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Scott Van Pelt And Rich Greenfield Feud Over ESPN's Demise

Scott Van Pelt And Rich Greenfield Feud Over ESPN's Demise

Earlier this week, ESPN host Scott Van Pelt spoke with the Washington Post about the cable industry's cord-cutting fears, as well as the ESPN "brain drain."

Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) stock fell hard last summer after ESPN subscriptions took a big hit.

"I understand the direction things are going, and yet the reality is that our competitors let go of a ton of people as well," Van Pelt told the Post's Matt Bonesteel. "We make seven bucks a [subscription], they make a dollar. Our ratings are in the millions and the high hundreds of thousands; they can't crack six figures. And I just wonder at what point the articles about the death of our company are laid side-by-side with our supposed competitors and you take inventory. Because it isn't close. It's not close."

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BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield shared the story on his Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) account earlier Thursday, leading Van Pelt to chime in.

"You can sign-up for @Sling for NFL season, but you dont need to subscribe to ESPN all year & no box to return (frictionless)," Greenfield Tweeted. "How has @espn been proactive? shoving SEC Network and now ACC Network into an already bloated TV bundle?"

He continued, "ESPN has tied its future to the big TV bundle - there is no way out. Skipper made a mistake paying up for NBA & will suffer." John Skipper is the president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.

Van Pelt asked Greenfield to define "suffer," saying, "I simply think using a commenter saying we are dying is comedy."

Whose side are you on?


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