It was a pretty big week for the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
ESPN had an extremely notable week on several fronts. Most notably to viewers, ESPN made contract decisions on two longtime employees.
One longtime broadcaster, Kenny Mayne, will be leaving the network. Mayne has revealed that ESPN asked him to take a pay cut. He is choosing to pursue other opportunities.
“I will miss the people. I will miss the vending machine set up over by the old Van Pelt joint. We had everything,” he wrote.
I am leaving ESPN.
Salary cap casualty.
Thanks for the opportunity Vince Doria & Al Jaffe & for taking my solicitations
I will miss the people.
I will miss the vending machine set up over by the old Van Pelt joint.
We had everything.
— Kenny Mayne (@Kenny_Mayne) May 10, 2021
Sports fans are saddened by Mayne’s news. He was among the most-likable figures on ESPN.
Meanwhile, another notable ESPN host signed a major contract extension. The Worldwide Leader in Sports announced a contract extension with Chris Berman earlier this week.
Chris Berman signed a multi-year extension to continue to host "NFL PrimeTime".https://t.co/w0sTWee1UL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2021
ESPN had some more significant news later in the week, though.
The Worldwide Leader in Sports has agreed to a television rights deal with Major League Baseball and LaLiga. These are two massive rights deals for ESPN, which has become a major player in the space over the past six to 12 months.
Sports business insider John Ourand tweeted out how impressive ESPN’s run is:
ESPN's last six months
* Signed SEC away from CBS.
* Signed NHL away from NBC.
* Renewed NFL deal.
* Renewed NHL deal.
* Signed LaLiga from Bein. https://t.co/XpIk3t2Lm4
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 13, 2021
ESPN has clearly made a play to prioritize the sports rights deals over everything else. Still, many are pointing out how many notable employees the network has lost during this time.
*Dan Le Batard
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 13, 2021
The live games are what matters the most, though, and ESPN is making that extremely clear.