Thursday, September 03, 2009

ESPN = monopoly

This is a bit of a follow up of the earlier post by Kris...

I have a love/hate relationship with ESPN. I absolutely love everything that is sports, therefore I love ESPN. They broadcast probably 1/2 of the major sporting games that I watch, and they do a pretty stand-up job with the content they push through their cable + satellites.

What drives me crazy is that about 10 years ago (I'm taking a rough stab at that date), they made a major shift in their style of producing what was then my favorite show on television, SportsCenter. Gone are the days of knowing the personalities of SC anchors like Dan Patrick, Kenny Mayne, or Chris Berman. Now we get the likes of...shoot, I can hardly think of one anchor of the top of my head. Ok, so I still like Stan Everett and a few others, but the point is the completely took the personality factor out of the broadcast.

On top of who was bringing me my morning news, they changed what type of news I would see. I watch sports shows to see sports. Do I want to hear about some developing off-the-field story? If it's news worthy enough, sure. But I bet you can turn on SC every morning and see about 2-3 minutes of on-the-field footage from last night's games in the first 20. That's a whole lot of blah blah blah as far as I'm concerned.

Continuing, they choose what stories they want to report. Remember when Jay Glazer broke that story about Brett Favre tipping off the Lions about their up-coming game with the Packers? You don't if you only watch "the Leader." Or when Ben Roethlisberger had his alleged whatever this summer out in Vegas? It took the biggest sports media producer in the world four days to get that slightly important story out. Last time I checked, selective journalism is a big no-no.

Basically, ESPN needs a competitor. I have no idea how such a thing can come about after they have such a stranglehold on the public and the sports world in general, but something needs to change, and hopefully soon.

1 comment:

Kris G. said...

I guess I could really care less who is delivering the news on SportsCenter as long as it's being delivered.

Your statement about only having 2-3 minutes of actual game coverage in a 20-minute block is right on the mark. Between the highlights (that sometimes have nothing to do with important parts of the game) are pointless phone calls with players, analysis by people not qualified to give good analysis (John Kruk), and absurd segments like the infamous "Who's NOW" series SportsCenter had a while back.

Is that really what people want to see? Yikes, I hope not.

As for competition, the massive ABC/Disney/ESPN conglomerate basically controls everything sports related right now. FOX has a solid array of programming, but really nothing that rivals ESPN. For now, at least.