ESPN to Drop Outdoor Shows

News has been swirling for weeks but it is now an inevitability that ESPN2 will drop its outdoor shows at the end of the year. For some 30 years the sports giant has offered outdoor programming in the form of both fishing and hunting shows. The "Outdoor Block" has been relied upon to bring the hunting lifestyle to the entire nation and has proven to be a staple of the outdoor TV market.

It'll be interesting to see what ramifications this has on the outdoor programming on other networks, but it is safe to say that ESPN and the mainstream sports market has thoroughly rejected outdoor shows in favor of live and event-based broadcasting programing. 

"I do not like it. When good-quality hunting shows, magazines, etc. go away, it is not good for our industry and sport," writes whitetail blogger and TV personality Mike Hanback. "And the ESPN2 programs were great quality. I didn't watch many of the fishing series, but from time to time I caught a hunting show produced by Tom Miranda and was impressed. That guy is the real-deal bowhunter, man, and his footage and information are top-notch. It will be interesting to see which network Tom turns up on."

Hanback is being a bit polite here for my taste. I absolutely, unequivocally hate this move. While I understand it in a business senseniche programming is the new and profitable trendit pains me to see some of the best outdoor shows on the market stripped away from the viewer.

There was no Outdoor Channel in my house when I was growing up, and the ESPN2 block of shows was my Sunday morning haven. I remember getting jacked up to head out the next Saturday watching Miranda and others in the thick of a big buck showdown.

Sad day for the industry, a sad day for yours truly.

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20 Responses to ESPN to Drop Outdoor Shows

Nick wrote:
October 17, 2012

I'd rather watch Sons of Guns or American Guns about gun making and if I need hunting I can always watch American Hoggers.

mare stevens wrote:
July 10, 2010

Many people are disgusted by hunting shows that show neanderthals shooting grazing animals and wooping it up because they have just killed something. These are not programs that children or thinking people want to see while channel surfing. Even native americans would be disgusted to see killing glorified on tv for coach potatoes and those with nothing going on between their ears.

Fuzzie wrote:
June 21, 2010

Great! Now maybe we can get more infomercials on TV.

Ed Kamin Jr. wrote:
June 18, 2010

As far as I am concered if ESPN2 doesn't care about its viewers than I say to h--- with ESPN2. Will never watch that channel again

Brian H. wrote:
June 16, 2010

I didnt get to watch often, but when I got the chance it was nice to watch a hunting or fishing program. Sometimes I'll be in my truck and listen to outdoor programming on the weekends. My guess we'll have to pay more to watch any of these programs in the future.

William Woods wrote:
June 16, 2010

Being an upland bird hunter, there was little to miss on ESPN anyway. Most of thsoe shows were fishing, deer hunting, or turkey hunting. What I missed, and still do, were the so called "niche" shows that made ESPN something to watch. I enjoyed their coverage of oval dirt, open wheel dirt track racing. I am sure ESPN & 2 will expand their "talking head" ball sports coverage ad nauseum.

Francis Davis wrote:
June 16, 2010

I think ESPN should continue these type shows , to show how well rounded their programing is and should remain. ESPN sports is just that ALL sports!!!

Dolf wrote:
June 16, 2010

Leave ESPN2 for the basketball games. Support the Outdoor Channel. That way the Outdoor Channel will have a better chance of surviving.

John M. Slusser II wrote:
June 16, 2010

I can honestly say that the first thing that came to my mind when I read about this is that ESPN is in some way caving in to the gun-control elitists and their money. Why else would they end the outdoor shows they have produced with artisan skill for 3 decades? Things like this are ALWAYS tied to a dollar figure, mark my words.

TIM G. wrote:
June 15, 2010


Mitch Barkett wrote:
June 15, 2010

I will miss their shows. I enjoyed watching.They sure beat watching soccer.

tony gilmer wrote:
June 15, 2010

don't understand why you'd drop the hunting and fishing shows after all this time. i hope you're not giving in to the peta people.if so you have as much backbone as most of our politicians right now.

Clive Whelan wrote:
June 15, 2010

A sad day indeed. An opportunity lost to convey the wonderful outdoor activites of hunting and fishing to the young and to educate them in these worthy pursuits.

Pappy wrote:
June 15, 2010

If I'm not out in the woods or on the water, you can bet I'm watching these shows on ESPN2

Milton Madden wrote:
June 15, 2010

A bad move by ESPN.

R.Mock wrote:
June 15, 2010

While it seems to be a sad situation, perhaps the other outdoor channels will benefit from less competition. At the same time many corporations take the easy way out, in fact much like the sports teams that mortgage the future to win today. Even though I watch both sports and outdoor channels I will definately watch less of the former and more of the latter from now on. Remember that sponsors!

Mark M. Goodniss wrote:
June 15, 2010

Well it looks like ESPN is giving up to the anti- hunting + fishing groups! The only way to get them back on track with the real world is for all Sportsmen to drop them from their cable packages. In other words hit them where it hurts, in their wallets. I understand that a lot of you like to watch other sports they show, but we must all stick together in order to make this work. If enough of us drop them than the sponsors will follow us. This looks like another Concord Bridge and they are the "Red Coats", and instead of us firing muskets, we will be firing them by canceling them from our cable packages. So lets get to it and start canceling ESPN "NOW."

Richard Wells wrote:
June 15, 2010

It seems to me that ESPN is being led by the nose by the anti-hunting people. If this is the case I will drop my ESPN that I have to pay extra for thru my cable tv provider. If they do not want to show the type of shows I like besides collage basketball I do not want their programs. I watched both the hunting and fishing shows. I will cancel period.

Ron Muller wrote:
June 15, 2010

I will no reason to watch ESPN2 without our shows.

Herb Atkinson wrote:
June 15, 2010

It sounds like to me the liberal owners of the network finally got what they wanted, or knuckled under to their liberal supporters, by not renewing the contracts at the end of the season when they had the chance. This is a sad day, espeially when the majority of Americans support hunting, fishing, and the heritage of it that thrives strong in America. Another liberal media move!