ESPN: Cutting The Cord Or Political Turn Off?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mark St.Cyr,

The catchphrase that seems to be picking up more and more steam is “cutting the cord” when referring to those that are dropping traditional cable TV for viewing choices or alternatives by other means. The reasons why differ greatly. For some its price, or affordability. For others, its convenience with the growing numbers of alternatives. And for some; they just refuse to pay for anything in a zealot like fashion. Although each group has different reasons the outcome is the same: diminishing viewership.

However, is “cutting the cord” really the reason for ESPN’s loss of millions viewers? Or, is that the easiest crutch of an excuse for what might really be happening? After all, media is, and always will be, the king of “inflated” numbers. So much so I garner when a CEO of any media company reads a term like “double seasonally adjusted” they smirk and think – “Rookies.”

It’s just the way it has, is, and will be played; and everyone understands it. None more so than those within the business itself, which is why a few things struck me.

Why wouldn’t ESPN™ (or Disney™ its parent company) go to great efforts to include or push the narrative that “cord cutting” doesn’t necessarily mean “all” that cut have tuned off? In other words: why aren’t numbers from alternative viewing sources highlighted as to show they might not be viewing there – but they are over here? Unless – they aren’t.

And if they’re not – why not? After all, there’s probably no other content infringement policing company for copyright and other applicable ownership rights than Disney and all its subsidiaries. You aren’t going to see it for free or on alternative platforms unless they want or allow for it. Period.

This would also imply if they allowed it (anywhere) it would be accounted for ( i.e., click views, etc.) in some manner of form from across the internet to help take the edge off. i.e., Sure we lost millions from cable, but as you can see here, they’ve just migrated over to this service/platform as an alternative. Monetizing the alternative is a work in progress. etc., etc.

However, that seems not to be the case. The case appears – they’ve not only cut: they’ve tuned out or turned off the programming entirely. Why?

It’s hard to say. However, if I use myself as an example, I believe I know a large part of the underlying reason:

ESPN (like a few notable others such as NBC™) has seemingly transformed at near hyper-speed from sports reporting – to political sports reporting. The political edge now rampant throughout the shows, games, interviews, et al is overbearing, overburdening, and overdone.

Here’s what I know from my own experience: It has become near impossible to turn on something that was originally created for pure entertainment value without now being bombarded with how the “political football” issue of the day is being addressed by the commentators, sideline crews, as well as players and coaches. e.g., I tuned in to watch a football game – not a game about how today’s “political football” is handled and won. i.e., gun control, domestic violence, civil unrest, global warming, etc., etc., on, and on.

Important issues all. However, is there no respite today as to maybe catch a breather and just enjoy a sporting event and its minutia without having today’s “political football” and all its baggage forced down my throat by sports casters, players, and more? It would be one thing if these shows mentioned these topics when appropriate. But now? One would think they were watching a Sunday morning news show rather than a sports channel. Everyday 24/7.

When I’ve watched it seems the reason for their existence (i.e., the game) is an inconvenience that must be tolerated till they can get back to what they believe really matters: the “political issue” of the day.

Yes, I know I’m probably overstating. Yet, that’s how I feel today when I’ve tried to watch most ESPN programming as well as others. My immediate reaction? Many times I’ve turned off a game entirely: for continuing was akin to waiting for another comment as to cue a push of the bamboo chutes deeper.

Personally, I grew so sick of it I now watch about a third, if that, of any sports TV I had watched previous. Again: specifically for this reason.

If I want “political football” TV there are far more choices and views to get it from. Sports were at one time a sanctuary from the realities of everyday life. There one cared only about their team. Could throw all their passion (and distaste) behind them. Hate them one day, love them the next with no regards as to affecting society. It was a place to blow off steam, have fun, and armchair quarterback yourself into the Hall of Fame of “If I were on the field – I would have called that play and won!” all time greats.

Today? It’s near impossible to escape and has been picking up steam. Need I say (or not say?) Washington Red____s?

Listen, I’m not addressing whether or not you agree with what should, or should not, be done. I’m just trying to illustrate this as just one of the latest that shows in great detail just how one will not be able to escape the discussion that is purely based in the “political football” arena.

Some sportscasters now will not say the name; even if they are the on-air live, play-by-play talent, and stumble all over themselves and their play-by-play calls trying to avoid it. Players will be asked from both the sidelines, booths, with others appearing via satellite, questioning them to defend how they can even put on the uniform for that day’s game. Insinuation, implication, and innuendo will be the “play calling” as opposed to what is transpiring on the field of actual play.

Again, as I stated earlier: whether or not you agree or disagree with the topic, just this one is a representative of all the others. If it’s not a name change – its gun control. If it’s not that – it’s another. Everyday 24/7. The game now seems to be the filler as opposed to the “issue of the day.” Need I remind anyone of that great illustration of just how determined sportscasters are now going to force the “political football” down viewers throats than NBC™ Bob Costa’s gun control rant on Sunday Night Football™?

Agreeing, or disagreeing with his take is irrelevant. My point is: I don’t turn to a sporting event, or, sports commentary program, to hear the opinion/opinions of today’s sportscasters view on the “political issue” of the day. I tune in to see sports. Period.

This seems lost on ESPN and the others as of late. And if I’m a microcosm of what others are doing. What we’re not doing is cutting the cord and viewing it elsewhere. We’re actually giving a spin to the old Timothy Leary idea:

We’re tuning out and turning off. Entirely.

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Soul Glow's picture

Speaking of sport is anyone down to sport hunt some bankers?  They hang out on Wall Street.  Herds of them.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

I heard that all TBTF banker types are zombies. If that helps.

freewolf7's picture

The global collapse is more intriguing than any game I could watch on tv.

Headbanger's picture

Fuck the Weather Channel too with all it's bullshit stories.

Just give me the forecast.

I'm dropping cable next month.

TSA Thug's picture

Have you SEEN the size of that sow Gail King?

Is she power eating now?

Bumpo's picture

Comeon Man! Who doesn't enjoy a sloppy cake filled close up kiss of Michael Sam and his Man-Lover to start off the sports week? And while your at it, if the the justice system doesn't have enough evidence to go to trial over domestic violence, then the NFL should just shut up already. Just give me the game. Count me as one of the pissed off viewers.

max2205's picture

I watch sports like I do the markets.....with the volume OFF.

NuckingFuts's picture

To each their own... But with that said, I have never understood the interest of watching other people play a game, be it football or chess. If people do that's great, enjoy. But it seems to dumb down so much of society. Who gives a fuck if some over paid dolt makes a home run/ touch down/ basket? It has no value to society, just another circus.

wee-weed up's picture



Fact... The Libs control all US media now with the exception of talk radio.

Remember the old '50s TV blurb?...

"We control the horizontal - we control the vertical."

Bilderberg Member's picture

Sports was so much more satisfying with the old 'Wide World of Sports" show.  Just man experiencing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat....Pure sports

zhandax's picture

This extends further than just the networks.  Take deflategate.  I now seem to have a far diminished interest in watching a confirmed corrupt pro football league. 

Even college football.  I went to the longest college game of my life yesterday.  Season opener, and it was 97° with a heat index of 100+.  I had to walk a mile to reach tailgating friends and then get to the stadium.  Halfway through the 3rd quarter, a game delay was called for lightening because of a thunderstorm in my neighborhood 13  miles away.  It never so much as sprinkled at the stadium.  Two hours later.  they resume play which resulted in a 5+ hour football game.  This is due to some bullshit NCAA "for the children"  rule that dictates that the game be called for lightening anywhere within 15 miles of the stadium.  This is the height of pop-up thunderstorm season.  What  power-tripping hemorrhoid thought this would increase interest in the game?  Sure enough, on the way home, all the streets were dry until I pull in my neighborhood.  One more instance of this bullshit will be the last college football game I attend.  Let them try to continue this charade with no alumni money.

Guinny_Ire's picture

compile that with advertising breaks. It's why soccer/futbol is growing in popularity. No commercial breaks except before, halftime and after the game. My son and I went to Mizzou vs SEMO, a crap game, and they had commercial breaks. We left at halftime.

As to why ESPN is losing viewership? More choices in life to distract and they've gone away from their original mission of show the game, give a little insight into it.

In a way you're seeing what happens when supply supercedes demand in entertainment. Someone else mentioned the weather channel. I just pick up my phone now because it's too much commitment to turn on the weather channel, so I don't.

jeff montanye's picture

st. cyr had me at "bamboo chutes".

Sanity Bear's picture

That quote was from The Outer Limits which debuted in 1963, and the tales told on that show seem downright square and unremarkable compared to the world we live in today.

BarkingCat's picture

I stopped watching sports because of I got sick of stupid jokes complaining about how they deserve more money, while making in a year what most people will not make in a lifetime, and getting that money to PLAY a game.

johngaltfla's picture

Since they have the monopoly on some games, I have to watch ESPN for those. The rest of the crap programming? They can shove the PC bullshit up their Mickey Mouse anus.

If I want unbiased non-PC coverage FS-1 or CBS have become a much more viable option.

knukles's picture

Bumpo... You just nailed it with the dude cold cocking his girl friend.
That's a situation for the criminal (or civil) courts
If somebody else wants to get involved, does the League or Team have something in their contracts about personal behavior?
Yes, then enforce the terms of the contract.  You can betchur ass that (for example, like or love 'em has naught to do with it) if he was a NY Yankee, his ass'd been out the door, no severance period.  Ever note their haircuts and way they dress in public?  It's part of the employment contract, FFS.  Image!!!!!!!
Nothing else.

This Shit where justice becomes televised as a public event is the Coliseum, bread and circuses.
Bad juju. 

Evil lurks in strange places. (Uh huh, yes it do, and none are strange to evil, at all.)

Freddie's picture

I stopped watching TV and Hollywood's shit about a decade ago.  Total brainwashing crap for idiots.

ESPN has a hard liberal bias.  Tom Brady does not go with the Patriots to the White House then they retailiate. Tebow takes the Broncos, who were not that great, to the playoffs and almost to the Super Bowl and he is driven out of the NFL.

All the ball sports are Trayvon thug sports with dumb whites cheering on the thugs and cheering on white genocide.

ESPN is part of horrible Disney who f**ks over their employees and pushes the liberal agenda like all of TV and all of Hollywood.  Some dumb conservatives think it is just that blond skank Kelly or whatever who is the problem at Fox News.  Fox is the same as the rest of anti-American TV with the endless dumb white guy ads.

F TV and F Hollywood.

mkkby's picture

I cut the cable about 5 years ago for all those reasons plus one not mentioned.  The number of commercials and reruns became insane.  I felt TOTALLY SCAMMED from a value standpoint. 

So comcast called and offered me basic cable for free.  I told them free was too expensive.  They'd have to pay me several hundred a month to endure the endless hours of commercials and reruns.

Sanity Bear's picture

I last owned a TV over 20 years ago. I was downright offended by the over-the-top manipulation from advertisers. They have become orders of magnitude worse since, at least from what I perceive during the rare instances I am exposed to television.

August's picture

I really don't have a clue what the author is talking about, maybe because I haven't had cable since the early 80's.

I wouldn't have cable TeeVee in my home if it was free.  If you love sports, participate.  Or go to local high school events; you know, the kind that involve some non-criminal, non-freak participants.

CheapBastard's picture

You mean you don't wear an ESPN neck tie?

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

R U Fo Serious! ESPN taps into to the soap opera, reality show aspect of sport. Men love to follow the manufactured story lines just like women. WWE discovered this decades ago, now ESPN uses it's power to create dramatic story lines with real people.

knukles's picture

Yeah, but WWE is real.  The rest of it is where people are getting tired of the made up stuff.

mkkby's picture

The sickening politics started in the 80s.  Notice how every show/movie has to have a nigger, chink, woman and fag.  It's just not interesting, and makes the stories/jokes seem awkward.

Archie Bunker and Red Fox could each make racial jokes, and nobody got all dramatic about it. 

Fuck all the PC assholes.  Normal people are not really offended.

Kickaha's picture

It's not politics.  It's ratings.  Just like you apparently would prefer to watch only white male actors performing in TV shows, all of the niggers, chinks, women and fags like watching  a nigger, a chink, a woman, or a fag on TV.  Since in the mind of the common man, TV is more real than reality, it validates their existence and way of life to see it portrayed on TV. Catering to only white males, a distinct minority these days, insures cancellation of your show mid-season.

I agree, however, that that it is difficult to exercise the suspension of disbelief necessary to watch these shows, if, for example, a black actor is cast in the starrring role of "The George Wallace Story", or if Gary Busey got the lead role in "MLK: Savior of America".


mkkby's picture

Wrong. Learn something about history before you spout your idiot opinions.

In the 80s jesse and other social justice warriers started protests and boycotts, that forced the networks to FIND A WAY to include black actors.  For a time, there weren't enough black actors to go around.  Soon after, the queers and other miscreants got in on the party.

It had NOTHING TO DO WITH RATINGS.  It was all about appeasing the social justice warriers.

sun tzu's picture

If I ever decide to hang myself, it will be with an ESPN necktie

ebworthen's picture

Exactly, why would I pay for that shit?

Anyone noticed all the "For Sale" stuff put out on the street lately?

Methinks people are needing some cash and cutting out superfluous expense items...

RafterManFMJ's picture

I hear ya. I've even cut the .50 cent words from my lexicon. Er, my word head bin.

Freddie's picture

High School?   Like the game in Texas where two High School Trayvons attacked the ref during a high school game?  Dumb Texans worship foot ball and their Trayvons so the little shits will probably not go to jail.

Football just trains millions of thugs and thank dumb white fanboys for enabling it.

I agree with you about shit TV. F TV and F Hollywood.

HolyfieldsOtherEar's picture

Don't have a TV in my house. Haven't subscribed to cable since Seinfeld was on. I've got my interwebs, I don't need the state-controlled one-way media, kthxbye.

WillyGroper's picture

WTF needs 500 channels of HSN, sports, & shitty content?

Not to mention CONsumer service waterboarding.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Excellent. we are ending MSM dependence, one awakened mind at a time. TWC is nothing more than an AGCC propoganda tabloid. The reason John Coleman bailed.


BeerMe's picture

I dropped cable at the beginning of the year.  The only thing I miss is not being able to watch some sporting events and movie channels.  Internet is ok for streaming some things but quality and availability isn't always there.

Stuck on Zero's picture

That's a good idea.  My idea of a good sports venue would be:

- Hunting with Dick Cheney

- Kardashians vs. the Great Whites

- Obama golfs in the Sahara

- Goldman Sachs executives compete in Wipeout - to the death

- JPM execs in two legged race running the bulls in pamplona

- Congress bungee jumping from 200 foot high bridge with 200 foot long bungees

- Hillary in the 100 m dash across a Syrian mine field.

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Stuck on Zero Sep 6, 2015 6:11 PM

Who watches cable?  Read MF's

As for ESPN quit watching after a few Outside the Lines episodes.  Puked right after that. 

MSimon's picture

The desire to live beyond one's means is the original sin. All the bankers do is step up and say "let me help".

Blaming the Devil is not going to fix the problem.

The only power the Devil has is some people's desire to do business with him.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

No - original sin was believing we could attain godhood through occult knowledge. The power of the devil is deception. Even those who are willing to do business with him are deceived.

Frankie Carbone's picture

For bankers one should use at least a 416 Rigby with a hard lead ball to penetrate that hard heart. Smaller calibers, particularly copper rounds simply mushroom too much leaving the banker's dark heart unscathed, and worse, revealing to him the location of the hunter so that he can sic his paid members of the sadistic class after you. So the moral of the story is that there is no such thing as "too much gun" when it comes to hunting bankers. 

Personally, I use the Croatian RT-20, 20 mm anti-banker rifle chambered in 20x110 mm HEAB (High Explosive Anti-Banker) round. 


newdoobie's picture

Still too small, as little Kim Un says 'go big or go home'

cheka's picture

espn, the place to go if you want to hear incompetents talking about sports they know nothing about -- jews on every sport, an african talking about nascar, a woman talking about football, a tranny talking about baseball

and then there are the nyc/dc agendas...

espn = the butthole of sports reporting (like all nyc media)

JungleCat's picture

I've cut the cable and I'm 51. Forget cable, I don't want my kids' minds polluted with social justice.

Freddie's picture

I do not watch any TV or Hollywood shit for almost a decade.

I can tell you why the marxists shit's are doing this.  People, epecially white males, turned off the news but many still watch sports.  They have to move their insidious brainwashing to one of the last thing males watch which is sports.

Couple this with the endless dumb white male commercials and you get 24x7 brainwashing.  F them.  The best revenge is to unplug for good.

I remember years ago after I cancelled that Direct TV or Dish called me after i cancelled. May have been when Fox News was giddy election night 2008 when Obola was installed by the zoligarchs.

They called me to try to get me to sign back up for Tv service.  I told them that they could not pay me to watch TV and that I was never coming back.  I was nice to them, because they were doing their job.  I wanted to say my mantra to them... F TV and F Hollywood but I did not want to abuse some phone person.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Cut it at an advanced age myself - embarrassed I didn't do it sooner.

Lumberjack's picture

I cut the cord and only watch ZHTV.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

I pay $200 per month for every motherfucking channel they have and I think it is money well spent. It is possible to be well read, compassionate for others, skilled in gardening and watch fucking TV. I love TV! I love good movies and well done shows like Narcos on Netflix. Fuck you simple minded assholes who thinks less of me because I enjoy television.

sun tzu's picture

Either you're joking or you're a real motherfucking chimp

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

I do think it is awesome that you called me a motherfucking chimp, but it is true. I like TV. I have a few hours per week that I can sit down and watch TV and it is worth the money to ensure that something good will be on when I want to watch. It is cathartic for me. Look, the great reset will happen sometime in the next decade or so and I expect to be without TV & internet when it all goes down. Just trying to enjoy life while we have these little luxuries.