Buy or Sell?: FS1’s “Speak for Yourself” moving to 5pm is a good move


Buy: it’s a good move for FS1 because if nothing else moving NASCAR RaceHub back to 6pm will maximize RaceHub’s ratings.

Sell:  the idea that going head-to-head with Around the Horn and (especially) Pardon The Interruption is beneficial.

Sell: that flow/lead-in matters in this case. For shows with potential to reach millions or even hundreds of thousands of viewers, I buy the notion of flow/continuity being crucially important. If the potential is maybe high 10s of thousands, I sell it being crucial. 

Buy: That NASCAR RaceHub wasn’t the ideal lead-in for Speak for Yourself 

Sell: that a more suitable lead-in is necessarily good news for Speak for Yourself

I don’t know what FS1’s plans are for the 4p-5pm slot but am guessing that some sort of Best of Cowherd or Bayless or Nick Wright programming will be regularly scheduled (update: it looks like the plan is encores of “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed”).

On the plus side that would indeed flow better into Speak for Yourself. On the downside it’s likely to be a much smaller lead-in than NASCAR RaceHub.

Buy: In the DVR era the notion of things competing head-to-head ain’t what it used to be. 50% of homes don’t have DVRs, but I’ve long assumed (without the data to back it up) that a good chunk of PTI’s viewership isn’t live but is watched on DVR the same day (so it still shows up in the daily numbers.) 

If your reaction is “head-to-head with ESPN’s top-2 debate shows? That seems pretty crazy!” it’s maybe not quite as crazy as it seems. (But still kinda crazy.)

Buy: given the small numbers involved, it’s hard to imagine the move really being any worse than neutral. The numbers need to, and buoyed by NFL, should go up. If they don’t, that will be devastatingly bad news. Of course, Around the Horn and PTI will get the NFL boost too (the boost alone for ESPN in the 5-6p hour will be much bigger than the Speak for Yourself’s full number), but if the FS1 numbers are up FS1 can spin it in some “all part of the master plan!” fashion.

Fortunately TV is a results-oriented business where  report cards are issued daily. We’ll have a much better idea of how Jamie Horowitz’ vision for FS1 studio programming is working within a few weeks.

FS1’s Speak to Yourself moves to 5 P.M. ET effective September 5. Its lead-in the first two days in its new time slot will be UEFA World Cup Soccer Qualifiers, the rest of the week the lead-in will be encores of  the new Skip Bayless/Shannon Sharpe show.)

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Buy: it’s a good move for FS1 because if nothing else moving NASCAR RaceHub back to 6pm will maximize RaceHub’s ratings.

    How do you figure? Nascar America is on at 6 pm. I currently watch both, but if I have to pick one, I’ll usually watch Nascar America.
    How do you maximize ratings going up against a very similar show? Seems to me they will lose close to 50 percent of their veiwers.

    1. Fair point. Before “Speak for Yourself” debuted NASCAR RaceHub was at 6pm and its numbers were higher at 6pm than at 5pm. But last September when RaceHub was at 6p, NASCAR America was on at 5pm on NBCSN.

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