ESPN has announced that they're just, you know, tired of that whole sports thing. Instead they want to begin developing more scripted programming. Sounds reasonable. Original movies and series may attract a wider, more diverse audience. It's programming that ESPN would own outright and could re-purpose through ABC and Disney partners or sell on DVD. And it would prepare ESPN for the next wave of viewers: teens who really love sports computer games but actual sports broadcasts? Not so much.
Of course, ESPN could be pulling our shin-guarded leg. They're currently in negotiations with the NHL and Major League Baseball so this may all be a sort of message to the leagues that ESPN won't pay huge licensing fees. Especially to leagues with no games.