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Old 03-09-17, 10:25 AM   #601
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Yeah, it's really sad there are enough people interested in listening to the likes of Stephen A, but it's the truth.

Personally I get my highlight fix during or before other games. When Sunday Night Football has a highlight show lead in why do I ever have to watch ESPN. Same goes for halftime and post game for every other NFL, NBA, MLB game.
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Old 03-16-17, 11:13 PM   #602
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Get rid of Mark Jackson and keep Cassidy Hubbarth.

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It has been more than a week since word spread that ESPN is about to lay off some prominent "SportsCenter" anchors and other TV personalities. The fear and uncertainty has set off a "panic of biblical proportions" among ESPN on-air talent, a source told Sporting News.

During the last round of layoffs in 2015, ESPN pink-slipped more than 300 production staffers. They were the behind-the-scenes directors, producers and back-office personnel who never appeared on-air.

Things will be a lot different this time. It won't be Suzy in accounting losing her job.

The coming cutbacks will be focused around high-salaried on-air personalities. That means you can say goodbye to some of your favorite anchors, reporters and analysts. No wonder the talent is on edge in Bristol.

"Everybody's calling their agent. Nobody is safe," said one source.

With ESPN falling to 88 million subscribers from 100 million over the past five years, the Disney-owned network is looking to slash tens of million in costs. But the layoffs are about more than boosting the bottom line, say sources.

Led by president John Skipper, ESPN brass are trying to reinvent the Worldwide Leader for the modern sports consumer.

The way time-shifting TV viewers are consuming ESPN's TV/radio/digital content has changed. If ESPN is going to reinvent the way it delivers news, highlights and opinions, it can't do it with the same front-facing talent, especially when ESPN is facing new competition from Fox Sports 1 and other cable sports competitors.

At the same it's planning cutbacks, it's still hiring new talent and pursuing stars of rival networks, such as Katie Nolan of FS1.

As Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated first reported last week, the layoffs are expected to take place over the next four months. Some on-air talent will get their walking papers. Some will have their contracts bought out. Some will take the gold watch and retire.

More here: http://www.sportingnews.com/other-sp...b1axnytj86pdt1
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Old 03-17-17, 08:29 AM   #603
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

I find ESPN useless except for Baseball Tonight and NFL Live... and truthfully, I don't even know what time they air anymore. I don't believe they are at the same time every day --- so I just gave up.
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Old 03-17-17, 11:46 AM   #604
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Watch ESPN(ESPN 3) is the only thing that is worth of my attention.
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Old 03-17-17, 12:36 PM   #605
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
Yeah, it's really sad there are enough people interested in listening to the likes of Stephen A, but it's the truth.
Is this true though? Stephen A's popularity has always reminded me of J'Lo's. Someone who people hate as much as they like. Sooner rather than later, the hate becomes to much. Hollywood stopped booking JLo in films. I imagine that Stephen A has reached that point to.

Although I applaud ESPN for being diverse, I can honestly say that the new Sportcenter at 6 sucks. Why does it sucks? Because we aren't getting the days SPORTS news. ESPN is a sports channel, so we don't need another TV show that talks about pop culture, movies and music on a sports channel. Is not Hill or Smith's fault completely, but the format. The show at 6pm used to be the anchor show. The one everyone watched because we got all the day's headlines and stories before it lead in to the sport event of the evening. ESPN needs to go back a little to the things that made them successful to begin with. A good start is dropping some dead weight and polarizing personalities. A second step is revitalizing their NBA pre game show. Everyone involved in it right now sucks. Beadle, Rose, Steele and Billups add nothing and when you compare them to the TNT crew or even the NBA TV crew, it's clear as night and day. Another thing is that they need to give more importance to the NBA and MLB. It's pretty clear that ESPN became really NFL centric over a decade ago by having an incredible amount of analysis shows all over their schedule. But they went a little over the top and forgot that they have baseball and basketball too.

This is just a start to fix things. Hopefully they'll do it soon before Disney gets fed up with them and sells them to the competition.
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Old 03-17-17, 01:18 PM   #606
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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This is just a start to fix things. Hopefully they'll do it soon before Disney gets fed up with them and sells them to the competition.
Getting away from Disney would be the best possible thing that could happen to ESPN.
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Old 03-17-17, 04:14 PM   #607
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

start by getting rid of Dick Vitale and Stephen A Smith
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Old 03-18-17, 02:18 PM   #608
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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Getting away from Disney would be the best possible thing that could happen to ESPN.
Not really. Right now they are their money backup. I prefer Disney handling ESPN over Fox or Time Warner, which don't truly have a good track record of handling these type of companies.
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Old 03-23-17, 11:08 PM   #609
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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Richard Deitsch is reporting that Sam Ponder has been offered the job to replace Berman on Sunday NFL Countdown.
Done deal.
http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/03/sam-...e-on-new-roles

On Thursday, ESPN announced Samantha Ponder would take his place as the host of Sunday NFL Countdown. Ponder is the former co-host of College Gameday, served as a sideline reporter for Saturday Night Football and will be the third host ever to moderate the program.

Suzy Kolber has been hosting Monday Night Football’s pregame segments on the road alongside Berman but she will now take the helm solo. Trey Wingo has hosted the NFL Draft in the past with Berman and will also take over that role solo. Kolber and Wingo will continue to host their daily NFL shows on the network – NFL Insiders and NFL Live, respectively.
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Old 03-24-17, 04:38 PM   #610
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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Not really. Right now they are their money backup. I prefer Disney handling ESPN over Fox or Time Warner, which don't truly have a good track record of handling these type of companies.
I disagree. Disney's money came attached to Disney's "vision" and meddling and it came at the cost of ESPN's core mission. Losing the financial backing would be a problem in the short term but in the long term they could start getting some credibility back and the money would show up. It's time for them to quit trying to save this bad marriage.
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Old 03-26-17, 09:59 PM   #611
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Fox Sports had an interesting segment about the falling ratings for NBA basketball on ESPN. Industry people think ESPN paid way too much for their NBA rights' deal, as ratings are already down 15-20% on ESPN. This is apparently tied somewhat to the trend of NBA stars sitting out games for rest. ESPN is fuming mad about the situation and demanding changes.
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Old 03-27-17, 09:35 AM   #612
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

It's not possible that there is too much overall basketball on TV(including College hoops)? Plus you have TNT's NBA double header and ABC Game of the Week and NBA TV showing 3 or 4 games a week.

NBA League Pass would look a lot better if most games were only available through them(even though the NBA App sucks big-time).
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Old 03-27-17, 10:49 AM   #613
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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Fox Sports had an interesting segment about the falling ratings for NBA basketball on ESPN. Industry people think ESPN paid way too much for their NBA rights' deal, as ratings are already down 15-20% on ESPN. This is apparently tied somewhat to the trend of NBA stars sitting out games for rest. ESPN is fuming mad about the situation and demanding changes.
The problem is this year the league is TOO top heavy, even though it is every year. As most fans anticipate Warriors vs Cavs III for the NBA Finals (They haven't had the same NBA Finals matchup for 3 straight years since the 1960's), it is hard to get juiced for many regular season games this year.

The only regular season game I cared about lately was Spurs vs Warriors for the #1 seed in the West, and that was the national ABC game that Kerr sat all of his players. Then the next week, Liu sat all of the Cavs on the national ABC game. I'm as diehard a fan as there is, but I won't tune into the NBA until the playoffs at this point because this regular season has become a total joke.
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Old 03-27-17, 10:59 AM   #614
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

The problem with the NBA, from my perspective, is that we know only 2 or 3 teams can really win the Championship. That is not true in every other sport. It makes the entire regular season almost meaningless when you can be a great team like Washington or Toronto and know that there is no way in hell you're beating Cleveland, let alone GS or San Antonio... then you compound the matter further and you're a Piston or Brooklyn fan and you ask yourself "what's the point?". I watch from time to time... but I know, deep down, even IF the Pistons make the playoffs, they're one and done.
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Old 03-27-17, 11:13 AM   #615
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Essentially, without some devastating injuries (and for some teams, more than one per team) a fan could pretty easily predict who the last 4-6 standing will be come playoff time. So that leaves the average fan only wanting to watch a few of the regular season matchups between those teams, or the occasional game featuring a young superstar not on those top teams.

I imagine there are exceptions for those with a local team they care about, but that no longer applies to me since even Portland isn't really in the hunt anymore.

So like so many others, I'll be watching come playoff time. And then really only after a couple of rounds work out exactly as we expected them to.

Last edited by hdnmickey; 03-27-17 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 03-27-17, 11:25 AM   #616
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Blaming bad ratings on a handful of games in which stars are sitting out seems like a convenient excuse. But I don't watch many games so maybe the issue is more widespread than I realize.
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Old 03-27-17, 11:29 AM   #617
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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The problem with the NBA, from my perspective, is that we know only 2 or 3 teams can really win the Championship. That is not true in every other sport. It makes the entire regular season almost meaningless when you can be a great team like Washington or Toronto and know that there is no way in hell you're beating Cleveland, let alone GS or San Antonio... then you compound the matter further and you're a Piston or Brooklyn fan and you ask yourself "what's the point?". I watch from time to time... but I know, deep down, even IF the Pistons make the playoffs, they're one and done.
I am torn between parity of the other sports and a top heavy league like the NBA. On one hand, you are absolutely right about the NBA regular season being pretty much meaningless, but there is still something about watching elite teams play (Warriors/Cavs NBA finals was great last year).

Parity sort of waters down the other leagues so you don't get many great teams anymore. I thought the whole NFL playoffs was a huge borefest this year with the exception of the 2nd half comeback by the Patriots. Even though the Superbowls were always duds, I sort of miss those great NFC Championships in the early 90's between Dallas/49ers because they were so stacked compared to the rest of the league (You marked that game on your calendar in the regular season and in the playoffs because you knew they would be there.) Now there are very few must see NFL games these days because there are no great teams. That is really what the NFL was before the Salary Cap era.

What makes sports great is when you have elite players/elite teams playing and the more parity, the less you see of both. That is why I can't get into College BBall anymore because any great players are going to the NBA after his freshman year so you don't get those 4 year elite players anymore.
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Old 03-27-17, 11:36 AM   #618
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

The NBA plays 1230 regular season games too decide who finishes in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

When was the last time the NBA had important games on the last day of the regular season where an OT game would decide if a team makes the playoffs?
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Old 03-27-17, 11:53 AM   #619
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Nobody here is mentioning TNT. I believe their numbers are up this year -- and last time I checked it's the same NBA that airs on ESPN. I think TNT's ratings for NBA games are significantly higher than ESPN's not because their games are more interesting or because more folks want to watch basketball on Thursday night instead of Friday, but rather because their studio show is way better and their announcers are more interesting. They put together a much better television product during the regular season and NBA fans know it.
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Old 03-27-17, 11:58 AM   #620
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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I am torn between parity of the other sports and a top heavy league like the NBA. On one hand, you are absolutely right about the NBA regular season being pretty much meaningless, but there is still something about watching elite teams play (Warriors/Cavs NBA finals was great last year).

Parity sort of waters down the other leagues so you don't get many great teams anymore. I thought the whole NFL playoffs was a huge borefest this year with the exception of the 2nd half comeback by the Patriots. Even though the Superbowls were always duds, I sort of miss those great NFC Championships in the early 90's between Dallas/49ers because they were so stacked compared to the rest of the league (You marked that game on your calendar in the regular season and in the playoffs because you knew they would be there.) Now there are very few must see NFL games these days because there are no great teams. That is really what the NFL was before the Salary Cap era.

What makes sports great is when you have elite players/elite teams playing and the more parity, the less you see of both. That is why I can't get into College BBall anymore because any great players are going to the NBA after his freshman year so you don't get those 4 year elite players anymore.
I'll watch the NBA Finals for sure... and I'll watch the Pistons, religiously, when they're good again. That might make me a homer, but the product is bad and I don't have a lot of time to go around - so the NBA won't get much (if any) of it.

Regarding your NFL comment - that was elite football back then. But the fact that it was "must watch" is exacerbated by the fact that we now get Thursday football -- making the product watered down these days. The NBA already has too much product on TV and the NFL is damn close to jumping the shark (but it never quite will because we get 16 games per year).
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Old 03-27-17, 11:59 AM   #621
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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but rather because their studio show is way better and their announcers are more interesting. They put together a much better television product during the regular season and NBA fans know it.
agreed
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Old 03-27-17, 12:14 PM   #622
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

When I am watching the NBA I have always preferred TNT. That goes for before, between, and after the games as well. Been that way for as long as TNT has been covering the NBA.

The local coverage here used to be fantastic, but that was most mostly because of the guys doing the games.
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Old 03-28-17, 04:36 PM   #623
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

Yup, I much prefer watching on TNT to ESPN.
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Old 03-29-17, 03:58 AM   #624
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

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Nobody here is mentioning TNT. I believe their numbers are up this year -- and last time I checked it's the same NBA that airs on ESPN. I think TNT's ratings for NBA games are significantly higher than ESPN's not because their games are more interesting or because more folks want to watch basketball on Thursday night instead of Friday, but rather because their studio show is way better and their announcers are more interesting. They put together a much better television product during the regular season and NBA fans know it.
I'd even say outright that the Thursday crew on TNT is the only one in any North American sport(not counting local coverage) that is good as most of the national NBA,NFL,MLB crews who do pregame,halftime and postgame are either awful or at best background noise.
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Old 03-29-17, 05:00 AM   #625
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Re: Is It Just Me, Or Has ESPN Been Going Down Hill?

I, too, prefer TNT to ESPN. I was watching Spurs and Trailblazers game on ESPN and when they went to the halftime show, the first word that came out of my mouth was, "Warriors." What's the first thing they show? Show a clip of the Warriors and whoever they're playing. Can you blame them? They want to make a profit, and that profit is not found in the Kings or the Nets or the Bucks, or apparently the team with the second-best record in the league.

The TNT crew are legit funny and they don't take each other seriously. Watching the Spurs versus the Cavalier game on TNT, they actually discussed the game. On Reddit, their show or clips are sometimes uploaded. From ESPN? Rarely. People shouldn't expect an in-depth analysis from either show, though.
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