We've Got Hollywood Covered

ESPN President John Skipper Rips IAC Chair Barry Diller for ‘Flapping His Lips’

”That is wrong. And I believe at this point it is willfully inaccurate,“ Skipper says of Diller’s charges that ESPN promotes a ”false economy“

ESPN president John Skipper tore into IAC Chairman Barry Diller at the Sports Business Journal conference on Wednesday for comments the latter made about the sports network earlier this month.

Diller argued earlier this month on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that, with millions of subscribers subsidizing its much smaller actual viewership, ESPN is promoting a “false kind of economy.”

Skipper accused him of flapping his lips.

“I will respectfully ask Barry Diller to acquaint himself with the facts before he flaps his lips in public about this,” he said, according to Business Insider.

Barry Diller has put us in an inappropriate, inaccurate narrative for a long time,” he continued. “He suggests that ESPN exists in a false economy. He says, and I’ve memorized this so that I’ll get it right, that a small number of people view ESPN, and he tries to propagate a narrative that there are universal pay television households and this group over here watches ESPN and everybody else subsidizes it. That is inaccurate. That is wrong. And I believe at this point it is willfully inaccurate.”

The statements come a week after Skipper explained the company’s recent round of layoffs as a difficult but necessary decision to provide the network with “competitive advantages” for years to come. As TheWrap previously reported, nearly 300 jobs are expected to be eliminated.

The expected cost-cutting action follows Disney’s announcement in August that earnings at its cable networks won’t meet company forecasts as a result of subscriber losses and currency translation, which triggered a selloff in the shares of many media companies.