Viewers may be confused tonight when they turn on ESPN and do not find the ESPY Awards. For the first time in the award show’s history, it will not be broadcast on one of the ESPN channels. ABC will be broadcasting the 2015 ESPYS and the move was made to attract more viewers.
In a statement released by ESPN, ABC Senior Vice President Robert Mills said:
The ESPYS attracts celebrities from the movie, television, sport and music industries. This is an opportunity to celebrate the playmakers and share in the emotional connection they have with their favorite sports on the network that is their home away from home. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the show than to offer it a larger landscape for more people to participate in the celebration.”
The move allows those without a cable subscription to watch the awards. ESPN has long been the king of sports television but recent moves indicate the network may not have quite the foothold it once did.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that ESPN is looking to cut cost. While there were certainly other factors, this can be seen in moves to not renew the contracts of star talent like Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons.
As the “cord cutting” movement has swept the country, live sports has long been the one thing that has kept people renewing their cable and satellite subscriptions. ESPN executives will anxiously review the ratings numbers of the ESPYS on ABC. The 2015 ESPYS are expected to receive high ratings as the event is highlighted by the presentation of the Author Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner.
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