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ESPN To Cut Up To 700 Employees


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isney-owned sports broadcast network, ESPN, could cut between 300 and 700 employees over the coming weeks due to COVID-19 financial impact, according to Front Office Sports.

The cuts will be in an effort to cut tens of millions in salary costs, with production crew expected to be hit the hardest, and the network’s highest-earning talent and executives expected to take pay cuts to help mitigate the job losses.

An unnamed source told Front Office Sports the cuts are in preparation of new rights negotiations with the NFL, NHL and, eventually, the NBA in a few years, along with pressure from parent company, Disney.

“They’re going after a bigger NFL portfolio,” the source said.

“They’re going after the NHL.

“They need stuff for ESPN+.

“That all takes money.

“They are looking at a lot of different things.

“They’re looking closely at their entire operation.

“This is coming from Burbank (the location of Disney’s head office),” the source said.

The ESPN job cuts would mark the third major round of cuts for the U.S. network in five years, after they let go 350 employees in 2015, and over 100 in 2017.

Earlier in the year, it was revealed ESPN had asked its highest-paid on-air talent to accept 15% pay cuts for three months starting in April.

The move to cut costs could also reportedly be due to the NBA finals series nearing its end at the Orlando Disney hub, meaning ESPN and Disney will stop seeing revenue from hosting the NBA competition.

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