ESPN has lately been fighting a narrative that suggests that it has become to politicized in its coverage of sports. On Monday, they refuted those claims with a study that suggests that viewers haven’t wavered on where they stand on their view of ESPN’s political agenda.
A recent poll suggested that conservative viewership had decreased by 50 percent as a result of ESPN’s perceived left-leanings.
According to the worldwide leader in sports, the study is misguided, misinformed, and incorrect on several counts. According to their own report, ESPN found that there was no change in the way that viewers perceived the integration of politics into their sports coverage.
“Approximately two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents believe ESPN is getting it right in terms of mixing sports news and political issues. Another 10 percent had no opinion … and 8 percent said ESPN does not do enough politics in its programming.”
There is the possibility that ESPN’s perceived interest in covering political manners alongside sports is a result of the environment it exists in. The world as a whole has become more political, and as they are reporting on the world in which sports exist, they have no choice but to report on the all aspects of the environment.
It’s no mystery that the sports coverage juggernaut is struggling.
After a recent wave of massive layoffs, some felt there was a direct correlation between the two issues. In all likelihood, ESPN’s struggles are a result of their business format being disrupted by the internet and their failure to adapt.
Only time will tell. The political environment isn’t going to become anymore tame anytime soon.