I grew up in the 80s and early 90s in the heyday of ESPN and especially SportsCenter. Back then, before in the internet, you'd turn to ESPN for all of your sports news, and it delivered.
Around the late 90s and into the early aughts, they started doing more and more "talking head" things and less highlights. They still had their highlights, but the channel went from two main talking head shows (Roy Firestone's show and The Sports Reporters) to basically everything trying to be Pardon The Interruption. From then, it was a downward spiral, where anchors started trying to be the show. Heck, they even had a reality show where people competed to be an anchor.
I turned on ESPN when they started charging for content on their website. I would never EVER go to ESPN for anything because you'd be reading an article and halfway through, it would say "Subscribe to Insider to continue reading." Like, seriously?
I thought ESPN Classic was going to be an amazing channel. I love old sporting events, and I was excited to imagine watching them. ESPN Classic worked for, like, a year, and then they started showing nothing but World Series of Poker on it, which makes zero sense. I understand that there are other forms of sports out there, like bowling and World's Strongest Man competitions, but those are actual sporting activity, whereas poker is lonely, spiggy nerds with sunglasses and hoodies sit around a table and play with fake money.
They then went full-fledged Tebow and it was the end. I'm not sure if they were doing it to mock him because "HAHA Hey! Christian guy who isn't very good at football!" But at one point, they devoted most of the day to Tebow's birthday. Like, seriously?
Also, pushing soccer down the throats of American viewers probably wasn't the best idea, either. This is America, we're not fags, we don't give a shit about European soccer. The only Americans who give a fuck about European soccer are the same Americans who call it "futbol" and who think that since they've traveled to Europe, that "you Americans" are low class.
Now, ESPN is Stephen A. Smith arguing with some white dude about what color the sky is, and interviews with celebrities about their upcoming project, and oh, just to make it about sports a little bit, do you wear a hat sometimes? Like, they've become less about sports and all about entertainment.
I would imagine within 10 years, ESPN will be undergoing the same mockery MTV gets now, which will be "Remember when ESPN actually had sports?"