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ESPN had a challenging year

ESPN digital studios I Photo (C) ESPN Media Zone

In a normal year, the abrupt and sudden resignation of ESPN President John Skipper would stand alone as the biggest sports media story of 2017. But according to Matt Yoder with Awful Announcing, that is not the case for ESPN in 2017.

Awful Announcing has complied a list of blunders for the Bristol based sports media giant.

“The self-inflicted wound of entering into a partnership with Barstool Sports, only to pull the plug after one week when Barstool’s controversial past was brought back to the forefront by ESPN employees.

Constant scrutiny from Disney shareholders, thanks to falling operating income and serious questions about the network’s plans to reverse negative business trends like cord cutting.

A lengthy Boston Globe report entitled “At ESPN, the problems for women run deep” that detailed allegations of sexual harassment and employees being punished for being pregnant. ESPN tried to combat the harassment allegations, but that only invited more criticism and skepticism of the network when Bristol released only a portion of a text message exchangebetween SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross and former anchor Adrienne Lawrence.

Record-low ratings for Monday Night Football, which ESPN happens to be paying $1.1 billion a year for in rights fees.”

Additionally Yoder said “If there is one thing 2017 did show, it’s that ESPN, like every one of their media peers, finds themselves in a position of vulnerability and uncertainty. In 2018, ESPN will have to find a way to integrate the Fox regional sports networks into their empire and work out an effective over-the-top service that can finally reach out to a wider, more diverse audience.”

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