Entertainment

ESPN President Announces New Politics Guidelines for Channel … but Is It Too Late?

'I will tell you I have been very, very clear with employees,' said the chief of the liberal network

After less than five months on the job as the president of ESPN, Jimmy Pitaro is letting his thoughts be known about the sports network’s notoriously political slant.

He says he’s not a fan of mixing sports and politics.

“If you ask me, is there a false narrative out there, I will tell you ESPN being a political organization is false,” Pitaro said to reporters on Friday. “I will tell you I have been very, very clear with employees here that it is not our jobs to cover politics, purely.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time with league executives,” he continued.

“The relationship is incredibly important to us. That programming cuts across everything we’re doing on the studio side, on the original content side. And we’ve made that very clear to the NFL.”

ESPN is currently managing the NFL player protests by cutting the pregame national anthems out of their broadcasts.

Are you embarrassed that Joe Biden is our "president"?

Related: ESPN Will Not Air the National Anthem on Monday Night Football

Pitaro commented on his notification to the league about the broadcast plans.

“They have not asked,” he said. “But we have proactively, just as a courtesy and as good partners, let them know what our plans are.”

ESPN has seen a dramatic decline in viewership for years, while the network has been locked into expensive contracts with the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL sports leagues.

Since 2011, subscribers to the sports network have fallen from 100 million to under 87 million.

ESPN has been hit hard by cable “cord cutters,” according to the Hartford Courant: It loses about $8 for every dropped subscriber, the most of any cable outlet.

Check out this video about what’s going on:

meet the author

Kyle Becker is a content writer and producer with LifeZette.

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