ESPN chief John Skipper gets contract extension

Source: ESPN laying off 100 employees
Source: ESPN laying off 100 employees

ESPN President John Skipper will be sticking around the sports network.

Skipper’s new contract with ESPN’s parent company, Disney(DIS), will be extended through 2021, according to a source familiar with the deal.

It was first reported by The Big Lead.

Skipper joined ESPN as president in 2012. The contract renewal is a vote of confidence in Skipper during a turbulent time.

ESPN has experienced a series of hardships, ranging from declining subscriber numbers and ad revenue to layoffs.

The drop in subscribers was worrisome because ESPN has several expensive long-term TV deals with pro sports leagues.

Earlier this year, the sports network laid off roughly 100 on-air personalities and writers.

In 2015, ESPN laid off about 300 employees, which was about 4% of its global workforce.

At the time, it was reported that ESPN was told by Disney to trim costs.

Related: This is ‘SportsCenter’? ESPN is changing its flagship show

Disney’s decision to keep Skipper at the helm likely means a smoother transition as the network shifts toward digital.

Disney recently acquired a majority stake in BAMTech, a major video streaming and marketing company, and plans to launch an ESPN streaming service next spring.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the percentage of BAMTech owned by Disney.

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