Is ESPN's Liberal Political Agenda Contributing to its Serious Viewer Slump?
By Tom Teodorczuk
ESPN's viewership continues to slump. The sports cable network, majority owned by Walt Disney, is down to 87.8 million domestic subscribers according to just released figures from Nielsen. Subscriptions are decreasing each month.
ESPN has lost its primetime ratings crown to Fox News Channel and ratings of "Monday Night Football" are down 12% from the previous season.
Many of ESPN's woes stem from so-called "cord cutting". TV viewers are increasingly shunning pricey cable TV packages in favor of trimmed down options that don't include the high priced sports network.
But growing evidence would suggest the subscriber slump is also driven, in part, by viewer disgust with ESPN's politics. The network has become increasingly liberal of late, not bothering to disguise the left-wing sympathies of its presenters and commentators.
Other instances of liberal bias include giving Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for heroism, endorsing militant pressure group Black Lives Matter at the ESPYs, firing Curt Schilling for not being more supportive about transgender bathrooms and awarding President Obama a spurious "First Fan" award as part of its MLK Day tribute.
There was also the NFL-National Anthems controversy in which ESPN seemed to sympathize with the anti-American actions of Colin Kaepernick, and when the network turned a blind eye when panelist Kevin Blackistone called the national anthem a "war anthem."
Recently ESPNW, the network's womens sport website, gave sycophantic support to the Women's March on Washington as though it was a bipartisan sporting event:
Even ESPN's coverage of the Australian Open Championships, one of the finest Grand Slams in recent memory, was marred by the firing of commentator Doug Adler for a mis-heard word that was mistakenly believed to be racist.
Prominent ESPN figures are admitting there's a problem with the politics. Highly-respected anchorman Bob Ley recently said about ESPN, that"the one place we have miles to go is diversity of thought" while ESPN Public Editor Jim Brady confessed in a letter on its website last December: "Internally, there's a feeling among many staffers - both liberal and conservative - that the company's perceived move leftward has had a stifling effect on discourse inside the company and has affected its public-facing products. Consumers have sensed that same leftward movement, alienating some."
Politics doesn't seem to be a problem for veteran ESPN President John Skipper who said: "Diversity and inclusion...are long-standing values that drive fundamental fairness while providing us with the widest possible pool of talent to create the smartest and most creative staff. We do not view this as a political stance but as a human stance."
But word in Disney is that ESPNs' woes will soon send John Skipper out to sea.
Ironically a new President who ESPN openly loathes could soon be partly responsible for the network appointing a new President!ESPN, Transgenders, sports, Liberal Bias, Caitlyn Jenner, Liberal Push, Losing Subscribers, Gay Football Players