SBJ/March 10-16, 2014/Opinion

Reader finds relief in competition for ESPN

It’s encouraging to see Fox Sports 1 started to make inroads on ESPN (“Fox Sports execs like trends at FS1,” SportsBusiness Journal, March 3-9) as they just need to be patient. I grew up with ESPN and MTV (like every ’80s kid) and both channels these days are unwatchable. I actually go out of my way to avoid any ESPN studio show as I think they have tried to hire every loudmouth sports pundit (Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, etc.), and the only time I ever tune in to the channel is when a national game is on that I want to watch. And even then I get annoyed with their various announcers (Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, Jon Gruden, Jeff Van Gundy, Doris Burke, etc.). I like that there is competition within the sports TV landscape these days because I have so many more options than I did 10 years ago. The rise of the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA networks, regional sports networks, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 has made ESPN pretty much irrelevant to me. It’s pretty sad because ESPN was my No. 1 go-to channel in the 1980s-90s, and I wonder if they even care that they are losing sports fans like me?

Chris Olivo
Cherry Hill, N.J.



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