Monday, June 3, 2013

ESPN can't ignore the competition

Last Thursday, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo had this to say about the emerging competition ESPN faces from the new 24-hour sports networks from Fox, NBC, and CBS.
"People are going to spend a lot of money, they're going to step up to bid on a lot of rights, and they're going to wind up a distant No. 2. So I feel pretty confident about our hand there."
Great leaders don't dismiss their challengers, no matter how insignificant and undermanned they seem to be. American industry is littered with examples of shattered companies who took their competition too lightly. GM ignored Toyota. RCA was too busy diversifying to worry about Sony. And Blockbuster scoffed at Netflix.

Great leaders use any and all challengers as a excuse to examine every potential weakness and sharpen their competitive edge.

ESPN would be wise to do the same.

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