ESPN Has Moved Matthew Berry Behind a Paywall and People Are Mad

By Stephen Douglas
Matthew Berry, in 2016, when he was in the business of giving things away.
Matthew Berry, in 2016, when he was in the business of giving things away. / Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images
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Matthew Berry has a long story that he can't get into right now, but he would like to mention that his weekly Love/Hate column has been moved behind the dreaded ESPN+ paywall. It stinks for longtime fans of the Talented Mr. Roto, but them's the breaks. Who do you think is paying for Home Alone to be available on Disney+ this holiday season?

So now ESPN is officially a paid fantasy sports site. If you don't already have ESPN+ you're going to need to come up with nearly $10 over the next two months to find out whether Matthew Berry likes Aaron Rodgers (he does) or hates nameless Detroit Lions wide receivers (he does). When I type it out, it really is outrageous and I'm not the only one who feels that way.

TMR's @'s are full of people saying they are done with Berry and ESPN now. Here's my favorite response:

"Loved your most recent love/hate but so disappointed you & espn have decided to monetize it. Is there no end to greed? Sorry to say but you’ve lost me as a reader & listener and I’m pretty much done w espn too. Most of us play fantasy for fun with friends & family not for $."

As another person pointed out, "at a time when where people can't buy food, ESPN asks for money." Really puts where I get my fantasy football advice in perspective. And the wait people had to endure to find out they weren't going to find out Berry loves Cooper Kupp for free might have been even worse.

Last week, before the wall went up, Berry's column also was late and he also had a long story he could not get into.

Are these issues all related? Only he and his editors know and they don't even let you know once you get past the paywall. Which is a shame because of everything that has happened this week, this is the thing that will reverberate in our daily lives the longest.

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