Carroll’s Cuisine: ESPN's Economic Woes • Latino Sports

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Carroll’s Cuisine: ESPN’s Economic Woes

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New York, NY – ESPN was inured from economic bad news for most of its 38-year existence. The first rumblings of trouble in paradise came a couple of years ago when stories of millennials dropping cable television started to surface. Last year a further sign of trouble was the company’s decision to force its single biggest star since its inception, Chris Berman, to take an emeritus role and reduce his presence there.

There is no doubt that the Worldwide Leader in Sports made some bad decisions as it overpaid for broadcast rights to the major sports and its roster of air personalities became bloated. The notion of launching a digital footprint in every major market turned out to be an economic disaster. Ironically the one thing that did not hurt ESPN was cable competition as Fox Sports 1, the CBS Sports Network, and the NBC Sports Network are still light years behind in terms of viewers.

ESPN laid off around 100 employees a couple of weeks ago and more are expected. What was most surprising to me was that they couldn’t hold off a couple of weeks since both the Sports Emmy Awards and its Upfront are imminent. Upfronts are where the television networks show off their upcoming programming to advertisers. The idea is to project strength and confidence to them. Announcing layoffs does not inspire confidence for investors of any kind.

Among those who lost their gigs was former Phillies centertfielder and University of Pennsylvania alum Doug Glanville, who did a terrific job as an analyst on baseball broadcasts, and former Knicks and Nets center, as well as Harvard Law School grad,  Len Elmore, who grew up in Woodside. Len is always a great listen on college basketball telecasts.

TTPM is the semi-annual trade show where the toy industry shows off its latest wares for kids of all ages and it was held last Thursday in Manhattan.

Tucker Toys added a touch of technology to its flying disc (similar to Wham-O’s industry leader, the Frisbee). Tucker’s cleverly named Disc Jock-e allows players to listen to their favorite music via blue tooth technology while tossing their plastic sphere in the park or at the beach.

A startup, Creative Brainworks, showcased Bean Bag Bucketz, a delightfully simple yet addictive eye-hand coordination game. Players are given small bean bags and have to try to get them into plastic buckets of various diameters from approximately 20 feet, the same distance that we used to read those eye charts in elementary school.

Cable television’s BET Network held its annual Upfront presentation to advertisers and the media last Thursday night. The pride of South Jamaica, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, announced that he will be hosting a weekly late night sketch comedy and variety show on the network.

BET also announced that actress/comedienne/writer Robin Thede will host a weekly talk show. Network executives are hoping that Thede will be their answer to Chelsea Handler and Samantha Bee.

About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com.

In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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