ESPN’s John Skipper did not exactly speak in glowing terms about ESPNews and ESPN Classic in a recent interview.
Skipper was blunt in discussing the shortcomings of both networks in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, noting that the classic games on ESPN Classic do not attract a “big enough audience” and that ESPNews is “becoming less useful” due to live SportsCenters and ESPN3.com.
“It turns out that while the idea of showing old games seems neat, no one watches,” Skipper said of ESPN Classic. “You put on an old game, the only people who watch are fans of the team that won.”
The troubles of ESPN Classic are nothing new. In September 2009, MediaPost reported that the network’s advertising revenue had declined 38% from 2006, and its viewership in the key adults 18-49 demographic was lower than “at least 70 other cable networks.”
Meanwhile, ESPNews is apparently having its own troubles. Skipper told the Chronicle that “[w]e know how many people are watching [ESPNews], and it’s in decline.”
According to Skipper, ESPN is “working” on ESPNews and ESPN Classic, and should have “something to announce” in the next two months.