ESPN recently held its annual awards show, known as the ESPYs. It is supposed to be about the best plays, players, and games over the previous year.
This year, the show has morphed into a program focused on social issues.
Unsurprisingly, the ratings for the show plummeted. In 2015, 7.7 million people tuned into watch.
The 2021 version saw just 1.1 million tune in.
The event that launched this downward trend was Caitlyn Jenner.
Formerly Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist was given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Many were outraged over the decision by ESPN to give Jenner the award over some more deserving candidates. They vowed to never watch the show again and so far they have followed through with that promise.
It not just the ESPYs. The network is seeing a sharp decline in ratings in just about every show.
Though live sporting events, especially the NFL and college football, have stayed relatively consistent. The same cannot be said about their flagship shows, including Sportscenter, Outside the Lines, and others.
The one league that has seen the brunt of the disgust has been the NBA. Both the league and the network have seen a massive ratings decline since each have embraced woke culture.
The most notable has been the NBA Finals for the past two seasons.
The falling ratings have been an issue for ESPN for several years, largely due to its embrace of social issues and to cord cutting. Now, what has been happening behind the scenes is coming to light.
Weeks ago it was reported that NBA hosts Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor have not been seeing eye-to-eye.
It all started with a recorded conversation between Nicholas and a agent where she stated that Taylor was a “diversity hire.”
That understandably caused outrage. Taylor refused to do anything face to face with Nichols during her own NBA show, and her co-anchors also refused to work the longtime network reporter.
The management also refused to address the situation at the time, leading those close with Taylor to release the video to the media. Those colleagues have since been fired.
Since then, Nichols has been taken off of the NBA coverage. Taylor, meanwhile, is reportedly close to signing a deal with rival NBC.
Its just another hit to a network struggling for viewers with a product that not many are interested in — the integration of politics and sports.
ESPN has been trying to move away from using politics in its staple shows and live game coverage over the past couple years. However, those behind the scenes and in front of the camera have not followed through with those promises.