Over the last several years, ESPN has often veered into the territory of being a mouthpiece for the left on social issues and a weapon for various big-moneyed interests in sports, attacking or promoting various individuals, franchises, or programs without much basis in fact.
The juggernaut sports network has rallied around and promoted Manti Te’o despite little evidence he would be an NFL success, and some network personalities have maligned Tim Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner who proved that he could make the unexpected happen. Similarly, ESPN heaped praise on Jason Collins while throwing its own journalist, Chris Broussard, under the bus for speaking about his Christian worldview when it comes to homosexuality.
Such journalistic bias has prompted hope that a new network, such as Fox Sports 1, set to launch in August, may be able to pick up disillusioned consumers with nowhere else to turn.
However, ESPN is making efforts to strike down the competition before the race for viewership can even begin. The network is in the process of building a $125 million studio that would be difficult to match even for a network with the funding that Fox Sports 1 is likely to have.
The “Digital Center 2” will be featured on SportsCenter next year, and it is impressive. The digital unveiling by ESPN provides a strong response to their emerging competition. What remains to be seen, however, is if the network will moderate some of its views that have paved he way for such competition in the first place.