ESPN

ESPN

Disney Announces $12.99 Bundle for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+

Julia Alexander, writing for The Verge:

Disney will offer a bundle package of its three streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — for $12.99 a month starting on November 12th, the company announced today. […]

The streaming services is likely to be available through “Amazon, Apple, and other distributors,” according to Iger. Disney has not finalized any deals with the aforementioned companies, but told investors “we feel it’s important for us to achieve scale quickly, and we think it’s going to be an important part of that. They’re all interested in distributing the product.”

A Struggling ESPN Lays Off Many On-Air Personalities

The New York Times:

ESPN on Wednesday began another round of layoffs, this one aimed at on-air personalities, perhaps the starkest sign yet of the financial reckoning playing out in sports broadcasting as cord-cutting proliferates. […]

The network has lost more than 10 million subscribers over the past several years. At the same time, the cost of broadcasting major sports has continued to rise. ESPN committed to a 10-year, $15.2 billion deal with the N.F.L. in 2011; a nine-year, $12 billion deal with the N.B.A.; and a $7.3 billion deal for the college football playoffs, among many others.

The Ringer:

This is what’s mind-blowing about the ESPN layoffs. It’s possible that the money the network decided it had to cut is so big that it couldn’t just prune people from fading properties like SportsCenter, or more fully abandon its plan to colonize local sports pages, which had been evident for some time. Here is ESPN cutting a digital reporter covering its biggest growth sport — one of two writers it attached to maybe the most popular sports team on the planet right now.

NBA Watching the Basketball Tournament’s Innovative Approach to Crunch Time

Zach Lowe, writing for ESPN:

Elam, a Mensa member, has devoted most of his spare time since 2004 to solving the slog of NBA crunch time. Oklahoma City’s win was remarkable to Elam because the Thunder’s deliberate fouling worked.

Elam has tracked thousands of NBA, college, and international games over the last four years and found basketball’s classic comeback tactic — intentional fouling — almost never results in successful comebacks. Elam found at least one deliberate crunch-time foul from trailing teams in 397 of 877 nationally televised NBA games from 2014 through the middle of this season, according to a PowerPoint presentation he has sent across the basketball world. The trailing team won zero of those games, according to Elam’s data.

I’m not convinced this idea doesn’t make most of the game kind of pointless, but it’s definitely outside of the box.

ESPN Is Finally ESPN.com

Joshua Benton, writing for NiemanLab:

It isn’t quite our-long-national-nightmare-is-over level, but one of the significant daily reminders of the early web just disappeared. ESPN’s website, which had been hosted at espn.go.com since 1998, is finally now just at espn.com.

Damn, there goes one of my favorite jokes.