ESPN Wants Growth? Stop Talking Politics and Stick to Sports!!!
Disney just announced its earnings and saw a 23% decline in operating income, thanks in large part to ESPN. ESPN was once the great darling of Disney, and it brought in amazing profits. Many saw the channel as the light in the TV industry against streaming services.
ESPN started getting political. Instead of focusing on what it actually does for a living – sports broadcasting – the channel started to promote political agendas and fire anchors who didn’t have the same worldview as the network.
Consider popular anchor Curt Schilling. He made a comment about men being men and woman being women in a social media post about keeping bathrooms to their respective sexes, and he got fired.
ESPN just forgot their market. Its strength is as a channel for people who love sports, and when they turn on the channel that’s what they want to hear. Besides that, ESPN’s decision to skew liberal and even leftist in their politicking didn’t play to their market either.
In a study surveying 218,000 people for Nielsen and Arbitron, for instance, National Media Inc. found that most sports watchers skew Republican for college basketball, college football, Nascar, PGA Tour, the NFL, and Major League Baseball. Interestingly enough, the sport most interesting to Democrats was World Wrestling Entertainment.
No matter what your political affiliation, when you watch sports, you don’t want to see any annoying political agenda thrown into the mix, right or left.
ESPN, if you want to grow, please just keep it about sports.