Like most of America, I have a love-hate relationship with ESPN. I love the idea of an all-sports channel. I used to really, really love SportsCenter. And there are certain times of year when I can't live without it because it's giving me early round matches at the Australian Open or the C-USA conference championship tourney. In many ways, ESPN is a godsend.
But I also hate what ESPN has become. SportsCenter no longer covers "sports" in any meaningful way--it covers sports (or movies or TV shows) in which ESPN or ABC have corporate interests. The network has become a gigantic infomercial for itself trying to spin off every conceivable product under its brand and then using its remainder inventory to bludgeon us with incredibly annoying ads for said products. And it has moved away from televising actual sports in favor of vile, soul-killing programming about sports--the Mike & Mike Show (and it's evening "highlight" show), Cold Pizza, Around the Horn, Rome Is Burning, Quite Frankly, and the host of cinematic features from Playmakers to one-shot movies, like the Bob Knight story.
All of which is why the news that the terribly over-priced and under-powered ESPN Mobile is failing is so satisfying. How many subscribers does ESPN Mobile have, you ask?
Take a guess, I'll wait.
Would you believe fewer than 10,000?
I would love to know how much they spent on advertising (don't forget the elaborate Super Bowl spot!) to aquire that number.
58 minutes ago