Wednesday, July 18, 2007

ESPN Response to Buzz: From Comment to Article

Buzz said:
ESPN is a fucking sports monopoly ... even if another network started to offer programing people actually wanted, they wouldn't be able to get any worthwhile contracts because ESPN will always pay more. And they'll always have more money because they've completely sold out. I've never thought they play shit all day to be assholes, I realize it's all about money and getting the majority of America watching (ie complete dumbasses). Doesn't make it right.I can't wait for Will Leitch's book about ESPN's demise.

I say:
Buzz, what ESPN does is "wrong" for you and me because we hate it and think it’s obnoxious. Nonetheless, there are more people watching ESPN who love Stephen A. Smith and the "Who's Now" Segment than people, like you and I, who hate them. It's "right" for all those people, and sad for us.

How is ESPN the devil for providing a bunch of dumbasses with shit they WANT to see?

Do you think what American Idol does is wrong? I’d bet not because you don't give a shit about it, and it doesn’t affect you. (I hope you don't watch that show for a bunch of reasons, but mainly because my point isn't nearly as effective if you do.)

Why waste your time attaching the ideas of "right" and "wrong" to things that really don’t matter? We should reserve those judgments for things that are important, not things that suck. I would have jumped a long time ago if those stupid croc shoes or the never ending blue jean craze merited any type of serious discussion or valuation. Ridiculous things (ESPN) blow, but only to that extent should they be analyzed. Mocking, however, should continue.

Quite frankly, (yes that’s a joke), their network hasn’t destroyed anyone’s life (and no crying every time Chris Berman talks doesn’t count)! I was joking when I said we couldn't live without sports. If one can't stand ESPN, he should simply turn off the channel. It would suck for that person because his access would be limited, but I think he could manage and find other sources (which I think many of us are doing now!!)

ESPN does have a monopoly over sports coverage, but other substitutes do exist.(Radio, blogs, NFL Network, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, The Golf Channel etc.) ESPN will only change when people start using those substitutes. Unfortunately, the only way consumers become aware of other options is if people like you and I can somehow convince “the idiots” that ESPN’s product sucks and that there are, in fact, other points of access. Have fun with that. I’m too lazy and don’t care enough to try!

I’ll let ESPN take a fools money any day of the week, and anyone who loves business should feel the same way. My goal still is to create a company which sells a product that I would never buy. I could then sit back and laugh at all of the clowns that made me rich. How great would it be to sell millions of people a product you would never touch!? Maybe, that’s what the fat cats over at ESPN are thinking, and they can sleep easy at night knowing they aren’t hurting anyone.
Haha, see I am a fiscal conservative!!


Buzzsaw said...

I'm honored to have my own post, but I'm not really prepared to answer in kind. I would just like to point out how different Fox and ESPN are. Fox's intended audience is literally everyone, they want to have a show for each different demographic. I'm completely satisfied with the shows they want me to like .. 24, Hell's Kitchen, So You Think You Can Dance .. I'm sure some people love the Simpsons, Family Guy, whatever. Those shows aren't filled with garbage trying to entice 13 yr old girls to watch. They realize their audience and they stay true to them. ESPN isn't doing that, in fact they lie to their audience. I can see that Sportscenter is aimed at a much larger audience than most of their shows, so it can get a bit of a pass, but is the extra amount of money they receive by forcing their "analysts" into 'picking' certain sides really worth it? People have left because they refused to pick a certain team to win, when asked. John Kruk recently said how he was forced to say the Pirates had a chance to win the NL Central. I can't respect it, and I think it's completley wrong. I can't really argue against Sportscenter because when you look at it from a purely monetary stand point then it does make sense, but I just can't do that.

Daris said...

flight of the concords is sweet. i watched the first three episodes and had a bunch of good laughs.

I had a feeling that American Idol reference was going to confuse my point.

Here it is again:
ESPN is the network version of Fox's American Idol. They have no other responsibility than to provide their viewers with whatever they define as "entertaining". If hypothetically they only showed NASCAR and UFC because they knew those two things will be the most popular “sports” for the next 15 years, I wouldn't say it was wrong, I would say it was smart. You think they just run a "Who's Now" segment without taking a survey and seeing if this is something a large majority of their viewing population is going to like? Of course not, that would be like Gatorade putting a new flavor out without putting it through extensive market testing.

It’s a business, with no other responsibility than to provide news in whatever way they see fit. Sports aren’t important you guys. They are to us, but the “ethical” requirements that those actually reporting sports news must live up to are starkly different and much less stringent then, let’s say, those of CNN or Fox News. Once you start realizing that a sporting event and the athletes involved are no different then a movie and the actors involved, you can start to better see my point. Meaning this; they are both just forms of entertainment and nothing more.

We, as men, think sports are better than any of the bullshit in movies and TV’s, but the other half of the country (women) think sports are stupid and celebrity gossip is important.


1. You wouldn’t care if People turned into a gossip magazine and its editor told his writers to take controversial ‘opinion positions ‘on movies, right?

2. If your mom came up to you and said, “Denny, I’m mad at Simon from American Idol because he lied about the opinion he had about a certain singer to increase ratings ”

Would you say,
a.“yeah mom, that’s bullshit. People shouldn’t do that.” (and mean it)


b.”ya, whatever.” (as you ask yourself in your head “is she fucking nuts.”)

Are we just assuming that for whatever reason Ebert and Roeper disagree on 75% of the movies they watch? Come on, everyone reporting on “stuff that doesn’t matter” can fudge the truth for the sake of entertainment and no one really cares.

Guys, sadly, all of our commentary really doesn’t matter. Our perception of the importance of sports is vastly different from its true position in American society. I can best sum it up like this and that is why I think it’s stupid to accuse a sports network of being “wrong” or unethical based on the coverage they provide.

Intelligent women (can’t believe I said that) think sports are unimportant. Intelligent men think soap operas are unimportant. Almost every intelligent person of either gender knows something like war can never be considered unimportant.

My point: only those things that a vast, vast majority of people see as important are “important”. ESPN sucks, but people are acting like they’re the worst company in the country. They’re reporting sports (very,very, very poorly) but they’re not selling cigarettes to under age kids or getting people hooked on an addictive pharmaceutical drug!
Sadly, we will most likely never here someone utter the words “99.9% of the population believes sports are important.” If that day comes, I’ll be the first to argue that ESPN not only sucks, but is actually doing something to damage our country.

In the mean time, I'll just keep saying they suck, and find other sources for my sports.

Buzzsaw said...

It's easy to pass sports off as unimportant, especially when you compare it to way .. which is pretty unfair. But if ESPN is as frivolous in the grand scheme of things as say the E! network, why is Congress holding hearings on steroids in baseball. Why did two San Francisco reporters go to jail for a year for writing a sports story? If the answer is "because steroids are illegal," that's wrong. If the government was worried about the rampant use of steroids they probably wouldn't start with baseball, more like Pro Wrestling. The reason they choose baseball is because it holds an extremely important position in our society, sports are extremely influential. It isn't fair for our athletes to decieve the public with their performances (by using steroids, corked bats, doctored balls, etc), so why is it OK for ESPN to claim to give 'expert opinions' when in reality it's scripted by some asshole who only cares about generating money. BTW: I would think it's wrong for American Idol, or whoever, to lie to the public .. I think last year, 'Last Comic Standing's hosts all quit because the producers changed their selections (actually putting the great Ant in the finals because the producer was his agent). That's not right. -- That was kind of rambling, I'm done talking about it, if you want to take ESPN from the viewpoint of one of it's executives then fine, but you aren't one, you're one of the fan's that is being fucked, so I'm not sure why you're defending them. One thing is for certain though, ESPN sucks now.

BigLots said...

I see why ESPN did what they did. They're trying to bring in new viewers which will in turn bring in more money. However, don't they have a responsibility to all the sports fans that made them who they are? Right now they're basically slapping us in the face by feeding us this garbage. Who's Now might help ESPN in the short run but in the long run all it is doing is hurting its credibility with sports fans.

Buzzsaw said...

Exactly, once again, I can't wait for Leitch's book; it's gonna be huge.