I've been a vocal opponent of ESPN for some time now because of their shoddy reporting and sensationalism. I liked ESPN in the early years, but, for its credit, ESPN did some fine reporting back then.
This morning I was asked, "Did you see Skip Bayless go on and on about how San Francisco was robbed and that the refs let Baltimore win, etc.?"
My reply was, "Of course not. Skip Clueless (and I do call him that) is part of ESPN's problem. He is a blowhard that is set to cause animosity and anger in people all for ratings. We already have "news" organizations that do the same.
Well, then I came upon an old Deadspin article (from November 12, 2012)that really hit the nail on what I was feeling and why I don't hardly ever watch ESPN anymore.
How ESPN Ditched Journalism And Followed Skip Bayless To The Bottom: A Tim Tebow Story
The article really gives insights about how decisions are made at ESPN.
If you want to see the context, just read the story in the link.When it's Tim Tebow, when it's Tiger Woods, when it's Brett Favre, the numbers are such they support the bosses' decision to do this stuff. Not all the time. We can sit there in the newsroom and argue all we want. Which many of us do. When they come out and say, 'OK Sage, fine, here's a rating,' what do I say? What do I say? I can't fight that.
Unfortunately, when we do stories in that manner, I can't argue with fans (who criticize ESPN). I can't. So hopefully we can squash all that talk and cover more teams…I agree with people who are complaining. But I also agree with our bosses who say, 'OK, it's the business. Look at the ratings. They might hate it. But they're still watching.' People might hate Skip Bayless. But they're still watching.
I would personally like a sports network like ESPN used to be. Remember when CNN/Sports Illustrated had competed with ESPN and lost years ago? I think this time though - a competitive network could do moderately well, as long as it doesn't try to clone the current ESPN and rely mainly on mostly on hard journalism. Could a lower-key sports network survive against the powerful ESPN? Hope springs...