so Tila Tequila is why ESPN is high on drama and low on quality?
ESPN is riding the same entertainment wave as the rest of Television and Film, High on quantity (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN classic, ESPNNEWS, ESPN U, ESPN Deportes, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine) low on quality. With so much time and stuff to fill how can you have any quality? How much drama can you pull out of Nuggets/Lakers game 1?
Anyway, since we really did not establish what happened between ESPN and ABC here is some info.
In 1994, ESPN set the standard for understanding the role of sports in America with the creation of The ESPN Sports Poll by Dr. Richard Luker. The Sports Poll was the first ongoing national daily study of sports fan activities and interests in the United States. Sporting News acknowledged the accomplishments of The ESPN Sports Poll and Dr. Luker in 1996.
With the increasing costs of live sports entertainment, such as the U.S.$8.8 billion costs for NFL football broadcasts rights for eight years, "scripted entertainment has become a luxury item for ESPN," said David Carter, director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California.
From 1996 onward, ESPN was closely integrated with ABC Sports. That year, Steve Bornstein, president of ESPN since 1990, was made president of ABC Sports as well. This integration culminated in the 2006 decision to merge ABC Sports' operations with ESPN. As a result, all of ABC's sports programming now uses ESPN on ABC. However, ABC Sports is still legally separate from ESPN (see below).
ESPN is currently building a full-fledged broadcast production facility in downtown Los Angeles, as a part of the L.A. Live complex across from the Staples Center. The five-story facility will house an ESPN Zone restaurant on the first two floors and two television production studios with digital control rooms on upper floors. It is scheduled to open in spring 2009. One of the studios will host late-night editions of SportsCenter.
As of January 15th, 2008, ESPN has signed a multi-million dollar contract with professional gaming circuit Major League Gaming or MLG for short. Although some have argued that professional gaming is not a physical sport, ESPN has gone ahead with this collaboration.
In 1984, ABC made a deal with Getty Oil to acquire ESPN. ABC retained an 80% share, and sold 20% to Nabisco. The Nabisco shares were later sold to Hearst Corporation, which still holds a 20% stake today. In 1986, ABC was purchased for $3.5 billion by Capital Cities Communications. In 1995, The Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion and picked up an 80% stake in ESPN at that time. According to an analysis published by Barron's magazine in February 2008, ESPN "is probably worth more than 40% of Disney's entire value... based on prevailing cash-flow multiples in the industry."
Although ESPN has been operated as a Disney subsidiary since 1996, it is still technically a joint venture between Disney and Hearst.