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Disgraced Former ESPN Boss John Skipper Doubles Down on His Idea to Ruin the Super Bowl Like He Did His Network

Mark Lennihan. Shutterstock Images.

It's hard to summarize in a blog post just how awful former ESPN chief John Skipper is, and truly do it justice. Suffice to say that it's even harder to decide whether he's worse at being a person or the head of the once mighty World Wide Leader in Sports he once ran before being forced out over an alleged cocaine extortion incident.

As a primer, enjoy theses posts to bring you up to speed on his long and inglorious history. Particularly with regards to Barstool:

A bad TV executive who did irreparable harm to the network he mismanaged so badly they've been bleeding money and jobs ever since. A phony and a fraud. And, in case I failed to mention it earlier, a high-ranking boss in the Disney corporation who had to resign in disgrace after a supposed cocaine extortion racket. Get those facts down and you pretty much have the measure of the petty man. 

But even if Skipper is no longer the … skipper (I can't be the first one to go there, but it stays in the post) at ESPN, he's nevertheless still out there trying to foist his horrible ideas on an unsuspecting, undeserving public. Like this lead balloon he tried to float 2 1/2 years ago:

And you'd think that after that chunk of metal came crashing down on his dome, he would've left well enough alone. But this is the guy who looked at a network that was created for the sole purpose of providing 24/7 escapist entertainment to an altogether too serious world and said, "You know what our audience needs? Politics. Let's get rid of the humor, nicknames and clever wordplay. Let's dial back on the highlights. And let's replace them with lots and lots of devisive, self-important, agenda-driven politics. To the point we become virtually unwatchable." And succeeded. 

So his commitment to his own terrible ideas is not to be underestimated. Which is why it should come as no surprise that he's back with the Pay Per View Super Bowl abomination of his:

Source - 113 million people watched Super Bowl LVII according to early estimates from Nielsen, and while that number is staggering, former ESPN chairman John Skipper believes the NFL could someday do away with the free broadcast and move to a pay-per-view model.

“I assume that there are some number of people that’s the only game they watch the entire year, and they don’t want to be left out. That’s a pretty great place to be for a live event,” Skipper said on The Big Suey Podcast from The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz Wednesday. 

“50% of the country does not want to be left out. It leads me to a slightly different discussion: if half the country is watching your game for free, how many of those people would pay a big sum of money to watch the game? …

“If you just assume half of the people (that) watched would still watch if it cost $250 for a household, you’re just gonna have bigger parties,” Skipper continued. 

“I don’t know how many households — I assume its half the households who watched — if only a quarter of them are willing to pay $250 to have a party at their house, it would still get you into the billions of dollars for a single game, and that is the single best way I can think of for the NFL to increase their annual revenue stake for their clubs, is to make the Super Bowl a pay-per-view event.”

Of all the crusades a person could take up, all the worthy causes you could go around the country and promote into a microphone, why on God's green earth would you choose this one? Emphasis on the green, since all this would accomplish it to make even more money for the NFL that is already printing it by the billions with this event. 

The Super Bowl is the last great cultural event that all of America watches together. Long gone are the days where we'd all be tuning in at the same time to watch the finale of Game of Thrones or the last episode of Seinfeld. Award shows are dying, breaking records for fewest viewers in their history year after year. To my knowledge, The Beatles aren't going on Ed Sullivan any time soon and the next moon landing will be mostly be viewed on TikTok. The Super Bowl alone is the last great watering hole around which our people gather. And this asshole won't shut up about how Roger Goodell needs to profit off that interest even more than he is. 

And profit they do. I'm as much a capitalist as the next Rich Uncle Pennybags. But the formula that's been in place for XLVII Super Bowls is working just fine as is, thankyouverymuch. Sunday's game was the third most watched even in the history of the medium. And not un-coincidentally, the third most viewed Super Bowl, after the games in 2014 and 16. As such, the NFL's "broadcast partners" are killing each other for the rights to future games. This last one charged $7 million for a 30-second ad. After her halftime show, Rihanna saw a 140% increase in her downloads. And in case we haven't noticed, state and local governments are paying literal billions to build stadia for multi-billionaires in hopes of hosting a game. 

So the league doesn't need John Skipper's help. Because this idea, while it would probably increase revenues - I'll confess that I and everyone of my friends and family would pay - it's still something he knows something about: Extortion. (Allegedly.) It's threatening to take away from people a thing which they care about, and charging them to keep it. That is the very definition of extortion.

He can argue that it's just selling a product for a fee, and therefore good business. Which might be true. But it's also just pure greed. And something far, far more damning. 

It's unAmerican. So John Skipper can do what the Disney Corp. told him to do years ago, and that is fuck all the way off with this PPV Super Bowl scam. How can we miss this clown when he won't go away?