Criticism of ESPN

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Throughout its history, ESPN and its sister networks have been the targets of criticism for programming choices, biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.wikipedia
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ESPN

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Throughout its history, ESPN and its sister networks have been the targets of criticism for programming choices, biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.
While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

History of ESPN

2017 ESPN layoffsits history
Throughout its history, ESPN and its sister networks have been the targets of criticism for programming choices, biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

Media bias

media coveragebiasliberal bias
Throughout its history, ESPN and its sister networks have been the targets of criticism for programming choices, biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

Conflict of interest

conflicts of interestconflict-of-interestconflict of interests
Throughout its history, ESPN and its sister networks have been the targets of criticism for programming choices, biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

Fox Sports

FOXFox Sports Media GroupFoxSports
Some critics argue that ESPN's success is their ability to provide other enterprise and investigative sports news while competing with other hard sports-news-producing outlets such as Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.

Mike Freeman (columnist)

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman's 2001 book ESPN: The Uncensored History, which alleged sexual harassment, drug use and gambling, was the first critical study of ESPN.

Retransmission consent

compensationretransmissionrenew its carriage
ESPN currently charges the highest retransmission consent fee of any major cable television network in the United States.

Monday Night Football

ESPNABCMonday night
In August 2011, ESPN agreed to pay the NFL $1.9 billion annually for the rights to carry Monday Night Football through 2021; this despite the fact that the broadcast networks pay approximately half that price for their packages, which include lucrative and highly watched contests such as the Super Bowl, conference championships and Thanksgiving games while ESPN's package does not (ESPN's package does include the NFL Draft).

Super Bowl

Super Bowl championSuper BowlsAFL-NFL World Championship Game
In August 2011, ESPN agreed to pay the NFL $1.9 billion annually for the rights to carry Monday Night Football through 2021; this despite the fact that the broadcast networks pay approximately half that price for their packages, which include lucrative and highly watched contests such as the Super Bowl, conference championships and Thanksgiving games while ESPN's package does not (ESPN's package does include the NFL Draft).

NFL on Thanksgiving Day

ThanksgivingThanksgiving DayThanksgiving Day game
In August 2011, ESPN agreed to pay the NFL $1.9 billion annually for the rights to carry Monday Night Football through 2021; this despite the fact that the broadcast networks pay approximately half that price for their packages, which include lucrative and highly watched contests such as the Super Bowl, conference championships and Thanksgiving games while ESPN's package does not (ESPN's package does include the NFL Draft).

National Football League Draft

draftedNFL Draftdraft
In August 2011, ESPN agreed to pay the NFL $1.9 billion annually for the rights to carry Monday Night Football through 2021; this despite the fact that the broadcast networks pay approximately half that price for their packages, which include lucrative and highly watched contests such as the Super Bowl, conference championships and Thanksgiving games while ESPN's package does not (ESPN's package does include the NFL Draft).

Bowl game

bowl gamesbowlBowl appearances
In 2012, ESPN reportedly paid about $7.3 billion over 12 years for the broadcasting rights to all seven bowl games of the College Football Playoff, an average of about $608 million per year.

College Football Playoff

CFPNew Year's SixCollege Football Playoff Rankings
In 2012, ESPN reportedly paid about $7.3 billion over 12 years for the broadcasting rights to all seven bowl games of the College Football Playoff, an average of about $608 million per year.

Major League Baseball

MLBMajor LeagueMajor Leagues
Also in 2012, ESPN and Major League Baseball agreed to an eight-year extension, increasing ESPN's average yearly payment from about $360 million to approximately $700 million.

National Basketball Association

NBANBA.comBasketball Association of America
And in October 2014, ESPN signed a nine-year extension with the NBA, worth three times as much as the previous deal.

NBCSN

VersusNBC Sports NetworkOLN
These deals were made when new sports channels like NBCSN and Fox Sports 1 emerged, and so analysts believe that ESPN deliberately drove the prices up as a defensive measure to block these competitors from acquiring live rights.

Fox Sports 1

FS1FoxsportsFox Soccer Daily
These deals were made when new sports channels like NBCSN and Fox Sports 1 emerged, and so analysts believe that ESPN deliberately drove the prices up as a defensive measure to block these competitors from acquiring live rights.

Wall Street

WallWall Street (Manhattan)financial
Wall Street analysts have also raised concerns that the amount ESPN is paying for all of these rights could be a major drain on The Walt Disney Company as a whole, since the amount of money that can be recuperated from retransmission consent fees and advertising is limited; Disney still profits from the ESPN division but as of 2015 was cutting the network's higher-priced content to ensure long-term profitability.

The Walt Disney Company

DisneyWalt Disney ProductionsWalt Disney
Wall Street analysts have also raised concerns that the amount ESPN is paying for all of these rights could be a major drain on The Walt Disney Company as a whole, since the amount of money that can be recuperated from retransmission consent fees and advertising is limited; Disney still profits from the ESPN division but as of 2015 was cutting the network's higher-priced content to ensure long-term profitability.

Cord-cutting

cord cutterscord cuttercord cutting
In October 2015, ESPN laid off about 300 employees, citing the rights costs combined with the increasing trend of cord-cutting.

John Skipper

John Skipper's time as President of ESPN was tumultuous.

Ombudsman

ombudsmenombudspersonPublic Advocate
ESPN's ombudsman, Le Anne Schreiber, responded to these criticisms by saying that the industry is ratings-driven.

Le Anne Schreiber

ESPN's ombudsman, Le Anne Schreiber, responded to these criticisms by saying that the industry is ratings-driven.

MLB Network

MLBNPrime 9MLB
Since MLB Network launched on January 1, 2009, Baseball Tonight has been the target of criticism because of its perceived bias in favor of certain teams such as the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, both based within driving distance of ESPN's studios in Connecticut.