On Wednesday, sports giant ESPN announced that it was laying off 100 people, many of them on-air talent and sports reporters, as the cable network’s ratings continue to decline.
In fact, ESPN has lost approximately 12 million subscribers over the last 6 years, and many attribute its injection of liberal politics for its decline in popularity.
Several well-known ESPN employees took to Twitter after they got laid off:
For 17 yrs I’ve had a dream job covering baseball for ESPN. Today is my last day. Thanks to all the great people at ESPN, MLB & all of you!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 26, 2017
Poured my heart and soul into ESPN for last 8 years. Moved my wife and 3 kids to CT to go “all in” 5 years ago. Bummed it ended in 3 minutes
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) April 26, 2017
After 14 wonderful years my time at espn is over. From Cold Pizza to First Take to SC I made more friends than I can name. Forever grateful! pic.twitter.com/WNkUGuXeVl
— Jay Crawford (@jaycrawfordespn) April 26, 2017
Clay Travis, who has been covering the increase of left-wing politics at ESPN for several years, explains that the network’s decision to move away from simply covering sports, to a left-wing network has significantly hurt their ratings:
That collapse has been aided by ESPN’s absurd decision to turn into MSESPN, a left wing sports network, but that’s more a symptom of the collapse than it is a cause of the collapse. ESPN’s business is collapsing and the network is desperately trying to find a way to stay above water.
You know how a drowning person flails in the water before slipping under? ESPN’s left wing shift is that flailing. They think going left wing will save them. The reality is the opposite, ESPN going left wing was like giving a drowning person a big rock to hold and thinking it would keep them from drowning. Instead, it just made them sink even faster.
Middle America wants to pop a beer and listen to sports talk, they don’t want to be lectured 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 made the mistake of trying to make liberal social media losers happy and as a result lost millions of viewers.
In fact, a recent poll found that 60% of sports consumers believe ESPN leans left, versus a mere 3% who think the sports network is conservative. Sports are supposed to be an escape from the daily problems of life, and the average American doesn’t want to turn on SportsCenter to be lectured about how much of a hero Colin Kaepernick is for insulting our flag and our veterans.
Americans watch ESPN for scores, news, and live sporting events, and its decision to bring back Keith Olbermann to the network in 2013 demonstrated the network’s deliberate desire to shift to the left. After Olbermann left the network in 1997, he joined MSNBC for several years, providing extreme leftist commentary to the network.
Unsurprisingly, when he returned to the network in 2013, Olbermann pledged to offer the same liberal commentary to ESPN, but the anchor lasted a mere 2 years with the network.
As long as ESPN continues to be the sports version of MSNBC and CNN they will continue to bleed viewers who will turn to other alternatives to get their sports news and information.
MSNBC’s long history of terrible ratings shows that the American public doesn’t want far-left commentary on their television sets, and they especially don’t when it comes to sports.
Will you watch ESPN anymore, or has their liberal bend turned you away from the sports channel? Share your thoughts below!