Clearly this is a grudging — hey wait up for me — effort, and I can’t imagine it being very relevant. The big splash lead article is all about how big eSports has become, which underscores the “business case” angle to ESPN’s involvement here. But what choice do they have? They can’t ignore it.
As a massive media temple to the “Big Four” American sports (or.. six? Do I see college football and soccer ahead of NHL now on the menu? hmm..) I’m sure ESPN is calibrated to nurture that core audience but the overlap w/ gamerz is.. uh.. not nearly as much as you’d think. eSports is driven by MUD and MOBA citizens (the audience!) who are globally distributed and livestreamed into the metaverse. American football on tv? Whaazat?
So we watch the empire collapse in slow motion, the laws of disruptive business cycle mechanics and shareholder accountability mean ESPN will continue to be owned by their core “concussion-sport” audience and slowly manage their position perfectly — but inevitably — into the ground.
So we salute the empire. And we watch..