That's how many subscribers ESPN lost in October. Outkick The Coverage has a fantastic article about this and it's well worth reading the whole thing. The short version is ESPN is bleeding subscribers at an alarming rate and within five years they could be facing some serious financial issues. That's really interesting as ESPN is the heart of the current cable system and distribution of most sports. If ESPN fails or has to make major changes we're going to be living in a dramatically different world when it comes to sports.
The other interesting question is: Why? A few thoughts:
1. The most obvious answer is people are cutting the cord in record numbers. Some don't care about sports anyway, others (like me) do care but just can't justify the extra cost. This isn't changing anytime soon.
2. Another issue is ESPN has become more openly political and specifically left-wing in their coverage, though most ESPN personalities would deny that. I think this matters but I'm not sure how much.
3. Protests by players in various sports doesn't help. Any one thing may not matter a lot but I think all of it taken together and added to these other factors can definitely push people over the edge.
4. I haven't watched the network very often lately but my impression is just about everything that's not an actual sports broadcast is worse than it used to be, though possibly I'm just old or thinking the past was better than it was. I've been particularly unimpressed with SportsCenter, aside from the SVP version. Most of these shows must be cheap to produce but if they're not keeping people interested, or even driving them away, it's an issue.
5. In trying to wring every drop of revenue from sporting events the commercials have gotten ridiculous. An NFL game can barely keep my interest anymore because of all the commercial interruptions.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Back in 2001 BMW made The Hire, a series of short films (~10 min each) shown on their website starring Clive Owen as The Driver, various new BMWs, and many notable actors. This was quite something at the time (YouTube was still four years away) and the films were very popular. BMW is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the films with a new one, which is definitely worth a watch: