t see how it was political and I explained how. And you also said you didn’t see why their every-increasing social and political commentary was a problem and I explained that also. Sports fans generally don’t want to see it. That’s why ESPN scrapped their SC6 show. It was a social commentary disaster that no one wanted to watch.
     
  18. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    #18
    While true, it looks like it has not brought more viewership, they lost 18 million viewers in the past few years.

    Between their politics and all the cord-cutting going on, people are not watching, and ESPN is in trouble.

    People wanted sports, and they got MSNBC-lite. They reap what they sow.
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #19
    It was ESPN’s handling of the things she said that were the final straw for me.
     
  20. Vanilla Ice macrumors 6502

    Vanilla Ice

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    #20
    Nice! Congrats on a good run in bowling. That’s one sport that takes a lot of skill. I enjoy it as well but I can never go over 280:p

    ESPN was always my favorite sports network. Especially with sports center. I still watch it, while ignoring all the negative politics.
     
  21. Plutonius thread starter macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #21
    Congrats on the bowling scholarship.

    That being said, I think candlepin bowling is much more enjoyable than ten pin bowling :p.
     
  22. eltoslightfoot macrumors 6502a

    eltoslightfoot

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    #22
    Only watch games. The rest of that stuff is so bad now. I loved the NFL highlight show they used to do in the evening and Sportscenter. It isn’t even the political stuff. It’s just not done well anymore in the case of SC, and doesn’t exist anymore in the case of the NFL highlight show. Same with the rest of the stuff. They just suck at original programming.
     
  23. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Unless the kid also scored a touchdown while shooting people in his school, I don't see the connection for why social/political topics would be discussed on a sports channel.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #24
  25. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #25
    FiveThirtyEight had its beginnings as a site that did statistical analysis of elections. During 2016 they would push stories about Trump and Hillary directly to ESPN.com’s front page. This is actually how I learned about them...through ESPN.

    Yes, they have sports content, but at their core, they’re a political site.
     

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