ESPN and the 'Over The Top' content Model
ESPN might be done for. The pro leagues have realized they don't need them as middle man for relationships with fans. Leagues want direct. NBA, NFL, don't need to share their content with ESPN anymore to find audiences. And all that ad revenue can be theirs. It can't be long until colleges and NCAA realize they can reach their more targeted, long tail audiences through direct channels for sports.
After this last round of layoffs, ESPN said is trying to make Sportscenter and games more digitally present. I can’t think of a way for that to happen without an OTT ESPN option.
I took two of the networks that added OTT options recently, HBO and CBS, and added ESPN’s current sub trend to come up with this. If HBO numbers are indication, OTT won’t reverse the course of ESPN, but it will stop the bleeding. Plus, the implications of ESPN going OTT will likely catalyze the fall of cable house of cards. Could be more upside if cable TV crashes.
Come on ESPN, offer a direct monthly subscription!