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SBD/August 20, 2013/Media
ESPN's Business Empire Profiled As Company Addresses New Market Challenges
Published August 20, 2013
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READY FOR THE CHALLENGE? Thompson in an online video said ESPN "isn't just the biggest name in sports, it might be the biggest media brand in the world. But ESPN's dominance isn't inevitable. It could end." Thompson laid out his "5 Things That Could Kill ESPN" with the first thing being FS1, which has a "portfolio of sports rights that rivals even ESPN." FS1 "could be the single greatest head-to-head threat that ESPN has ever seen." The next threat is the Internet, because "if the web is the future of media, then the web cannot be an ESPN monopoly." There are "simply too many national sports sites that compete on its turf." The "threats to the cable bundle" and "cost of sports programming" were the next issues. Thompson said by some estimates, "sports now accounts for half the total cost of TV programming." So if sports costs keep rising and median incomes hold steady, "there could come a breaking point where families could no longer afford to buy the entire cable bundle." The final threat is "ESPN itself, not just its role in driving up the cost of sports, but the broader threat that any company this dominant and valuable can get consumed by its own success" (THEATLANTIC.com, 8/14).