In response to some of the comments that suggest business is just about getting clicks and generating revenue: It's a little more complex than that.
Some business concepts that ESPN apologists might want to familiarize themselves with:
1) Market Share - Investopedia's definition: "Market share represents the percentage of an industry, or market's total sales, that is earned by a particular company over a specified time period. Market share is calculated by taking the company's sales over the period and dividing it by the total sales of the industry over the same period. This metric is used to give a general idea of the size of a company in relation to its market and its competitors." So Market Share is a measure of competition in a specific industry. I hope we all can agree that ESPN is in direct competition with BTN/FS1 for growth of Market Share of NCAA football broadcasting and programming. If not, here's a 2017 article about ESPN staving off a surging FS1, although ESPN still televised 24/25 most watched games last season. https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2017/10/06/Media/Fox-CFB.aspx
2) SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. SWOT analysis is a tool used in business strategy. A threat of ESPN is FS1/BTN ever since Mark Shapiro of ESPN low-balled Jim Delany, and Delany told him he's starting his own network:
"The shortest one I ever had," Delany told the Tribune. "He lowballed us and said: 'Take it or leave it. If you don't take our offer, you are rolling the dice.' I said: 'Consider them rolled.' "
Delany had warned ESPN officials that without a significant rights-fee increase, he would try to launch a new channel that would pose competition both for TV viewers and the Big Ten's inventory of games: the Big Ten Network." Key word - "Inventory" of games.
ESPN and FS1/BTN are in direct competition for the Big Ten's "inventory" of games. FS1 recently won the bid for OSU vs TSUN, the biggest game in the "inventory." So as FS1/BTN continue to load up on big games, what is ESPN's next step?
3) Marketing Warfare: Most of strategic business is modeled after military strategy. Some common business tools used in business strategy:
- offensive marketing warfare strategies -implementing competitive advantages
- defensive marketing - defending competitive advantages
- guerrilla marketing - Attack, retreat, hide, repeat.
- flanking marketing
I don't have time to define these, but they are self explanatory. So in ESPN's case, as its in the industry of mass media, it also happens to have the tools at its disposal to implement all of these strategies on TV, radio, and internet, and it has for years.
Brett McMurphy was coincidentally on ESPN's dime when he broke stories on facebook and twitter -an obvious Guerilla attack likely funded by ESPN. (Even if we assume ESPN was ignorant to this) ESPN then ran with McMurphy's story, ignoring all facts and attacked FS1/BTN's #1 brand, with the intent to not only kill recruiting and success, but to kill interest from the OSU fanbase. It also has attacked MSU, Maryland, PSU with an intensity that ESPN brands (SEC, ACC) are sheltered from.
To argue that Chris Fowler is unbiased based on Nick Bosa and a Columbus deli compliments is laughable. Tell me how much you like him next time he accuses Meyer of enabling an "abuser of domestic violence," before considering due process.