In a report from Sports Business Journal about ESPN's relationship with the NFL, former president John Skipper is described as favoring basketball and his relationship with Adam Silver over the NFL and its leaders.

Skipper did not engage with the people who matter at the NFL, like Goodell and Brian Rolapp, executive vice president of media, sources said. 

Silver also did not socialize or develop close ties with influential NFL owners like Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones.

ESPN's new president, Jimmy Pitaro, has already met with key leaders from the NFL as he attempts to repair the relationship.