ESPN, the left-wing sports network that has hemorrhaged 7 million subscribers in just two years, which translates into $1.3 billion in lost revenue, is floating the idea of throwing in the towel on the issue of streaming. Disney CEO Bob Iger said at a conference Tuesday, “Rights are not an issue, It can be done… but there are issues we face doing it. Pricing is one of them.”
Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and the consequences of them (“skinny” cable bundles that do not include ESPN), have cost ESPN big-time. A standalone, subscription streaming service might be an option to pick up some of those lost subscribers. In order to believe that, though, you have to believe that the 7 million lost subscribers were fans of ESPN.
My guess is that most of those 7 million lost subscribers were not ESPN fans. Rather, they were individuals sick and tired of paying for an obscenely-priced cable or satellite package — and a big reason for that obscene pricing is ESPN. Whether you watch ESPN or not, if it is part of your cable package, you are paying the left-wing outlet $6 a month.
This is called a carriage fee. ESPN is not alone in this regard. A number of low-rated left-wing networks — CNN, MTV, MSNBC — gouge you in some way for carriage fees. This is how they stay on the air. None of these outlets could survive at the level they do based only on the merit-driven idea of advertising revenues based on viewership. Their ratings are just too low.
Cable and satellite television is all a scam to gouge the middle and working class in ways that benefit Hollywood’s multi-nationals to the tune of billions and billions per year. Streaming is an antidote to that scam, and as you can see with ESPN, cutting the cord causes real damage to left-wing institutions.
If you want to hurt the left, cut the cord.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC