There was a time, in years past back in the age of regular Cable television programming, when one cable network was considered the definitive authority in TV sports news. Originally called the Entertainment and Sports Programming Networks, it eventually became known as simply ESPN. With its flagship SportsCenter program, ESPN was the king of sports networks. There was even a point in 2012 when it generated more revenue for its joint owner Disney than any of its other properties. But those days have gone. Online streaming has savaged cable TV and its programming like nothing else.

And ESPN has had to make do by performing a new layoff of its media personalities.

Talent only

In an official statement, ESPN noted on their network’s constant quest to better serve sports fans by innovating to create the best programming content for their consumption. However they also point out the sheer variety in the means of availing media content, a dig at the more increasingly palatable options of Online Streaming. In the end the needs of ESPN to adapt to the changing circumstances have borne “consequences” for their TV, radio and online talent and how they are utilized. To that end, this coming June ESPN will be letting go of some of its talents and personalities. No further details on this have been made available, save that rank-and-file employees of the network will be unaffected.

Furthermore, it has been speculated that personalities whose contracts are up for renewal would be the most likely to get cut first.

Can’t beat streaming anymore

These drastic steps have become necessary for ESPN, due to more viewers dropping their channel for their cable subscriptions, and an even greater number going all the way by “cutting the cable” and moving on to internet programming with online streaming content.

This coupled with the increasingly expensive costs of deals with various pro sports leagues to air their games and additional content have hurt ESPN’s performance. The last talent layoff done by the network was in early 2015, which saw major sportscasters Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons let go. Later that year ESPN also released 300 employees from their total workforce, separate from the personalities.

Matters were not helped at all by parent company Disney slashing their 2015 budget by an alleged $100 million. Some of ESPN's problems in the interim period, like in their Fantasy Football service, could probably be traced to their lesser budget. This 2017 also came reports of a further $250 million budget cut on behest of the House of Mouse, which may also have contributed to ESPN’s planned layoffs.