Two weeks ago, ESPN announced it would launch a new ESPN Radio app for the iPhone and iPad. It costs $4.99.
The reaction? "One of the sleaziest ESPN corporate deals I have seen," writes one reader. "Money grubbing assholes," says another.
Let's back up. ESPN already released one radio app for the iPhone, back in September 2009. It's free to download, but if you want to hear live radio feeds with it, ESPN has been charging $2.99. Lots of folks have already spent that $2.99, but now they're being told that they have to buy the new app or ESPN will cut off the feeds they've paid for.
The new app doesn't seem to be much of an upgrade over the old one. Streaming is "faster," sound quality has been "enhanced," ESPN's vice president of digital and print media Marc Horine told AllThingsD.
So, even if you had the ESPN Radio app you'll have to pay again. "There is no reimbursement for the cost of the old app," an ESPN spokesman told me. "The price of the old app was $2.99 for nearly three years, from the time we launched it in 2009."
So the penalty for being both a loyal ESPN radio listener and an early adopter is that you end up eating the cost of the first app, for a final outlay of $7.98.
It's just a small amount of money, sure, but it apparently hasn't instilled much goodwill among its base. The unpopularity isn't limited to folks we've heard from, either. The new app has nearly 1,500 reviews in iTunes. It has a dreadful one-star rating.
http://deadspin.com/5914025/espn-radio- ... -have-seen
Jerry Sandusky's trial began last week, a culmination of eight months of cringe-worthy accusations against the former Penn State defensive coordinator. It's the biggest criminal trial of a sports figure since the OJ Simpson case. But the fine folks at SportsCenter, one of the last bastions of news left on the network, could only muster a brief mention of the case.
The only lip service from ESPN was a 45-second mention that the trial was set to begin, and it came right before they went to commercial. Beyond that? No live reports. No daily recap of the events from the trial. Nothing.
SportsCenter is supposed to be a news program. But when the Sandusky case is leading off primetime network news, and you are spending 15 minutes dissecting LeBron James's "clutch factor," something has gone horribly wrong. But hey, at least we got to listen to 47.75 minutes of mostly unedited NBA press conferences, filled to the brim with lazy questions ("Talk a little bit about...") and canned responses.
http://deadspin.com/5919783/bristolmetr ... -last-week
The Journey Back
It was an offseason unlike any in football history. Take a week-long, all-access look as Bill O'Brien led the Nittany Lions in their emotional return to the field.
Conventional wisdom never said Kaepernick would finish his first start with a 133.1 NFL passer rating, or that he would post the highest single-game Total QBR score for a first start in the five-year history of the metric.
http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/ ... -the-49ers
During last night's TCU at Texas broadcast Jesse Palmer had the temerity to point his hook 'em horns sign facing down.
You knew that wasn't going to fly with ESPN, so the cameras returned to the booth for Palmer's very awkward apology.
http://outkickthecoverage.com/jesse-pal ... m-sign.php
Why Is An ESPN Vice President Spreading Rumors That I’m Straight?
This was just such a surprise. When they did the layoffs in 2009, there were rumors and rumblings, and people sort of prepared themselves and hoped for the best. With the build of DC2, and all the rest of the work going on, and the record profits. There was just absolutely no hint of potential layoffs. No one expects an employer to say, "hey, layoffs are imminent," but generally employees do get a feel for when a company is going to be in layoff mode, due to earnings, or watching business decisions which are made. Every indication at ESPN has been of a profitable company continuing to expand. The people who've been laid off are not the deadweight 10%, a lot of them are the older, higher paid people who are undoubtedly going to be replaced with lower wage, young, new hires. This was purely about a company making a LOT of money (rumored internally to be $500 million ever other month) wanting even more and getting it at the expense of a lot of people and their lives. If they truly cared about their employees, they could have gotten creative with options for wage reductions or early retirement options. They hacked 400+ people and will no doubt replace those 400+ people with younger, cheaper, less experienced people. Ultimately, it's up to the viewers to determine if it makes any difference to THEM how a company behaves towards its employees in real life, and not just the illusion that company presents to the outside world. It seemed a great place to work, but a truly great company wouldn't have done this today, in the way it was done.
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