ESPN will be doing significant cost-cutting on the talent side during the next few months, according to a report by Sports Illustrated.
“Multiple sources said ESPN has been tasked with paring tens of millions of staff salary from its payroll, including staffers many viewers and readers will recognize,” the story reports. “Those with contracts coming up would be particularly vulnerable, sources said.”
ESPN is also expected to buy out some of the existing contracts, a rarity at the sports network. Cuts are expected to be completed by June, according to the report, which notes that behind-the-scenes personnel are not likely to be impacted.
“Last month Reuters reported Disney had a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by the drop in advertising revenue at ESPN,” the report notes. “In addition, ESPN continues to shed subscribers at an enhanced rate, down to 88.4 million households in Dec. 2016. That number was 100.002 million in Feb. 2011.”