Friday, August 11, 2006

ESPN Shittastic Coverage Swallows ABC Sports Whole

ESPN and their ever declining coverage of sports will now be available on network TV, so people with no cable and only a bitchin set of rabbit ears can see just how terrible it has become.

ABC Sports is formally dead, heretofore to be replaced by something called "ESPN on ABC". There was already a ton of "synergy" going on between the two Disney owned networks, in terms of on air talent and programming, and with the Monday Night Football franchise moving from ABC to ESPN this fall . So the changes won't be all that drastic, but surely ESPN will bring their "Sportstainment" philosophy over to ABC and push it more prominently via this outlet. So expect a whole bunch more crap that has little or nothing to do with sports. If the cable package in the cave you have been living in doesn't offer ESPN, then you can get an idea of how unbearably bad it has become here (the only blogpost I have ever seen with 1000+ comments, where incidentally some dude named Jeff has basically started his own blog).

But never fear, because according to George Bodenheimer, the president of ESPN, "the opportunity to marry the ESPN brand to the ABC Television Network to better serve fans is what this is all about". I'm guessing that it has more to do with "streamlining" your corporate structure and operational overhead to "increase shareholder value".

Keith Jackson has apparently resigned from ABC Sports once and for all, partially over this. I'm guessing that it is not because his broadcasts last year were laced with senile inaccuracies and flat out screwups (calling FGs good that missed & vice versa), but more likely because this season ESPN on ABC wanted him to do poetry slams with Stuart Scott at halftime of each PAC10 game of the week.

What a shame how good ESPN used to be when they were about covering sports for sportsfans, and how the fundamental shift in emphasis since being acquired by Disney towards entertainment in an effort to draw in non-sports fans has created such an utterly shitty and ever expanding behometh of "sports entertainment".

Please just don't mess with college football or college basketball anymore. Your "sportstainment" garbage has already reduced College GameDay from must see TV to borderline waste of time, just as you have done with SportsCenter, which is now completely unwatchable. And please leave horse racing alone - your coverage of that is one of the few things that has remained stellar from the good old days (Ron Franklin and Andy Katz being the others). Hopefully the fact that it is so relatively unpopular means that there is a chance that you will leave it alone.

If I ever meet an ESPN exec, I will have to give them the Costanza-to-Steinbrenner treatment, but then they would hire me and I’d be really conflicted.

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