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Examining ESPN's uncertain future

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer
ESPN baseball analysts talk on Baseball Tonight before a Chicago Cubs game in June 2017 (Getty)

You’ve read that ESPN has steadily lost cable subscribers in recent years. You’ve read that the network laid off more than 100 television personalities, radio hosts, and writers in April. You may have read that ESPN is revamping SportsCenter by launching new recurring digital segments and emphasizing “personality-driven” programming.

But it all adds up to… what, exactly? Is ESPN dying, as some vocal critics like to scream about on Twitter?

No. And ESPN is still profitable for parent company Disney—it’s simply less profitable, lately, than it was in the past.

So what’s the future for the “worldwide leader” in sports television? It looks multi-platform, multi-faceted, and more diverse in coverage area and talent roster.

On the newest Yahoo Finance podcast, sports business reporter Daniel Roberts, markets reporter Myles Udland, and live-show anchor Jen Rogers discuss ESPN’s future.

Click below to listen on a desktop computer, or you can listen through iTunes.

Among the topics discussed: ESPN’s politics, and accusations of liberal bias; mixed reactions (and ratings) for SC6, the new look and tone of SportsCenter at 6pm, hosted by Jemele Hill and Michael Smith; ESPN’s plan to embrace personalities across all of its SportsCenter time slots; the rising rights fees ESPN pays leagues to show primetime games, and whether it’s feasible for much longer; how ESPN can court young sports fans that don’t watch cable television; whether ESPN will offer a full-menu OTT (over the top) streaming package, and when.

Got an opinion on where ESPN has headed, or where it will head next? Tell us in the comments below, or shout us on Twitter or Facebook.

Read more by Daniel RobertsMyles Udland, and Jen Rogers of Yahoo Finance.

Read more of Yahoo Finance’s coverage on ESPN:

Inside ESPN’s plan to reinvent SportsCenter

ESPN will look dramatically different in 1 year

ESPN will cut 100 on-air personalities today

How ESPN’s talent exodus could actually save it

How baseball’s tech arm got so big Disney had to have a piece

Inside the ugly breakup of Sports Illustrated, The Cauldron, and Chat Sports