I have yet to comment on the mass layoffs which took place earlier this week at cable TV sports giant ESPN. To be honest, other than indulging in ESPN's terrific 30 for 30 documentary series, I have rarely felt compelled to tune in to their network over the past decade or so.
Many of my fellow political conservatives were quick to indulge in schadenfreude at the news of ESPN's further demise given the network's penchant for wading into leftist politics. While that may be a factor in this most recent purge, it is hardly the singular reason for their issues (Sean Davis at The Federalist gave a laundry list of ESPN's poor decisions, including the political angle). Personally, I'm not a fan of taking pleasure in one's unfortunate circumstances. It's quite likely that the vast majority of employees let go have families to support financially. High paying media jobs are hardly ubiquitous these days, so I sympathize with those who are too young to retire and thus may have to venture into another career path altogether. Besides, some of the most egregious offenders of spouting left-wing chanting points remain with ESPN (for now), so the proverbial cackling with glee on the political right makes even less sense from that standpoint.
Speaking for myself, I have a cable package which includes NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV and NHL Network. If I want to see highlights/analysis within a particular sport, any of those aforementioned channels fulfill that specific need. As such, I don't have to endure, say, NCAA Lacrosse highlights while awaiting footage of the latest Twins game. I am perfectly happy seeing what is happening in other MLB games before a recap on my favorite club. And how can you beat the NFL Network from Noon until 7:00 PM Central Time on game day Sundays with NFL Red Zone? And you're not going to find more insightful commentary or more timely news items than NFLN during football season.
I have no idea what happens to ESPN from here. What I do know is it appears their current business model is not sustainable. Of the more prominent personalities who remain, it wouldn't surprise me if they begin in earnest to look elsewhere for employment.