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Author Topic: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)  (Read 25972 times)

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2015, 04:38:13 AM »
What you didn't read

ESPN is losing subscribers but OFFSET by higher per rate sub gains.  These articles you are reading DO NOT call out ESPN revenues, instead these analysts are extrapolating how much money they think have shrunk do to subscriber declines.  They are purely guessing and based on the per sub rate they are using, they are off the mark. 

No one said everyone at ESPN will be fine, there have been obvious cutbacks.

They absolutely did overspend for rights, which by the way they have tied up until the early 2020's.  With Fox and others clamoring for more rights, that will continue into the next decade as well.  Guess how they'll monetize it?  They'll charge even more for their content

ESPN is profitable and will remain profitable.

This is not the way it is being reported ....

http://learnbonds.com/125254/walt-disney-co-dis-espn-suffers-life-threatening-subscriber-bleed/

The average ESPN subscriber pays around $6 a channel per month. So the erosion of 7 million subscribers would have resulted in a loss of over $500 million in revenue per year since 2013. And that’s not even taking into account the advertising dollar lost. Moreover, the last two year’s decline in subscribers has also been hurting its sister networks. ESPN2 lost 7 million subscribers, ESPNNews and ESPN Classic 6 million, while ESPNU shed 4 million subscribers.

The Implications for Cable Industry are Dire

Fox Sports’ Clay Travis reckons that if we put together all those subscriber losses, the revenue picture looks grim. “ESPN is bringing in somewhere around $700 million less in subscriber revenue from these channels than it did in 2013,” he wrote earlier today.

He goes on to add that these revenue losses may be “partially offset by the SEC Network, which ESPN reports is in 63 million homes,” but the broad trend is still alarming for the cable industry. “ESPN is making hundreds of millions of dollars less off its core business in 2015 than it was making in 2013.”

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2015, 04:52:32 AM »
Wall Street's take (warning, do not little children or the weak read this as it is not pretty)....

http://us11.campaign-archive1.com/?u=886b833e7ee9981fff7354cd9&id=b60494b216

The Eric Jackson Tech & Media Email
#27: November 22, 2015
If ESPN Has Dropped From 99M To 92M Subs in 2 Years, Where Does It Bottom?

For the last several months, I’ve argued that Bill Simmons’ departure was less about his comments on Roger Goodell  or office politics and more about money.

Although I’m sure there were concerns about Simmons’ rogue comments about the NFL, this should pale in comparison to ESPN’s main concern throughout 2015: cord-cutting.

ESPN topped out with 99 million US subscribers (“subs”) 2 years ago, according to their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Since then, its sub count has been shrinking. It’s currently at around 92 million. That drop in subs has meant a big drop in profitability for ESPN which has been at the heart of its parent company’s profitability.

If you look at the Disney 10-K from 2013 to 2014, you can see the drop in subs:
ESPN dropped from 99 million to 95 million (-4%)
ESPN2 declined from 99 million to 95 million (-4%)
ESPNEWS went from 76 million to 73 million (-3.9%)
ESPNU went from 76 million to 74 million (-2.6%)
ESPN Classic dropped from 31 million to 26 million (-16.1%)
Fortunately for ESPN, they rolled out a new network to collect affiliate revenues in 2014 called the SEC Network for which they had 63 million subs (which has helped mask the bigger drop in affiliate revenues from their main networks).

For each of these subs, ESPN  - like every cable network - gets affiliate revenue per sub from cable and satellite providers. Per SNL Kagan, the revenues per sub last year were as follows:
ESPN $6.61
ESPN2 $0.83
SEC $0.63
ESPNU $0.22
It is believed that ESPN now has 92 million subs.

That difference in 7 million subs from 2013 to 2015 means ESPN has about $650 million less in affiliate revenues.  The drop in viewers also affects their ad revenues in a negative fashion (probably a drop of $250-300 million).  Most of these revenues are sheer profits.

To compensate this drop, all cable networks have been trying to raise their per sub affiliate revenue fees each year with the cable and satellite providers. This gets more difficult as viewers and ratings keep dropping.  ESPN has also combatted these revenue declines by rolling out the SEC Network to 63 million households (which is pretty staggering to think that much of the country wants to see SEC football).  The SEC Network has been a secret weapon for ESPN in the last year and it has helped bring in more than $200+ in annual affiliate revenue to Bristol.

Before 2014, ESPN sub number kept going up. Perhaps that explains why ESPN reportedly spent $125 million in mid-2013 on revamping the SportsCenter set. In the face of recent ESPN cost-cutting, spending such a sum on a show that is now somewhat passe seems hard to fathom.

Last week on his new podcast, with guest Chuck Klosterman, Bill Simmons addressed these financial issues facing ESPN (at the 27 minute mark).

Simmons agrees that cord-cutting is a real issue having major ramifications on ESPN (and all cable nets of course). He states that he didn’t hear ESPN execs really worrying about it until later in 2014. He points to the new SportsCenter set as proof that none of the executives saw this sub drop from cord-cutting coming.

Yet, Simmons also claims that none of the departure of top talent relates to these cost demands. He states that his departure had nothing to do with money. But what if ESPN didn’t want to pay him $6 million a year and that’s why they stopped negotiating with him?

Simmons said that Colin Cowherd left because he got a better offer from Fox. But why didn’t ESPN counter the offer?

Simmons said that Jason Whitlock self-destructed, but ESPN can’t have been oblivious to the benefits of not going through with a new Grantland-like third party site The Undefeated (even though at present they say it’s still going to happen – something I doubt).

Simmons said Olberman was cancelled because of bad ratings. But, again, there would have been a lot of cost savings from not using the expensive Times Square studio any longer.

Simmons also discusses the demise of Grantland, without connecting the dots of its closure to the cord cutting phenomenon.  They’re still honoring the staff’s contracts (what choice did they have) but they will no longer support some outpost operation and bring it back into Bristol.

I don’t quite understand how Simmons is so easily able to hold these two realities of financial pressures and personal vendettas so separately in his mind.

(Simmons also has a little soliloquy about how Grantland failed in part because it didn’t have an app because it was conceived of in 2010. Someone explain Buzzfeed to him.)

My point isn’t to bash Simmons here. I love his podcasts. It’s to point out that of course his departure and the closure of Grantland was about money. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Maybe they kept Grantland going for 6 months to try to stick it to Simmons that they could go on without him. But after Iger’s August earnings presentation, that kind of fanciful thinking gave way to hard-nosed economics.

More importantly, it’s fascinating how ESPN top brass was totally caught off guard by cord cutting. To see your subscribers go from growth to a 7% decline in 2 years must be hugely alarming. Media Networks (the formal name of Disney’s cable nets group) did $7.3 billion in operating income last year for Disney and most of that was from ESPN. Media Networks accounted for 56% of Disney’s operating income last year.

ESPN is a big deal to Disney and its shareholders.

To watch $1 billion of annual affiliate and ad revenue go away in a couple of years is a shock to the system.

But where’s it going? That’s the real question any of us has yet to tackle.

We’ve now seen the first wave of cord-cutting lead to a 7% drop in 2 years. Have we bottomed? Unlikely.

I think it was Rich Greenfield of BTIG who said a couple of weeks ago: “the real question is do subs bottom out at 90, 70, or 50?”

That’s exactly right. And those are three very different realities for Burbank – not just Bristol.

If the answer is 50 million subs for ESPN in 5 years (or less – imagine that!), Disney likely sees cable and satellite companies beating them down on per sub affiliate fees.

And in such a world, Disney’s Media Networks might do $4 – 5 billion in annual revenue instead of $11 billion and $4 billion in ad revenue vs. $8 billion today.

That’s a total shrinkage of possibly $10 billion in revenues in the next few years. Disney had $13 billion in operating income in 2014 across the whole company.


When is Bob Iger’s retirement party so he can focus on LA NFL football? Let the next CEO take on this one.

Some will argue that Disney (and other cable networks) can simply figure out a way of charging more more money to the cord-cutters or never-signed-up-for the-cable-bundle people for their new and exciting digital products?

After all, this is America. We need our sports. And we’ll pay any price for it.

Won’t we?

Some certainly will. But how much will they pay?

What if most of the die hards are the ones who stick with the bundle?

What if the cutter, nervers and never-had-its don’t need sports?

And what if half of those 50 million households are gone forever to Netflix and chill, check Facebook, and watch sports highlights on Twitter Moments and Vine?

A $10 billion hole in any ship is going to take on a lot of water.

If $10 billion in Disney operating income just evaporates in the next few years out of a total of $13 billion, does a Disney investor pay 12x Enterprise Value to EBITDA? Or 9x? Or 7x?

Those are very different realities.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 04:55:56 AM by Heisenberg »

ChicosBailBonds

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2015, 09:50:32 AM »
Those SNL Kagan per rate fees are wrong....that's for starters.  Thus, the math is wrong right from the get go.



Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2015, 12:04:54 PM »
Those SNL Kagan per rate fees are wrong....that's for starters.  Thus, the math is wrong right from the get go.

What are the right numbers?

ChicosBailBonds

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2015, 12:36:55 PM »

brandx

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2015, 06:08:16 PM »
This is not the way it is being reported ....

http://learnbonds.com/125254/walt-disney-co-dis-espn-suffers-life-threatening-subscriber-bleed/

The average ESPN subscriber pays around $6 a channel per month. So the erosion of 7 million subscribers would have resulted in a loss of over $500 million in revenue per year since 2013. And that’s not even taking into account the advertising dollar lost. Moreover, the last two year’s decline in subscribers has also been hurting its sister networks. ESPN2 lost 7 million subscribers, ESPNNews and ESPN Classic 6 million, while ESPNU shed 4 million subscribers.

The Implications for Cable Industry are Dire

Fox Sports’ Clay Travis reckons that if we put together all those subscriber losses, the revenue picture looks grim. “ESPN is bringing in somewhere around $700 million less in subscriber revenue from these channels than it did in 2013,” he wrote earlier today.

He goes on to add that these revenue losses may be “partially offset by the SEC Network, which ESPN reports is in 63 million homes,” but the broad trend is still alarming for the cable industry. “ESPN is making hundreds of millions of dollars less off its core business in 2015 than it was making in 2013.”


What the Chicos of the world refuse to acknowledge is that this trend is going to continue. It's not just about losses in the last couple years - it is the compounded losses in the years ahead.

And I don't really care - but the sports rights bubble has stretched just about as far as it can. When it bursts, the broadcast rights won't mean a lot. Re-negotiation is always on the table despite what anyone from either side says.


ChicosBailBonds

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2015, 08:38:50 PM »
I PM'd you Berg

ChicosBailBonds

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2015, 11:30:34 PM »
Just to put somethings in perspective, ESPN delivered $6.8billion in operating profit this last fiscal year.  It is wildly profitable.

ESPN by itself is valued at over $50 billion, about 40% of Disney's total valuation. 



MU82

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2015, 11:36:21 PM »
Just to put somethings in perspective, ESPN delivered $6.8billion in operating profit this last fiscal year.  It is wildly profitable.

ESPN by itself is valued at over $50 billion, about 40% of Disney's total valuation.

This.

It's like McDonald's. Had a few quarters without the earnings growth it had been enjoying, and many panicked with cries of, "Nobody eats that unhealthy crap anymore!"

But millions and millions and MILLIONS do eat that unhealthy crap. Despite its "struggles," MCD still made more money than the next 10 restaurant chains combined.

The death of Mickey D's was greatly exaggerated. As is the death of ESPN -- and certainly of Disney.
"We need journalists who are on the side of victims, on the side of those who are persecuted, excluded, thrown away and discriminated against ... situations of suffering that often are in the dark, or have light shining for a moment only to return to the darkness of indifference."

-- Pope Francis

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2015, 05:13:25 PM »
This.

It's like McDonald's. Had a few quarters without the earnings growth it had been enjoying, and many panicked with cries of, "Nobody eats that unhealthy crap anymore!"

But millions and millions and MILLIONS do eat that unhealthy crap. Despite its "struggles," MCD still made more money than the next 10 restaurant chains combined.

The death of Mickey D's was greatly exaggerated. As is the death of ESPN -- and certainly of Disney.

Interesting analogy using Mickey D's

This is a company that has fired multiple CEOs, revamped its menu over and over and has lagged all its competitors making it one of the worst restaurant stocks of the last decade.  I'm sure Chicos bought it 14 cents off its low but throw a dart at any other restaurant stock and you would have done much better.

Oh yes, and the suits and Mickey D's will also tell you they knew all this was coming and they are really smart.  In fact, to prove they are so smart they will point to Chipolte and Smash Burger ... they were both started by frustrated execs at Mickey D's because the brilliant suits would not listen to them so they left and made other wildly rich.

So if you're saying that ESPN is a bloated bureaucracy that cannot change and will watch its talent go make others rich as it shrinks to half its size as the industry remakes itself without them, I agree.

Oh, and reports of Western Unions demise were also greatly exaggerated.  They exist too ... which is why Mickey and ESPN will do.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 05:15:08 PM by Heisenberg »

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2015, 05:16:48 PM »
Just to put somethings in perspective, ESPN delivered $6.8billion in operating profit this last fiscal year.  It is wildly profitable.

ESPN by itself is valued at over $50 billion, about 40% of Disney's total valuation.

The question is not what they are worth now, the question is what they will be worth in five years.  Their operating profits have a negative growth rate.  Two years ago they had 100m subscribers.  Now they have 92m.  What will they have in 5 years?  Above they say 50m.

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2015, 07:29:35 PM »
I PM'd you Berg

Got it.  I'll just say SNL Kagan and Jackson  (post above) are pretty big hitters on Wall Street.  Their stats are always known to help good.  So they get the benefit of the doubt.

MU82

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2015, 09:23:56 PM »
Interesting analogy using Mickey D's

This is a company that has fired multiple CEOs, revamped its menu over and over and has lagged all its competitors making it one of the worst restaurant stocks of the last decade.  I'm sure Chicos bought it 14 cents off its low but throw a dart at any other restaurant stock and you would have done much better.

Oh yes, and the suits and Mickey D's will also tell you they knew all this was coming and they are really smart.  In fact, to prove they are so smart they will point to Chipolte and Smash Burger ... they were both started by frustrated execs at Mickey D's because the brilliant suits would not listen to them so they left and made other wildly rich.

So if you're saying that ESPN is a bloated bureaucracy that cannot change and will watch its talent go make others rich as it shrinks to half its size as the industry remakes itself without them, I agree.

Oh, and reports of Western Unions demise were also greatly exaggerated.  They exist too ... which is why Mickey and ESPN will do.

OK. I'll take my chances with MCD as part of a diversified portfolio filled mostly with long-time dividend growers. They will help me meet my goals.

You are free to choose other companies, and I sincerely hope they help you meet your goals.
"We need journalists who are on the side of victims, on the side of those who are persecuted, excluded, thrown away and discriminated against ... situations of suffering that often are in the dark, or have light shining for a moment only to return to the darkness of indifference."

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MUDish

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #63 on: November 30, 2015, 12:27:51 AM »
I have no dog in this fight, but Jim Skinner ran McD very well. I caddied for him and his wife back in my high school/MU summer's...good people too.
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Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2015, 05:09:16 AM »
Skinner was a big part of the problem.  He is the reason Chiplote a Smash burger exist, he did listen to those guys and they left.   He should have stayed at Walgreens.

His hand picked successor Don Thompson was worse.

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2015, 11:04:08 AM »
Doug Kass is one of the best short sellers on Wall Street.  He is Warren Buffett's "resident Bear" at his annual meetings.

Wall Street thinks ESPN has a big big problem.  That means ESPN has a big big problem until Bob Iger convinces Wall Street it does not.  What Wall Street thinks becomes reality.

Iger is not even trying right now.



Kass Katch of the Week: Short Disney

NOV 30, 2015 | 9:06 AM EST
Stock quotes in this article:  DIS

"When you lost 'some' subscribers it can be overlooked. But when your subscribers go to 92 million from 99 million in two years, as have ESPN's for Disney (DIS), then you've got a front and center problem.

That's a nasty trajectory.

I have long held that Disney's one of the greatest companies and therefore one of the greatest stocks of all time. But I don't know how I would reverse that ESPN trend. We have so many different ways of getting sports, including my Watch ESPN app, and we have so many other ways of getting scores and we have so little time to watch all of that admittedly spectacular programming, it's hard to see a reverse.

Within that last sentence, I think, is the most damning part of the situation.

The programming is SPECTACULAR. I don't know how you would make it more relevant, more exciting, more beautifully produced and more intelligent. It is nothing short of fantastic.

But we aren't watching as much TV as before, so we don't watch as much ESPN.
We watch our cell phones. They aren't just the enemy of the mall or the desktop, but the television itself."

--  Jim Cramer, Disney Has a Hard Truth to Face with ESPN (Nov. 27, 2015)
As Jim "El Capitan" Cramer noted the other day, Disney -- which is on my "Best Short Ideas" list -- last week revealed a 7-million-subscriber loss over the past two years at the company's ESPN unit.

ESPN and Disney's other media networks are the company's largest sales and profit contributor, accounting for 44% of revenues and 54% of income. And within the segment, cable networks account for 72% of sales and 87% operating income.  (Click here to check out Disney's recent fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year report.)

But like ESPN's unfortunate decision over the years to revise its theme song, the times they are a changin' -- but not for the better.

The current trend of declining subscribers is likely to continue, reflecting (as Jim describes), TV's reduced role in our daily lives. As a result, I find it difficult not to see profitability at Disney's largest business segment remain under siege. The company might not cut costs quickly enough to absorb the erosion of subs and sustain income growth.

And from my perspective, "cord-cutting" and higher ESPN production and programming costs are but a few of the intermediate-term business threats that Disney faces.

For example, I'm increasingly concerned with the company's parks-and-resorts business, which accounts for 31% of total sales and 21% of total operating income. This unit has flourished in the past, but could face challenges ahead.

A quantum increase in admission ticket prices over the last two decades could result in profitability pressures from greater consumer-demand elasticity. There's also the headwind of a strong U.S. dollar (affecting overseas parks), coupled with competitive alternatives from a pricing standpoint. Average guest spending and attendance trends seem destined to come under pressure.

Of course, the biggest pushback to shorting Disney could be the company's upcomingStar Wars: The Force Awakens movie and the multi-billion-dollar product licensing that will stem from the film. But who doesn't expect an extraordinary success from a Star Warsmovie? Moreover, a grand success for The Force Awakens will only produce difficult year-over-year comparisons for DIS in the future.

The Bottom Line

Disney has enjoyed 20.2% average annual earnings-per-share growth over the last five years, including a 19% gain in the fiscal year ended Oct. 3. Consensus estimates also call for 13% to 14% annual EPS growth over the next five years.

But personally, I expect 2016-2020 EPS growth to come in at less than 10% a year. I also note that Disney's enterprise value of $210 billion (equity capitalization plus net debt) is approximately 4x reported 2015 annual revenues of $52.5 billion.

Lastly, shares currently trade at about 22.5x trailing 12-month earnings and 20.2x fiscal 2016 EPS consensus. That will be a relatively lofty valuation if EPS growth over the next five year comes in at around half of what it was over the past five.

That's why I've put Disney on my "Best Short Ideas" list.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 11:08:21 AM by Heisenberg »

brandx

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #66 on: November 30, 2015, 01:11:30 PM »
Heisy, please don't use Jim Cramer as an "expert". One of my favorite all time clips is of John Stewart taking him down after the crash in '08. (Sorry I mentioned that - Everything really was Obama's fault.)

Otherwise I agree with you here. ESPN is not going out of business - but - they also cannot continue to sustain the loss of subscribers like the last two years. At what point would someone as blind as Chicos acknowledge the problem?  Does it have to go to 10 million subscribers before he does?

 

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2015, 01:40:06 PM »
Heisy, please don't use Jim Cramer as an "expert". One of my favorite all time clips is of John Stewart taking him down after the crash in '08. (Sorry I mentioned that - Everything really was Obama's fault.)

Otherwise I agree with you here. ESPN is not going out of business - but - they also cannot continue to sustain the loss of subscribers like the last two years. At what point would someone as blind as Chicos acknowledge the problem?  Does it have to go to 10 million subscribers before he does?

Fair enough point about Cramer.  Kass likes him (as Kass writes for his website thestreet.com)

brandx

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #68 on: November 30, 2015, 01:42:43 PM »
Fair enough point about Cramer.  Kass likes him (as Kass writes for his website thestreet.com)

He is entertaining and fun to watch - but he had no clue about the Wall Street crash until after it happened.

MU82

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #69 on: November 30, 2015, 10:12:28 PM »
He is entertaining and fun to watch - but he had no clue about the Wall Street crash until after it happened.

True dat. He was saying "buy buy buy" Bear Stearns practically until the day of the crash. Stewart absolutely killed him and it was hilarious.
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mu-rara

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2015, 06:12:40 PM »
Heisy, please don't use Jim Cramer as an "expert". One of my favorite all time clips is of John Stewart taking him down after the crash in '08. (Sorry I mentioned that - Everything really was Obama's fault.)

Otherwise I agree with you here. ESPN is not going out of business - but - they also cannot continue to sustain the loss of subscribers like the last two years. At what point would someone as blind as Chicos acknowledge the problem?  Does it have to go to 10 million subscribers before he does?
Since you started it.......anyone that blames Obama for 2008 are as clueless as those that blame Bush for 9/11.

I have always thought Chicos is too close to the story.  It happens, same as tech execs were in 2001.  We all saw the changes happening but the crash was deeper than anyone anticipated.  Same may happen to ESPN.  If they make the right moves they can pull it out.

rocket surgeon

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2015, 07:02:10 PM »
if espn is falling, my bet is it's because people turned them on for their sports, not their politics.  whenever you take sides, you are going to lose some people. 

Tugg Speedman

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2015, 01:42:12 PM »
if ESPN is falling, my bet is it's because people turned them on for their sports, not their politics.  whenever you take sides, you are going to lose some people.

Or this (which is what the ESPN suits "don't get," will never get, and are getting run over by it) ....

Nielsen: Smartphones and the Internet are eating our TV time
By RYAN NAKASHIMA
AP Business Writer
Dec 3, 1:47 PM EST

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MOBILE_VS_TV_TIME?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-12-03-13-47-23

The use of Internet-ready devices like smartphones appears to have seriously cut into the time Americans spend watching traditional TV, new Nielsen data show, potentially undercutting the notion that mobile devices merely serve as "second screens" while people are plopped in front of the set.

Data provided to The Associated Press show an increase in the number of 18-to-34-year-olds who used a smartphone, tablet or TV-connected device like a streaming box or game console. That grew 26 percent in May compared with a year earlier, to an average of 8.5 million people per minute.

Those devices, which all showed gains in usage, more than offset declines in TV, radio and computers. In the same age group, the demographic most highly coveted by advertisers, use of those devices fell 8 percent over the same period to a combined 16.6 million people per minute.

Nielsen's inaugural "Comparable Metrics" report for the first time presents data on average use per minute, making it possible to directly compare various devices.

It's not a one-to-one tradeoff, however. Sometimes people are using smartphones while watching TV, or using them outside the home where it wouldn't cut into TV time. Some mobile device use is also, well, to watch TV shows. The study counts all apps, Web surfing and game play but not texts or calling.

Still, the trends are strong enough to confirm a trend in other Nielsen data that found viewing of traditional TV - through a cable or satellite connection or an antenna - peaked in the 2009-10 season.

"It's pretty clear the increased use of mobile devices is having some effect on the system as a whole," said Glenn Enoch, Nielsen's senior vice president of audience insights.

The audience for TV viewing alone fell by 10 percent, to 8.4 million people a minute, in the 18-to-34-year-old category.

The new Nielsen data doesn't break out time spent specifically on streaming TV, mainly because it doesn't distinguish video streaming on TV-connected devices from other activities like playing games.

Since Nielsen inaugurated its tracking service in 1949, average daily TV viewing has grown steadily, from 4 hours and 35 minutes a day to a peak of 8 hours and 55 minutes in 2009-10. That increase coincided with growing numbers of TV sets sold and the proliferation of programming on cable channels.

But viewership has been declining ever since. From late September until mid-November this year, daily TV watching accounted for only 8 hours and 13 minutes, Nielsen said.

ChitownSpaceForRent

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2015, 02:00:14 PM »
Subs may be dropping and admittedly I don't know much about business but don't most of ESPNs money come from sponsorships? I can't imagine a world where ESPN would be hurting so long as they have multi millions dollar sponsor contracts.

LAZER

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Re: Is ESPN In Trouble (cord-cutter)
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2015, 02:34:46 PM »
Oh yes, and the suits and Mickey D's will also tell you they knew all this was coming and they are really smart.  In fact, to prove they are so smart they will point to Chipolte and Smash Burger ... they were both started by frustrated execs at Mickey D's because the brilliant suits would not listen to them so they left and made other wildly rich.


Who are the former McDonald's execs that started Chipotle and Smashburger?