After years of plunging ratings and endless social media condemnation, ESPN’s President Jimmy Pitaro seems to have caught on to the fact that people tune into his channel for one thing and only thing only: Sports.
ESPN had taken something of a nosedive off a viewership cliff thanks to a consistent injection of woke politics into discussions about player stats and game highlights. The problem had gotten so bad that the channel had lost a total of 480,000 subscribers in the month of October 2017. That equals out to 15,000 subscribers walking away from the channel a day.
Now, Pitaro seems to have learned the lesson sports fans have been trying to teach him for years, according to National Review:
Pitaro has also satisfied ESPN’s more traditional fans by steering commentators away from political discussions on-air and on social media, which heightened during President Trump’s criticism of NFL player protests against social injustice during the playing of the national anthem.
“Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics,” Pitaro said. “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused.”
While politics is definitely not as injected as it used to be, there’s still a bitter taste in the mouths of many former-ESPN viewers who felt alienated by the channel incessantly telling them their politics were wrong. Still, it’s not as if ESPN doesn’t have it’s shining stars that are worth watching.
As I covered in March, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt stood up to the social justice outrage mob when a controversy popped up surrounding Michigan State’s head basketball coach Tom Izzo yelling at freshman player Aaron Henry.
“Stop being offended by things that don’t concern you,” Van Pelt said in a pretty solid monologue about how we’ve become so sensitive as a culture to criticism.
Perhaps ESPN can be salvaged from the pile of companies who got woke and went broke.