Bill Simmons Says ESPN Blew It By Not Embracing Tech

An anonymous reader shares an article: ESPN’s problem isn’t competition over content: They didn’t position themselves for a future where cord cutting was a reality, according to former ESPN personality Bill Simmons. “They didn’t see a lot of this coming,” said Simmons. “They didn’t see cord cutting coming. They weren’t ready for it. A lot of decisions were made based on subs staying at a certain level. They had to realize they were a technology company. The ones winning are now Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Hulu. ESPN should have been in that mix, but they’re in Bristol. They should have had a place in Silicon Valley. That was their biggest mistake.” ESPN is far from over, Simmons points out. Though it may make less money in the future, it has such strong cable deals, he said. “Everybody in here was paying $7 for ESPN whether they watched or not,” he said. Simmons left ESPN in May 2015 after a public breakup, and signed a deal for an HBO series called “Any Given Wednesday” shortly after. The HBO show was cancelled in November 2016. Simmons also launched a new website called The Ringer in 2016. Also read Bloomberg’s profile of executives at the company: ESPN Has Seen the Future of TV and They’re Not Really Into It.

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