Despite the popularity of the NFL Draft this week in Philadelphia, there is trouble at the Extra Sporktacular Programming Network. Some people believe the reason is broadcast hosts have been on a nonstop political diatribe against Republicans, Donald Trump, and more generally white people – trying to mollify the anger of the #blacklivesmatter and “taking a knee” crowd, and cowardly sponsors.
Another possible explanation is the rapid dissolution of cable TV operators’ power to bundle in ESPN for people who don’t want to pay for it (reportedly up to $8 a month) [Carriage fees]. People are dropping the cable programming and just using their cable internet to stream video – only what is free or they are willing to pay for. ESPN (mostly owned by Disney) has lost 12 million subscribers over the past 6 years