Tuesday October 3, 2023

ESPN to Cease Daily Coverage of Esports

  • ESPN’s first esports vertical launched in 2016.
  • But it’s falling victim to the worst job cuts in the media giant’s 41-year history.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs

NBC is exploring broadcasting a slice of the expanded CFP in 2026.
Listen Now
October 3, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

A cost-cutting ESPN is ending its daily coverage of the esports industry.

“We have made the difficult decision to cease operations for our dedicated daily esports editorial and content,” ESPN told Front Office Sports in a statement. “We recognize esports as an opportunity to expand our audience, and we’ll continue to do so through coverage from the broader team for major events, breaking news and coverage.”

On the programming side, sources said ESPN will continue to look for opportunities to show live esports events across its various media platforms. However, ESPN will end daily coverage of the $1 billion global industry.

In April, ESPN was the official streaming platform for the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Spring Split Playoffs. It previously televised and streamed the Overwatch League Playoffs and Grand Finals, the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Championship Series and many other tournaments.

ESPN was scheduled to stream a League of Legends free-agency show on Nov. 16; it has since canceled it.

Moving forward, ESPN will take the same editorial approach toward esports as it did with sports business after Reporter Darren Rovell jumped to The Action Network in 2018, said sources. Once Rovell left, ESPN didn’t provide daily coverage of the sports business industry. But it continues to cover sports business news and developments on a story-by-story basis. ESPN will take the same approach toward esports, said sources.

ESPN launched its vertical devoted to the world of competitive gaming in 2016. But ultimately the new business didn’t scale enough to make a meaningful impact, said sources. 

For now, there continues to be a dedicated esports page at ESPN.com. The vertical’s Twitter feed currently has 511,000 followers 

The writing has been on the wall for ESPN’s esports operation since Nov. 5 when several of the company’s most prominent video gaming journalists were among the 300 staffers laid off as part of the worst job cuts in the sports media giant’s 41-year history. 

Why The Washington Post Chose To Cover Esports

A few years ago, Washington Post assignment editor/producer Mike Hume was hanging…
October 11, 2019

Among those revealing on Twitter that their contracts were not renewed for 2021 were Associate Editor Sean Morrison, Staff Writer Emily Rand and Writers Tyler Erzberger and Jacob Wolf, who joined ESPN at age 19.

“I’ve been a part of ESPN’s esports efforts since the fourth month after they were launched, joining in April 2016,” Wolf tweeted. “I am the youngest person ever hired at ESPN and I carry that with pride.”

ESPN’s young esports journalists might not be out of work for long. 

Other major media brands are launching special sections dedicated to the world of competing gaming. A year ago, the Washington Post rolled out “Launcher,” a subsection of the sports department dedicated to video games, esports competitions, and gaming culture.

Wolf, who is one of the most prominent esports reporters, said on Twitter that he is already in talks with other companies to keep covering the industry.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Bayern Munich

Real Madrid Rejects $137M League Deal Over Media Access

The La Liga club is not offering extra media access.

Tiger's TGL Continues To Gain Investors And Attract Big Business

The virtual league will play at the 2,000-seat SoFi Center.
The Colorado Buffaloes played in the most-watched game of Week 5.

Colorado Ratings Bonanza Continues Despite Two Consecutive Losses

The Buffs’ least-watched game this season was still the most-watched this week.

EA Rewarded For Decision To Split With FIFA

Company sees strong uptick in pre-release sales activity
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs


Featured Today

An advocacy group is filing an NLRB case against the Ivy League over athlete compensation.

Advocacy Group Files Federal Labor Charge Against Ivy League

It’s the latest in a flurry of NLRB cases over amateurism.
Football analyst and PFF investor Chris Collinsworth talks to man in front of computers
October 3, 2023

Cris Collinsworth 'Lost a Lot of Sleep' Over Pro Football Focus Leadership Issues

New book details why it’s no longer a “happy place to work.”
NBC is interested in media rights to the expanded College Football Playoff.
October 2, 2023

NBC Is Interested in Expanded College Football Playoff Media Rights

NBC is one of the networks pitching the CFP, a source confirmed.
October 2, 2023

MLB Attendance Surges 70 Million, Tops League Projections

League posts best year-over-year increase at the gate since 1993


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Team Europe captain Luke Donald and Team Europe celebrates with the Ryder Cup after beating Team USA during the final day of the 44th Ryder Cup golf competition at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

Ryder Cup Viewership Drops in U.S., Rises in U.K.

NBC’s event coverage attracted 1.32 million average viewers on Sunday.
Taylor Swift
October 2, 2023

NBC's 'Swift Bowl' Draws Monster 27 Million Viewers

It was the most-watched Sunday show since Super Bowl 57.
October 2, 2023

DSG Seeks Extension As Reorganization Pressure Mounts

Bankrupt RSN operator looks to file restructuring plan in late November
October 2, 2023

RedBird IMI Makes Strategic Investment in Front Office Sports

RedBird IMI is a joint venture between RedBird Capital Partners and International Media Investments focused on high-growth media companies.
Formula 1 drivers in a pack at the start of the Montreal Grand Prix
October 1, 2023

Apple Reportedly Making Push For Global Formula 1 Rights

The tech giant could offer $2 billion a year for the rights.
College football is taking over Saturday night.
September 30, 2023

How College Football’s Biggest Games Took Over Saturday Night

Network competition and West Coast storylines helped college football stage a coup.
September 29, 2023

ESPN, Tiger-Rory Golf League Close To Long-Term Deal

New entity backed by Woods, McIlroy nears critical agreement
Toy Story
September 29, 2023

‘Toy Story’ Success Could Lead to More Disney-Branded NFL Kid-Casts

A successful ‘Toy Story’ game could open the door for other franchises.