ESPN, which stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is a sports network owned by Disney since the latter purchased it in 1996. The network began in 1979 and covers sports news and programming 24 hours a day, although sometimes the network covers other events such as spelling bees and chess.
ESPN has spent many billions of dollars in exclusive sports broadcasting rights, such as spending $1.9 billion a year to broadcast NFL Monday Night Football. ESPN's revenue is based on subscriber fees (about $6.61 per month) plus advertising. But in the past two years, 7 million subscribers (nearly 10% of its overall subscription level, which as of 2015 is about 92 million homes) have cancelled their subscriptions. The reason was suspected to be because ESPN was gradually pushing a more hard-left political agenda by its commentators (to such an extent that it earned the nickname of "the MSNBC of sports"), with it later being confirmed to be the case by SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn. As a result of this, in April 2017, Jim Miller estimated that at least 40-50 layoffs were going to occur in the future, with it being revealed later that it was actually going to be more than twice that estimate. The significant increase in overt promotion of the liberal agenda in 2017 within ESPN and other networks owned by Disney was suspected to be in order to cater to more left-wing voters in the event that CEO Bob Iger decides to run for the 2020 presidential elections as a Democrat.