Jim Cramer Thinks ‘Getting Rid of ESPN’ Is Disney’s Plan

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer told TheStreet.com that Disney’s reorganization plan announced this week is writing on the wall for ESPN. “I think it’s really about getting rid of ESPN,” Cramer said of the plan to accelerate a direct-to-consumer strategy. The main focus for Disney going forward will be streaming, streaming and more streaming.

The focus to base the company squarely on streaming and Disney+ has terrestrial ESPN in a tough spot within a company that just announced it will shift away from traditional methods of content distribution.

“There is a belief we’re saturated in sports,” Cramer added. “That ESPN is no longer integral.”

“ESPN used to be this unbelievable thing, and now it’s just a really expensive thing they are having trouble monetizing. ESPN is no longer the precious place that it once was.”

The CNBC host claims that distribution platforms such as MLB TV and NBA TV  have “bastardized” sports viewing.

OutKick reported earlier this month that ESPN is bracing for major cost cuts and possibly hundreds of layoffs.

“ESPN went from slightly over 100 million cable subscribers in 2010 to slightly over 80 million earlier this year,” OutKick’s Ryan Glasspiegel wrote this week when the Disney news was announced. This affects every cable network. Cable news has been thriving in viewership for a number of reasons, but it is still facing the subscriber declines of the rest of the industry. The issue for ESPN in particular is that they have by far the biggest subscriber fees of anyone in the business.

“This is the rough math: Between ESPN and ESPN2, the subscriber fees total about $10 a month. They’ve lost about 20 million subscribers, which is $200 million a month, which is about $2.4 billion a year in lost revenue.”


Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. Young people don’t watch entire games and won’t sit to watch first take and the likes. Even myself tend to watch more highlights than actual games. In France there’s a huge fight right now between the French soccer league and Mediapro that bought the rights and doesn’t want to pay the agreed price because of covid. Same over there people don’t sit in front of a full game anymore especially if the product is poor like the French soccer league is

    • I agree, couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch! haha!….Honestly, I’m surprised MSESPN hasn’t lost more subscribers. Between their leftist rants and their boring personalities, I don’t know how anyone can watch them let alone subscribe to them.

  2. While friggin’ network needs a timeout in a dunce cap for about six months, or however long it takes for the smug bosses there to start valuing their paychecks more than their and their talking heads’ feeeels.

  3. If ESPN stuck to sports like they used to when I watched it all the damn time, I would pay the extra $10 to $20 a month to subscribe to it. But they are THE primary reason I cut may cable to begin with in 2016; they began going woke then and I went elsewhere. They seemed to back off of this a little bit but since COVID19 they have gotten even worse; to the point of actually creating an environment in which MORE people (especially blacks) are suffering and dying. THEY have moved beyond “annoying” to dangerous. And of course, they frame everything they do and say and morally superior while the village that watches and supports them burns.

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