Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ESPN Mum On Coming Layoffs

ESPN, the profitable Disney unit, is looking to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from its budget over the next two years, according to reports.

ESPN reps denied the cuts were that high but declined to be more specific, according to The NYPost.

The sports network was once able to pay “name your price” fees to leagues, secure in the knowledge cable and satellite operators would fork over fat subscriber fees to cover their costs.

In recent years, ESPN agreed to pay the NFL an average of $1.9 billion a year, up from $1.1 billion under the previous deal. The NBA gets $1.4 billion a year in ESPN cash — up from $575 million annually under the previous deal.

MLB is paid $75 million a year, up more than 800 percent from the $8 million annual cost in the previous deal.

But with ratings and ad revenu falling, ESPN President John Skipper is forced to truly manage a budget — and some well-known faces are likely to get pink-slipped or not have their expiring contracts renewed, according to Sports Illustrated, which first reported on the upcoming cuts.

No names were listed, nor were the precise number of cuts disclosed in the SI report.

ESPN is expected to complete the cutbacks by June, it said.

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