ESPN cost-cutting measures lead to elimination of Buzzer Beater channel


ESPN is pulling the plug on Buzzer Beater, its live look-in college basketball channel.

Confirmed by TV Predictions, the move from ESPN comes amid other cost-cutting measures including layoffs.

“With more ways than ever to program our networks across all screens, we have decided to shift resources to better position ourselves for the long-term,” the network said in a statement obtained by the publication. “We will leverage the reach and scale we have across our TV and digital platforms to continue to provide more college basketball coverage than any other company.”

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ESPN added that Bases Loaded and Goal Line, the network’s similar channels for college baseball and college football, won’t be affected by the decision to drop Buzzer Beater.

RELATED: ESPN keeps bleeding subscribers, cuts another big name from network

In March, SI reported that job cuts were on their way for ESPN, which had to reduce “tens of millions” in staff salary. The cuts resulted in some well-known names, including NFL analyst and 23-year veteran John Clayton, leaving the network.

It was the second round of significant cuts in fewer than two years for ESPN. In October 2015, the network laid off about 300 employees. The cuts come as the sports network has struggled to maintain its subscriber totals.

Nielsen’s latest numbers show that ESPN lost 3.8% of its subscribers in May, according to the New York Post. That loss rate was well ahead of the 2.9% subscriber drop for cable channels during the month.

ESPN’s struggles with maintaining its high subscriber totals have been well documented by Nielsen. According to the firm, in January both ESPN and ESPN2 fell below 75% of U.S. households covered.


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