After 160 straight hours of nauseating coverage of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, ESPN programmers were contacted by authorities at the Federal Communications Commission late Wednesday evening. The message was simple: Change your programming, or we’ll change what your call sign stands for. In a terse letter from the FCC to ESPN, the network learned that the Feds planned to change the meaning of the network’s moniker letters to stand for “Endlessly Saturated Paterno Network.”
One part of the letter read, “If ESPN refuses to be, as it claims, ‘the world wide leader in sports,’ then it should no longer mislead its viewers into thinking such. The FCC considers the current moniker to constitute false advertising.”
In a Thursday morning release issued by ESPN programming executive, Neal Barris, the company explained it would immediately shift back to programming which included actual sports.
“Although deep in our hearts we feel we have not given enough deference to the Penn State scandal, the FCC has demanded that we switch back to programming which involves athletics of some kind. Thank God A-Rod broke his hand this week. We’ll run that coverage into the ground until NFL pre-season camps get underway. For the three people who were anticipating the program, we promise to air the interview of Penn State cafeteria workers on this Sunday’s edition of Outside the Lines.”