ESPN’s “SportsCenter” will be removed from YouTube in 2018
ESPN’s sports programming will be taken down from YouTube for a second year in a row in 2018, ESPN’s senior vice president of content, Tom Toles, announced Tuesday.
Toles also announced that ESPN will be taking its subscription-based ESPN+ platform offline, a move that will take the platform offline for six months in advance of its scheduled launch in 2019.
This move marks the first time that ESPN has taken a digital decision to discontinue its sports channels, but it comes at a time when subscription-only streaming platforms like Amazon’s Prime Video have become a significant part of sports programming.
While the decision is disappointing, Toles noted that it is in line with ESPN’s strategy for the channel to be “the new premium service for fans and advertisers.”
Talks are ongoing between ESPN and the National Hockey League about a potential partnership with the NHL, Tokes said.
ESPN+ was launched last year, and Toles said the network will remain a major revenue generator for the company, with revenues up by 25% from a year earlier.
Despite its move to discontinuing the channel, Topes noted that the platform will be a big part of ESPN’s future.
“This is not a done deal,” he said.
“It’s a very exciting time to be part of the ESPN family.
And we’re excited to be back to where we started.”