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Opinion
Joe Nocera

ESPN Can't Afford to Go On Like This

Layoffs can't make up for the revenue lost as consumers abandon cable bundles.
Now YouTube does the thing that made "SportsCenter" famous.

Now YouTube does the thing that made "SportsCenter" famous.

Photographer: Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Corrected

ESPN, which laid off 100 people this week, has a multitude of problems, but the basic one is this: It pays too much for content and costs too much for consumers.

That didn’t used to matter because, thanks to the way the cable industry “bundled” channels, cable customers were forced to pay for it even if they never watched it. Now, however, as the cable bundle slowly disintegrates, it matters a lot.