In a Sports Illustrated “Off the Board” podcast released on Thursday, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt visibly displayed how out of touch he is with the financial realities of his network while taking cheap shots at the network’s critics, reports News Busters.

Pelt took a shot at conservatives who have decided to stop having cable TV after ESPN selected Caitlyn-formerly-Bruce Jenner as its 2015 annual Ashe Courage Award winner, calling them “so dumb that I can’t even pray for you because you’re beyond hope.”

The podcast’s host, Jimmy Traina, also did a good job at smearing those who claim they are avoiding ESPN by calling them ignoramuses, hypocrites, or both.  If their goal was to get people back to ESPN, then they sure did fail.

Van Pelt contended that people who claim that they’re boycotting ESPN are in a “make-believe world where everyone talks s–t,” effectively making fun of millions of ESPN viewers who hold conservative values.

Van Pelt said in the podcast that he wishes people would have told him sooner that they were unhappy with the show.

“‘Again, if that’s how people really felt, somewhere along the line, I would’ve intersected with someone that felt that way and came up and said, ‘Hey, I think your show sucks, I think ESPN sucks, and I think you guys are doomed. And, OK. Never. Not once,’ said Van Pelt.”

Apparently, Van Pelt needs to talk to his co-workers more or take notice that the entire network decided to show their own personal political beliefs while also doing their jobs at ESPN.

On fellow co-worker even pointed this out.  Linda Cohn, who has 25 years of experience said in an interview in April that ESPN’s insertion of politics into its sports coverage “is definitely a percentage of” the reason why it has had to lay off employees, and that “if anyone wants to ignore that fact, they’re blind.”

The podcast host, Jimmy Traina would like to think that ESPN is doing fine and all of these people protesting ESPN really doesn’t matter.  But little does he know that “ESPN has lost over 12 percent of its subscribers in the past six years, and that it is currently hemorrhaging 15,000 subscribers per day,” according to News Busters.

It has also been reported that ESPN’s live event broadcasts are not doing well either, especially Monday night football.

I would love to hear Traina or Van Pelt explain those shrinking numbers and see how they feel in a couple months when the ratings are down even further.  I would suggest one way to get back their viewers is to stop making fun of their fan base.

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BY Isabelle Weeks


I am a staff writer for DC Statesman and like to report on current events happening in the Trump administration as well as the political world.