Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mobile ESPN Numbers

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.


Anonymous said...

I too used to love SportsCenter. Back when I thought it was mildly clever for Chris Berman to say "Barry 'US' Bonds" or for Stuart Scott to say "Boo-yah." But my biggest bone to pick with ESPN is the sound/movie files that open up in portions of their incredibly busy website.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand the boo-yahs and the rest of the smarmy sportscenter pretty boys. Also the Pardon the Interruption and Cold Pizza and those ridiculous segments with the 25 second clock where these guys just make shit up.

arrScott said...

SportsCenter has never been any better than it currently is. We were all just younger once, and more tolerant of youth-oriented obnoxiousness.

Worst thing about ESPN: Generic heavy-metal guitar soundtracks to sports highlight clips. Time was you got to see highlights of the day's big games. Now, you get that plus you have to listen to 85 decibels of guitar solo from a Def Leppard cover band.

Anonymous said...

Actually, arrscott, that guitar work is from Brad Gillis, formerly of Night Ranger (and who filled in for Randy Rhodes after he died). This is how he makes his living now - from ESPN to the YES Network and all the other wailing guitar work - that is him. I think that he makes a pretty good buck at it.

jon said...

Tender is the Night Ranger