ESPN beefs up online coverage amid massive subscriber losses

ESPN has been bleeding subscribers over the last three years. In a bid to stem the losses, the sports network is beefing up its coverage online.

ESPN announced on Thursday it is launching professional wrestling coverage on its website, adding a vertical dedicated to World Wrestling Entertainment.

Contributors will write and report on the sports entertainment company, ESPN said in a press release.

The move is a big step toward expanding ESPN’s coverage of WWE, which in the past year has been working with the wrestling juggernaut to gain exclusive content.

In March 2015, former UFC world heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, announced on SportsCenter — ESPN’s flagship program — that he would end his career as a mixed martial-arts fighter and return to WWE.

WWE’s addition to ESPN also comes as the wrestling company looks to align its brand with national sports leagues that are widely covered by ESPN.

But as the wrestling blog, Cageside Seats, notes, the network’s wrestling coverage may draw ire from sports fans who often criticise wrestling for being choreographed and having predetermined storylines.

“We’ll see how the so-called Sports Leader expands their coverage of our beloved pastime … and sit back and enjoy athletic purists raging about sports entertainment polluting their pool,” Sean Reuter wrote on the site.

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