Thursday, August 25, 2005

ESPN Hollywood, the latest symptom of a fast spreading sickness.

What is going on with the world these days? If you are faithful readers of this site, you know that I have written about how MTV and VH1 are frauds because they no longer show music videos. I am not going to go so far as to say ESPN and all its spin off channels are frauds, but I am growing very uncomfortable with the direction it seems to be taking.

ESPN is a sports channel, THE sports channel according to some. If this is the case, then why do I have to put up with a show about sports and Hollywood? How often does Vin Diesel end up hanging with Peyton Manning? What am I supposed to be seeing on this ESPN Hollywood? I imagine that there is nothing but fluff pieces, staged fluff pieces. Unlike most people I don’t want to introduce Justin Timberlake to Michael Vick to see how much they have in common. I really don’t care if Vick has always wanted to sing and Timberlake has always wanted to be black, now let’s give them a chance to live out their dreams. It is not something that I think ESPN needs to waste its time on.

Who is this show for? I assume it is for women because as crazy about pop culture and entertainment as I am, I am not penciling in time to watch an entertainment show. I am not sure that women are going to be a huge demographic for ESPN no matter what program they show. This ESPN Hollywood is the latest symptom of ESPN going soft.

Face it, we all see it coming. Sports are not enough, but they are good enough for me. Give me more shows like PTI, Around the Horn, even Quite Frankly. I may be in the minority, but I think Stephen A Smith is one of the most entertaining analysts on TV. He deserves a show, maybe not an hour every night, but he does entertain. Give us shows that discuss sports, not shows that try to turn sports into made for TV movies or Entertainment Tonight on sports. Give your fans a little credit. I know ESPN just wants to increase its viewership in order to bring in more ad revenue, that’s fine, that’s business. Just don’t try to change things so much that you lose the viewers who have been with you from the start and made you what you are.

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