The Future of Sports Media According to ESPN

In a recent interview with Jon Friedman from the Wall Street Journal, ESPN's Executive VP for Content, John Skipper, discussed the company's evolving media strategies with the new emerging technology and trends. Since ESPN is the pioneer, and still a leader, in sports broadcasting their predictions and approaches to future media is an important guide for all broadcasters.

Skipper reiterated throughout the interview, that ESPN believes in broadcasting live sports as much as possible. This is the reason for the rise in broadcasting non-traditional, obscure sports such as poker and bowling. Because of this dedication to live sports broadcasting, ESPN is able to garner interest in more than just traditional sporting events. These sports, which typically have a smaller following than, say, football, can now reach a wider audience due to the airtime they receive. For example, with the rise in airtime of Texas Hold 'em, the sport has enjoyed a larger following over the last few years. This has resulted in private games and tournaments as well as a larger audience for advertisers.

With the emergence of 3D technology, Skipper admits that they do not know much about it, but that is why they are learning as much as they can about it while it is still in its early stages. ESPN carries the slogan of "the leader in sports," and Skipper emphasized the importance of this title to them. He explained that ESPN is putting all they can into learning and developing this 3D technology now because they do not want to sit around and wait for others to take the lead. This kind of attitude is an example of how ESPN has become such a leader in the industry. Always striving to be on the cutting edge, ESPN wants to continue to be the go-to venue for people to get their sporting news. If ESPN can be among the first to harness the 3D technology, they can continue to offer the best and latest ways to broadcast to the public. The majority of people who look for sports broadcasting already trust and know ESPN and to keep this status, ESPN must continue to be a leader in these kinds of technological advances.

The current challenge that ESPN faces is the de-emphasis on print media. With the rise of digital media, they are changing their print magazine to keep interest. Skipper says they are emphasizing the use of photos and capitalizing on partnerships, such as Disney, to create things like magazine covers that reflect the newest digital print processes. By working with other companies, that are leaders in their respective fields, ESPN can gain valuable relationships and outlets to keep at the front of the sports broadcasting industry.

To watch the full interview, click here

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