Why I hate ESPN the magazine


I am a good ESPN customer. I pay for ESPN Insider. I play in a few fantasy sports leagues through ESPN.com (EPL, NFL and NCAA Brackets). I use ESPN3 online streaming service (Nadal v Ferrer Federer live from Barcelona at 10:00 AM ET today!). I watch their ever growing family of broadcast cable networks. I regularly tell people to watch some episode or segment from NFL Matchup, PTI, Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson fights on ESPN Classic and/or the 30 for 30 series. The ScoreCenter Apps on my iPad and Android devices are damn solid as well.

One ESPN product I absolutely loathe is ESPN the Magazine print edition. For a company that has and has had so many excellent sports journalists (see ESPN.com’s Sports Guy’s World curated by Bill Simmons, Page 2 archive of the late great Ralph Wiley, or the late great Hunter S. Thompson) ESPN the magazine has been a repeated wasted opportunity. It’s baffling, but magazines could always be torn up and used for packing material. And then recycled. Another poor product from ESPN is the ESPN the Magazine App on my iPad.

First off, ESPN the Magazine used to be sent to you whether you liked it or not when you signed up for ESPN Insider (their exclusive information pay wall). It was and is a cliché laden picture periodical about sports. The app is included with insider membership. The UI is clumsy and the articles, outside of a few main features, still leave much to be desired. This morning I accidentally opened the app this morning and was greeted by some menagerie of sound effects and noise. Note to developers of apps and web sites and ads that are not for multimedia delivery: if you play some video or audio without me explicitly opting to “play it” I will actively seek to never use it again. I don’t like to be ambushed by noise.