Bill Simmons is ready to take on the big dog in sports.
ESPN has blocked all employees from appearing on Bill’s podcast. Simmons revealed that the sports network blacklisted “The Bill Simmons Podcast” when his guest, Joe House, mentioned it was a shame a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter couldn’t come onto the show because he worked for ESPN.
Bill Simmons: “I’m glad you mentioned that. You know why I can’t have Brian Windhorst on? Because ESPN won’t let anyone from ESPN come on my podcast, which is fine, but it’s just laying down the ground rules for what is going to unfold over the next few years. It could have been friendly and it’s not going to be friendly.”
Joe House: “It’s already unfriendly”
Bill: “It’s going to be more unfriendly.”
Joe: “I’m excited to see how unfriendly it can get.”
Bill: “Just wait until The Ringer hires a public editor for ESPN, that writes for The Ringer. That’s going to get very unfriendly.”
Simmons implied that his in the works website, The Ringer, is going to hire an editor whose role will be to take shots at ESPN. It’s unclear if Bill means the editor will take shots at ESPN’s journalistic integrity or just cut up ESPN in general.
Simmons won’t be alone in his battle against ESPN. He’s backed by HBO now. HBO’s owned by a division of Time Warner and does pretty well on its own.
Soon after it was announced that Bill was leaving ESPN, HBO’s revealed that the network was giving Bill a talk show.
Even as an employee at ESPN, Simmons had extreme issues with the product that the company was putting out. It will be interesting to see just how far this goes.