Monday, August 26, 2013

Bring It On: ESPN’s John Skipper Welcomes the Competition...

Bring It On: ESPN’s John Skipper Welcomes the Competition

BRISTOL, Conn. — If ESPN President John Skipper didn’t exactly come out swinging against competitors during ESPN’s “Media Day” Wednesday, he reminded everyone why the self-styled Worldwide Leader in Sports is No. 1. It has more reach (over 98 million homes), more key rights deals with major franchises including the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA, more advertisers and higher subscriber fees than anybody else. ESPN will aggressively defend its throne, said Mr. Skipper.

And there are plenty of would-be usurpers these days.

Fox Sports 1, the new network from 21st Century Fox, has made no bones about directly challenging ESPN for live events, TV viewers and sponsors on Madison Avenue. The combo of Fox Sports and FS1 combo just outbid Disney’s ESPN for the rights to U.S. Open Golf starting in 2015.

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