ESPN president John Skipper thinks Tucker Carlson, Fox News and Clay Travis are involved in a conspiracy to destroy the network.
Travis broke the story fed to him by sources at a meeting with Skipper in Los Angeles, and the details don’t look good for the sports network.
The Outkick the Coverage founder wrote:
Skipper then attacked me by name, saying that Clay Travis is someone who’s out to get us and is spreading misinformation devoted to destroying ESPN. (I’d love to know what misinformation I’m spreading, since everything I’ve reported about ESPN has proven to be 100% accurate.)
He also attacked Fox News taking shots at Tucker Carlson in particular and pointed out that Fox News is losing even more subscribers than ESPN. (This isn’t actually true of course. Another source inside the meeting said the comment was that Fox News was losing the same number of subscribers as ESPN as opposed to more. But, again, that also isn’t true. ESPN has lost more subscribers over the past six years than virtually any channel).
In a question and answer session someone in the audience suggested “ESPN is being baited by Fox News because Rupert Murdoch is friends with Donald Trump.” Skipper agreed with the premise of the question and endorsed the idea of a right wing conspiracy designed to bring down ESPN to elevate Fox Sports. That’s probably because Skipper and ESPN tried to plant this very story in Sports Business Journal a couple of weeks ago.
(For the record, this notion is patently absurd. I have never met Rupert Murdoch and no one at Fox or Fox News has ever told me what to write or say.)
It is insane for the head of ESPN to be floating the idea that there is a vast right-wing conspiracy hellbent on destroying ESPN. It’s beyond crazy to mirror the rhetoric of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an attempt to explain why the network is in a downward spiral.
There’s probably a much easier explanation for why the network is heading down the drain, and it has nothing to do with a vast right wing conspiracy. It has a lot more to do with the fact sports fans don’t tune into events to get lectured on political events.
The average NFL fan is tuning into the game to enjoy a couple hours during the weekend, have a couple beers and simply watch some football. Instead of getting straight sports coverage, viewers are now being treated to political teachings instead of football coverage.
Of course, it’s always easier to blame somebody else than just own up to the truth of your own failings.