ESPN is known as “the worldwide leader in sports.” Some bad news for them is that they were in 8 million fewer homes in 2020, although there is some context to it that explains this statistic and lessens the blow. ESPN’s cable subscriptions dropped a substantial amount in 2020, but subscriptions to their exclusive access program, ESPN+, increased by almost 7 million subscribers. The ESPN+ subscription increase likely alludes to people getting rid of their cable packages and heading towards strictly streaming services. While ESPN is maintaining much of its audience, Disney, who owns ESPN, is not satisfied with the drop in cable subscribers, as there have been rumors that they may try and divert from ESPN.
This interests me because I am a huge sports fan, but over the last few years, I have favored other sports networks, such as Fox Sports or NBC Sports, rather than ESPN. ESPN’s quality of content and authenticity seems to be getting worse and many of the channel’s shows have become less entertaining than they used to be. The drop in cable subscriptions makes sense to me, as people are moving towards streaming services, or they are also observing the same things as I have. I will continue to watch ESPN when they show a product that interests me, but at this time, I do not envision myself purchasing a cable package with the network being part of it.