ESPN Is Forging a Partnership With Vice to Reach a New Generation of Sports Fans

For years, ESPN’s upfront has been mostly a celebration of its perch atop the sports TV marketplace: the self-styled Worldwide Leader flexing its muscle as the unchallenged victor.

That’s still mostly true, as rivals NBCSN and Fox Sports 1 have done little to dent ESPN’s lead. But when the media company takes the stage at New York’s Minskoff Theater in two weeks, it will find itself in an unfamiliar position: As subscribers cut the cord and big-money talent heads for the exits, ESPN will have to make its strongest pitch yet to advertisers.

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