2017 hasn’t been kind to ESPN. In April, the company laid off 200+ employees and then in June reported their lowest rated second quarter in 4 years. ESPN’s struggles don’t seem to be hurting parent company Disney (DIS) as much as some may think. In April of 2017, DIS neared an all-time high of $120 (the stock is at $109 at the close on Aug. 2). Helping them soar are increased revenues from their theme parks, as well as the success of their Star Wars & Marvel franchises. Rumors of a possible acquisition by Verizon (VZ) are likely not hurting the stock either.
Howie Long-Short: No doubt, ESPN is facing a tough task as it is overpriced and overdistributed. But Disney is still the premier media company out there. They will be fine.
David Price/Earnings: Disney continues to un-web their core business from ESPN. Definitely a wise decision based on recent stock performance.
Fan Marino: ESPN fired top notch reporters like Marc Stein and Jayson Stark, while keeping high priced carnival barkers like Steven A. Smith. Certainly seems like a Mickey Mouse organization to me.