It can't be easy being employed by Disney. Old corporations are generally risk averse (which partly explains why they've managed to stick around), but old corporations built on racially homogenous cartoon characters that speak to the median sensibility of American families in the 40s and 50s -- those businesses are especially risk averse. They REALLY don't want to offend their core audience. Duh.
That's why it's taken ESPN so freaking long to accept the reality that sports betting is a huge reason why people consume their product -- gambling simply doesn't jive with Disney's wholesome, Ned Flanders-puritanism -- and that's also why it was so surprising when those little "Cover Alerts" started popping up in the middle of live broadcasts. It was an affirmation of a sinful activity. It was Mickey Mouse snorting a line of coke.
On Wednesday, Colin Cowherd -- who was unceremoniously dismissed from the network a week before his scheduled departure -- sounded off on his new Fox Sports 1 simulcast show about how this move is indicative of ESPN's internal issues.
"if i can be critical of espn they have become incredibly reactionary over the last three or four years for a variety of reasons. they'll have 300 lay offs here. it's incredibly sad. a lot of executives protecting their space and pensions and they have become incredibly reactionary but sports gambling isn't going anywhere but espn is in a very odd place with this because they wanted to buy draft kings. this company owns 10% of draft kings. espn wanted to own 10% of draft kings. they made a bid for it and disney said no you don't. there is a struggle with that company, the former employer right now about gambling espn is owned by disney...it's pocahontas, it's lion king."
It was a miracle that it took Cowherd this long to refrain from dishing dirt on his former employer. More, please.
The full clip, below...
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