Sports network ESPN announced that they will be cutting 300 jibs worldwide as parent company, Disney, is eyeing costs and considering the network's future.
Sport’s channel ESPN announced on Wednesday that they will be eliminating 300 jobs as soon as possible. That will be about four percent of the world wide ESPN workforce. ESPN has about 8,000 employees spread out around the world. The announcement was made by the president of ESPN, John Skipper, who also announced that there were to be other changes made on a company wide basis.
The layoffs will not affect the channel’s programing or their on the air staff, reports The Los Angeles Times. Skipper mention that the company, too, wanted to start to integrate more cutting edge technology company wide and in their programming. The technology will be used to enhance current trends toward more mobile online viewing on tablets and cell phones.
ESPN is owned by Disney and the parent company has been eyeing costs closely at the sports network. While ESPN remains one of Disney’s most profitable enterprises, all are realizing that they just can’t keep expecting unlimited growth from cable and satellite subscribers. While it remains a huge and profitable revenue outlet, the network, and Disney, need to explore future growth while keeping costs under control.
Currently, ESPN receives the highest subscription rates in the world. While their sports coverage is second to none, there has been a movement, especially among the twenty and thirty-something’s, to migrate away from subscription services on cable or satellite. Instead, they are opting for streaming online or spending their subscription money at such companies as Netflix and Hulu for entertainment.
ESPN currently has 92.5 million subscribers according to recent figures from Nielsen. This is a huge drop in the last two years when they stood at 97.7 million subscribers back in 2013. Disney has been lowering it projections on cable revenue and are not expected to change their outlook.
ESPN programming has a huge audience and the advertising costs are some of the highest in the business for those companies looking to get in front of their desired demographic.