At least 200 employees at ESPN's headquarters in Bristol will be laid off as part of a mandate from Disney, the network's parent company, according to sources within ESPN.
Company officials have neither confirmed nor denied the rumor.
"ESPN has historically embraced evolving technology to smartly navigate our business. Any organizational changes will be announced directly to our employees if and when appropriate," ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys said in a statement Wednesday.
The network employs about 7,000 people worldwide, 4,000 of whom work out of the Bristol facility, making ESPN the second-largest company in town.
"I’m hoping against all odds that it’s not true, that they don’t do that. It can only be a negative for the town of Bristol," said Bristol resident Angela Vecca, who said she knows several ESPN employees. "Where are they going to go?"
But with sports blog "The Big Lead" reporting that 200 to 300 people will be laid off in the coming months, some nearby businesses are bracing for a hit.
"It might have a little bit of an affect on us," said local gas station clerk Brent Hassinger.
Now questions are on the rise about what happens if Bristol residents are laid off.
An ESPN employee who asked not to be identified told NBC Connecticut he’s worried about his job. He said the company has not specified which departments may be affected.