As ESPN has lost 10,000 cable and satellite subscribers every day in 2017, seen ratings collapse for all original programming, and recently embarked on the firing of 100 employees as part of a desperate cost cutting move to save its business, the network’s sports media defenders have desperately argued that the network’s embrace of far left wing politics has not had any impact on its collapsing viewership. That’s despite the fact that there have been two different studies that have demonstrated Republican voters have abandoned the network’s original programming in the past year.
Well, if you had any doubt about ESPN embracing left wing politics, last night’s presenting sponsorship of SportsCenter should have erased those doubts forever.
MSESPN finally went full on MSESPN — ESPN’s flagship show on its entire network, SportsCenter, was brought to you by MSNBC.
Seriously, watch this:
— Jeff Tew (@SquirrelTew) May 14, 2017
And let me ask you several questions:
1. If you were a network rapidly losing conservative/Republican viewers, would you allow MSNBC to sponsor your show?
That’s especially the case if you’ve publicly argued that you’re a sports network, not a mouthpiece for the left wing media, right? This is just flat out dumb. And it ties in with what several ESPN employees have been telling me in the wake of ESPN’s most recent firings. Multiple people you would recognize on air have reached out and said: “Clay, the thing you keep getting wrong about ESPN is this — the people running ESPN right now are not smart. Our leadership is awful. They have no idea what they’re doing and no idea how to respond to a collapsing business.”
That’s how you end up running an MSNBC ad on your signature program.
The lack of smarts at the top of ESPN also makes quite a bit of sense. When you have a killer business from 1979 to 2011, as ESPN unquestionably did, leadership decisions don’t matter that much. It’s hard to screw up that much. Because even if you screw up the business is going so well you can’t actually hurt it.
But now that the business is collapsing ESPN’s executive bench, particularly at the top with John Skipper, who makes Donald Trump look like Abraham Lincoln, is being exposed as woefully bad.
2. Even if Fox News wanted to do it, do you think ESPN would take an advertisement from Fox News with the same tagline?
That is, if Fox News wanted to advertise on SportsCenter and say that “Information and facts have never been more important,” would MSESPN allow that advertisement to air?
Of course not.
ESPN has picked political sides and if you’re a Republican, you aren’t welcome on their network.
3. ESPN/ABC is now taking advertisements for NBC, a competing network, for its news coverage on a flagship sports show.
This is mind-boggling.
How did no one in ESPN management look at this and say, “You know what, maybe we should pass on MSNBC as the presenting sponsor of SportsCenter right now. It’s just not a good idea given the fact that our ratings are collapsing and our viewers believe our politics has become slanted.”
So either no one was smart enough to think about this or, even more likely, they wanted to send this message — we are MSESPN, all liberals welcome.
And this makes eevn more sense when you look at all the firings that have taken place. ESPN isn’t just going left wing with its politics, it is doubling down on left wing politics. Look at the roster of who is left in the wake of the firings. Find me someone who has sent out left wing political Tweets and got fired.
You can’t, because it’s impossible. All of the left wing political talent at ESPN is getting promoted, all the actual news people — or conservatives — are getting fired.
ESPN advertising for MSNBC is the perfect union of ESPN and MSNBC, it really has decided to become a left wing sports network — meet MSESPN.
4. MSNBC, which has thousands of places to advertise its brand on TV and online, believes that ESPN and its viewership have become so left wing that it will find viewers by advertising on ESPN’s flagship sports program.
If you doubt my thesis that ESPN has become MSESPN, how can you explain this decision? MSNBC, which has thousands of locations to place its advertisements, clearly believes that for the first time in the history of its political network that ESPN’s agenda has become so left wing that they can pick up viewers by advertising on a sports network.
If you want to just crack open a beer and watch sports to escape politics for a few hours — which is what the vast majority of sports fans want — tough break. Because from now on MSESPN is going to lecture you about why Caitlyn Jenner is a hero, Michael Sam is the new Jackie Robinson of sports, and Colin Kaepernick is the Rosa Parks of football.
ESPN is dead, the network might as well rebrand as MSESPN, the worldwide leader in sports and far left wing politics