Now the positive for ESPN is that the rate of subscriber decline seems to have slowed this year, but the negative is that since 2011 ESPN has now lost 15 million cable and satellite subscribers. Those 15 million lost subscribers equate to $1.44 billion a year in lost yearly revenue that ESPN will never be able to book. (This is based on an $8 a month subscriber cost for ESPN multiplied by 12 months in the year.) Again, this isn’t just a one time yearly revenue loss, this is a loss in yearly revenue forever.
Now every cable and satellite channel is losing subscribers — as dumb Twitter users who don’t read this article will immediately respond in my mentions — but the impact disproportionately impacts ESPN for two reasons: 1. the network makes far more in revenue off the cable bundle than any other channel so it stands to lose, by far, the most off the collapsing business model and 2. the network has guaranteed tens of billions in sports rights fee payments over the next decade and more to sports leagues.
Where does that money in guaranteed payments come from?
You and me who are paying our cable and satellite bills.