Monday, May 17, 2010

Why ESPN’s Shows Outside of Live Sports are Becoming Unwatchable:

Once upon a time I watched Sports Center and I enjoyed it. Once upon a time I watched Baseball tonight and I enjoyed it. Now not so much.

Maybe I am the only one who feels this way but it seems that as I get older I could care less and less about the non-sports programming on ESPN. I used to watch for hours, it used to be on in the background while I did other things; I knew the programming schedule and watched shows religiously.

Now when I tune in it feels like they are trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator and the level of discourse has slipped considerably. This may sound snobbish but many of the personalities on the air talk in catch phrases and have become parodies of what the highlight readers used to be.

The network seems to gloss over the coverage and rarely goes in depth and breaks things down even on shows dedicated to a specific sport such as baseball tonight.

However I am not all that disappointed by this trend because now there are so many more outlets for sports information. As a sports fan I am no longer beholden to the sports section in the newspaper and ESPN for my daily sports fix. The alternatives are plentiful and add so much to watching sports.

The constant promoting of the big name teams at the expense of covering the rest of the league is disappointing to anyone but the most casual fan but maybe with things becoming more specialized this is what the trend will be.

The movement seems to be that ESPN will focus on the Yankees, Red Sox, home runs, web gems and a few other newsworthy items while giving a few seconds of coverage about the rest of the league, while league dedicated channels focus more on the league and local sports channels focus on specific teams. With blogs giving in depth and varied analysis and twitter giving real time and breaking news.

This probably a good thing but it really seems to be a big shift as for the longest time that ESPN was the go to place for sports news now it is an after thought unless I want to know something pretty general or want to have some sports background noise on.

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