No, this one isn’t political…it’s cultural. And it extends to more than just the all-sports network that’s been around since 1979. It extends to all of those channels that your cable or satellite company foist upon you, only because you want to watch a few of them. Actually, the average viewer only watches seven television channels. I know, I was surprised at the number as well. But the fact of the matter is, ESPN is losing viewers big-time. So is every other cable-based and satellite-based TV channel. The reason is simple.
We are all cutting the cord.
It happens to everything in media eventually. It happened to newspapers and magazines (how many of you have had a newspaper offer you a FREE subscription, just to keep you as a customer?). You can now buy magazines through online services at pennies on the dollar of their normal subscription price. And radio has expanded way beyond your favorite radio station. You can now listen to it anywhere in the world thanks to IHeartRadio. I know I can listen to my old stompin’ grounds out here in the desert. Television is no different. The internet is taking over and ESPN is just one casualty.
In the last two months, ESPN has lost over 1.1 million “subscribers” (people that have cable or satellite). In fact, they lost the Desert Man as we cut the cord a month ago, and couldn’t be happier. Hell, we haven’t missed a program yet thanks to the likes of Sling or Hulu, or CBS All Access. It’s a little sketchy watching Fox News now and again, but we manage. By the way…it’s not time to get the coffin out for ESPN. They had 88 million viewers prior to the last two months, so a lot of folks are still watching them. But it IS a trend in media that’s happening everywhere.
Anytime you can watch on any device you own a TV show or channel on the internet, realize that some cable company or satellite company is pulling their hair out. Home-based television viewing is on the decline and it’s because we can watch what we want when we want where we want. We don’t have to wait for Thursday night for “must see TV”…we can see it on OUR schedule, simply by streaming it when we are ready for it. No tapes to watch, no downloading to remember, to guides to check. Just log in to your favorite website and watch. THAT’S entertainment!
So, as we continue to spiral down the path of media aging, we all will be using the internet for everything, our news, sports, weather, music, talk shows, even our blogs. Oh…wait. We’re already doing that! Just as newspapers and magazines have gone the way of the do-do birds, your television set will probably do the same thing in a few years. And it’s coming sooner rather than later. I’m just warning you. I mean really…how many of us still listen to an old fashioned AM/FM radio????
Makes me glad I got out of the business when I did!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!