ESPN continues to make the wrong decision time and time again. This next story indicates that ESPN is planning to copy The Athletic. Most of their content will soon move behind the ESPN+ paywall. The only thing that will not be behind the paywall is breaking news stories.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post was the first to report the news:
“ESPN plans to move much of its high-profile, feature-type writing and analysis content to ESPN+, The Post has learned.
The change is being made to further boost the direct-to-consumer ESPN+ service. The initiative is in line with Disney’s recent announcement to shift its main focus to direct-to-consumer products.
Sources said that breaking news and investigative pieces will remain outside the paywall on ESPN.com, but writers who focus on insight and analysis will now primarily be available only to ESPN+ subscribers.
For example, if baseball insider Jeff Passan has a feature, it would be on ESPN+, but if he were to break a big signing, it would remain outside the paywall.”
Awful Announcing also added details. Writers on the ESPN staff are worried about their content going behind a paywall. The truth of the matter is, they should be. ESPN+ ain’t it. The juice is not worth the squeeze.
What’s the point of ESPN+? Seriously, someone tell me? ESPN+ has no real features outside of watching some low-level college football (Yes, our Editor Andrew is a massive FCS football fan) and Serie A soccer. Outside of the UFC, there’s no real draw that ESPN+ brings to the table. Even in that instance, you still have to buy the PPV on top of the subscription.
Bobby Marks and guys like that have interesting things to say. Nobody wants to pay to read the content. There are 1,000 different sports media platforms out there. Viewers will go elsewhere to find free content on another platform. Furthermore, other sites will frequently find a meaningful quote, and you will get the story’s idea.
ESPN makes the wrong call time and time again. They don’t have anyone talented enough to push the paywall. Exactly who’s a rockstar at ESPN that you’re willing to pay extra for? The answer is nobody.