ESPN’s obvious conflict of interest
I am sure most of you have heard about ESPN launching it new regionally focused family of websites. ESPNchicago.com went live a few months ago and earlier this month ESPNboston.com has gone live. Now ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that ESPN has hired the Kraft Sports Group to sell local advertising for the Boston site. The problem with hat is the Kraft Sports Group is owned by the Robert Kraft who also happens to own the New England Patriots.
Apparently ESPN likes to be criticized because this is a really peculiar move. They have essentially hired one of the teams that the ESPNboston.com site will be charged to cover, to sell its ad space. So what happens if ESPNboston.com comes upon a story that doesn’t cast the Patriots in the best light? What would happen if another Cheating scandal hits this club? Will the site report on it as it should? Or will the ESPN masters wuss out on the story like they did on the Ben Rothlisberger story earlier this summer?
This whole set up smacks of manipulation, and a sports reporting service, such as ESPN, should not be in a business relationship with one of the teams they will be covering. It also makes us wonder will the Patriots get preferential treatment on the other ESPN media formats. If ESPN and the Patriots are in business together maybe the four letter network should be banned from covering the Patriots all together.