ESPN has seen steady growth over the past 50 years, with continued subscriber increases year-over-year, that is at least until recently. The entertainment sports network has seen a perplexing drop in subscribers over the past few years, and shows no signs of slowing this decline.
ESPN has been the biggest spender in television entertainment for several years now. With an average of $7.3 billion budgeted every year, they continually outspend other networks by a large margin. Buying the rights to things like Monday Night Football and NBA and MLB games, it makes sense that the network has to spend big to maintain rights to this programming. Live sports are expensive, and ESPN is, at least now, the leader in sports broadcasting. But as far as budgets go, Netflix is catching up fast, and will almost certainly surpass ESPN in 2018.
ESPN, one of the most recognizable names in sports entertainment, has had a rough year, with millions dropping their subscriptions and a massive layoff of some of their top talent.
Netflix, on the other hand, one of the most popular services in the world, just hit a major milestone: 100 million subscribers as of earlier this year.
Everyone has been reporting on Nielsen’s latest numbers suggesting that ESPN has lost over 600,000 subscribers.
Citing things like the rise of cord cutting, a decline in quality programming, and the NFL’s decreasing rankings, there were plenty of reasons to believe that these numbers were accurate.