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ESPN asks commentators to take pay cut: report

ESPN asks commentators to take pay cut: report

ESPN is asking "about 100" of its on-air commentators to take a "temporary salary reduction" as the coronavirus pandemic halts college and professional sports and takes a bite out of advertising.

“We are asking about 100 of our commentators to join with our executives and take a temporary salary reduction,” ESPN said in a statement. “These are challenging times, and we are all in this together.”

ESPN is owned by parent company Disney. Over the weekend, the company announced that Walt Disney World in Florida plans to furlough 43,000 workers.

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According to Sports Business Daily, Stephen A. Smith, Mike Greenberg, Alex Rodriguez and Kirk Herbstreit are among those who have been asked to take a pay cut. All of them reportedly earn more than $1 million per year.

Variety, quoting.a knowledgeable source, reports that the network is seeking to reduce salaries by 15 percent for three months.

ESPN usually would be airing the NBA playoffs, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer in April.

Almost all major American sports saw their seasons postponed or canceled last month as the coronavirus outbreak spread across the country.

The NFL's draft is still set for April 23 in Las Vegas, but it will not include a live audience given the health crisis.

ESPN will still air the draft, which is expected to draw its highest ratings in history with no other sports competing against it.

Disney stock has dropped more than 30 percent over the past three months.

It closed at 103.51 on Monday and was trading at 146.38 exactly four months ago.