SportsBusiness Journal has a fascinating look at the many criticisms that are thrown at ESPN – including weak ratings, arrogance, a heavy reliance on its multi-platform strategy, the news/programming dividing line and more. A PowerPoint presentation has apparently been floating around that lodges many of those complaints – and the SportsBusiness Journal looked at each of the claims from an independent lens. Some league officials regularly express frustration at the decisions made by ESPN’s news operation — especially when it casts a negative light on a sport or player. NBA commissioner David Stern was upset about a piece in ESPN The Magazine leading up to this year’s All Star Game: â€œWeâ€™re having a great year, so ESPN decided that what you should do if youâ€™re a magazine is you write an article going into All-Star about how terrible things are,” Stern told the Oregonion. “Maybe its because (the game) was on TNT.â€ At the same time, an unnamed executives for Versus was said to be upset because a parade of ESPN hosts spent the day of the NHL All Star game last year dumping on the league and Versus itself.
ESPN currently brings home nearly a third of Disney’s annual revenue — but some see a major threat on the horizon as leagues increasingly work to start their own leagues and take control of their content. The story even outlines criticism against ESPN’s production value, saying some feel “ESPNâ€™s offering has the look and feel of coming off an assembly line, with little creativity or personality to distinguish them.”