By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
June 14, 2013
There’s a hidden cost to rising sports media rights fees, and over the last few weeks, that cost has manifested itself at ESPN. Having spent billions of dollars over the last few years acquiring game rights, the network is laying off hundreds of workers in an effort to reduce costs. Somewhere between 300-400 people are being let go across multiple divisions, including technology and production, with the layoffs continuing throughout the summer. It’s the company first major staff reduction since 2009.
In addition to the layoffs, ESPN also announced plans to shutter its ESPN3D network after three-and-a-half years of operation. The network blamed limited adoption of 3D TVs as the reason for scrapping the channel. ESPN will continue to experiment with 3D technologies, and could bring the channel back if 3D ever does take off. All told, it hasn’t been the best week in Bristol.