ESPN let about 100 of their writers go today. Which is huge in any industry. What was the reason, you ask? ESPN is struggling to balance it’s books. More specifically, the cost to air college and professional sports is increasing, but their actual subscriber base is shrinking. Which means, they won’t be able to sustain this model for too long without cutting costs. Or at least that’s what they think. And maybe they can’t afford to have that many writers on staff. But where are you making your money then?
ESPN is missing the mark big time, in my opinion. They are the go to place for sports. Or at least that’s where I go to get my stats, and information. They’re missing the mark because they aren’t adapting. Statistically, the number of people moving away from getting their TV from cable is decreasing. Why? Because people do not feel there is value in the TV services they are offered. And can you blame them? I don’t want to get into the cost of online streaming vs. traditional cable TV as I have a dozen times already. But the value, in most cases, isn’t there.
There are so many ways to get TV shows online now. If you’re an NFL fan, Amazon just bought the rights to stream the Thursday night games through Amazon Prime. Which likely works out to be a heck of a lot cheaper monthly than paying for ESPN. And I realize that’s only one sport, and one night, but you can also stream all of the big name networks and ESPN through YouTubeTV. While I’m not sure that YouTube is a better option, I’m throwing it out there for argument’s sake.
What I will say again (as I’ve said many times) – you have to give the people what they want. Increasing the price of the subscription isn’t going to bring more customers in. It’s going to drive them away. Besides, what else are you offering them for that price? If the answer is nothing, then I suspect you’ll have many more customers leaving. You have to adapt with the times. Do you not see all the streaming options available? There are too many to list, but a quick Google search will show you that you have options.
I’m not condoning this in anyway, but there are free ways to stream sports live, and watch your favourite TV. Again, I’m not condoning this, but if that’s your choice, it’s completely free. You can’t get any better than that, right? I guess I struggle with the idea that you’re going to raise rates, when you know that people are cord cutting and watching more and more TV online. How is this a sound business model? Who is advising you that this is the way to go? Sure, people want convenience, but at what cost? There is something to be said about an informed consumer, and I think that people are starting to understand the value of their purchases. And thus, making better informed decisions and saving money in the end.