ESPN has had a really bad April. It is reported that they lost 500,000 subscribers in April 2018. According to reports, that works out to be a $48 million loss every year from fewer subscribers, which works out to be about 17,000 subscribers every day.
The problem for ESPN is unlike that of many other networks. While networks can cancel a show, ESPN has long-term contracts that guarantee payments to groups like the NBA. The long-term contracts are not tied to the number of ESPN subscribers, so as the ESPN revenue drops their costs stay the same.
Many are trying to peg the loss solely on cord cutting. Yet while cord cutting is a big part of this, 500,000 American homes did not cancel cable TV in April 2018. What many of them likely did was downgrade to TV packages that do not include cable TV: the so-called cord shaving that sees cable subscribers just paying for locals rather than a full cable TV package.
It is true though that cord cutting is growing faster than ever and a big part of ESPN’s troubles are cord cutters. However, if cord cutters want ESPN they could easily sign up for a live TV streaming service like Sling, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW, or one of the many other options. No, what is happening here is people just don’t want ESPN like they did in the past.
The question now is how long can ESPN go losing 17,000 subscribers every day.
Source: Out Kick The Coverage
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