Does ESPN Have an East Coast Bias?

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Does ESPN Have an East Coast Bias?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

On a relatively slow news day in the sports world on Monday, one would expect that an upcoming three-game series matching two of the most storied franchises in baseball would be the top story on ESPN’s featured Sportscenter at 6pm EST. 

The fact the two teams are one and two in their division, and the two biggest markets on the West Coast might have some cache, but not to the execs at ESPN. 

The San Francisco Giants and the visiting first-place Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t even make the tease in the opening storylines, let alone the lead story.  

Four days after LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their first NBA title, Sportscenter led with the victory celebration and parade that took place today in Miami. 

OK, fine, it’s King James and the new “dream team”, certainly the Giants and Dodgers would be up next. 

Story number two? 32-year-old Venus Williams, who has been battling an auto-immune deficiency is defeated at Wimbledon in the first round.

Fine, it’s kind of breaking news, it may be the end of the road for Williams, I get it.  Giants-Dodgers next, right?  Oh, back to LeBron for excerpts of the in-depth conversation that I’ve already seen. 

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Keep in mind, if the New York Yankees were getting ready to play the Boston Red Sox, even if they weren’t battling for first place, it would’ve been teased three different ways prior to Sportscenter even beginning. 

ESPN would’ve designated the first five minutes of the broadcast to the matchup, going live to someone in the stadium, and then flashing back to some hack rundown about the history of the “greatest rivalry in sports.”  

Does ESPN really believe that the Yankees and Red Sox are worthy of so much attention, but the Giants and Dodgers can’t even get a mention in their top stories. Do the execs at ESPN think the Yankees and Red Sox are a national story, but two teams that used to battle each other in New York, and then moved to the West coast where they’ve continued the heated rivalry, isn’t?

Of course, it isn’t the first time this has happened. It will happen many more times, and then it will be football season, and it will be even worse.  

I understand that I’m not breaking news with this story, just venting about a persistent problem that nobody seems to care about.  I know the suits at ESPN have heard the whining for years and it clearly has changed very little.

One solution was to move the later Sportscenter to Los Angeles, essentially throwing a bone to us mopey West Coasters, but when you still lead off with LeBron, it’s not doing much for me. 

Essentially, I’m part of the problem. As much as I whine about it, I still tune into Sportscenter every day along with the many other programming ESPN offers. Why doesn’t ESPN listen to my complaints? Because they don’t have to, and yet I keep tuning in. 

So unless you have some great solution as to how to fix the problem, which I'm guessing you don’t, thanks for letting a fellow West Coaster rant about something that will probably never change.

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