ESPN says layoffs will make company more competitive

Story highlights

  • ESPN didn't comment on the number of employees affected
  • It has more than 35 networks around the world
  • Rising sports rights fees are affecting the company's bottom line
  • Deadspin says many employees in technology division to be let go
Sports media giant ESPN gave some of its 7,000 employees pink slips on Tuesday, the network said in a statement.
The Bristol, Connecticut-based company said it was looking at the financial bottom line.
"We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive," the statement said.
Some media reports placed the number of affected employees and open positions that would go unfilled as high as 400. ESPN had no comment on how many people would be let go.
ESPN, which operates eight domestic networks and 27 around the world, is 80% owned by Disney. It reported higher revenues from its cable networks in the last fiscal year. But it also said that increased programming costs were due largely to the rising costs of the rights to cover sports such as college and professional football.
The sports website Deadspin, which first reported the story, said many of the layoffs are in the technology department but quoted a source that said all departments are "under review."