I’ve been writing Sports Media Journal for a little over a year…and just now have I reached an epiphany over why their is much angst over ESPN. It’s one word…JEALOUSY.

It dawned on me after reading the examination of ESPN’s business practices in the latest edition of Sports Business Journal. The piece takes a look at claims by other networks that sports leagues are not getting their money’s worth in terms of ratings success when they sign-on with the WWL. There’s even a PowerPoint presentation created by the networks to accompany these claims.

ESPN counters the accusation by saying it’s more than just ratings that leagues take into consideration when they sign with them…it’s the cross platform promotion and 24/7 coverage ESPN provides that is the real selling point.

No one denies that ESPN has worked hard to reach its current level of success. They are one of a kind with no equal.  And that bothers the other networks…to a point where they feel they need to attack.

Television ratings for just about all sports have been on the decline for a number of years, regardless of the network. ESPN is the convenient whipping boy. The other networks fail to take responsibility for their role in the ratings drop.

This is not to say that ESPN should not be criticized. Because they are so large and provide so much coverage, they are ripe for attacks. We did so last fall. Most of it is deserved. In this instance it is not.

This jealousy of ESPN is not reserved to the television networks. Others in the media are also envious of ESPN.  And that goes for sports bloggers.  Present company INCLUDED!

I would love to be a full time sports reporter. If ESPN called and gave me job would I take it? You bet I would! Just like if I was a computer programmer and Microsoft came knocking on my door. All of us want to be associated with a winner. Microsoft is a winner. So is ESPN. In my opinion anyone who says otherwise is not being truthful.

If the television networks feel ESPN is doing a disservice to the sports leagues, then do something about it. Compete. Come up with an alternative. We all would love to see that. Acknowledge your envy.  Stop complaining.