First Take vs Undisputed/First Take move to ESPN Ratings Update

 

I wrote about First Take’s move to ESPN earlier this month after a few days of data were in and gave the move a C- grade.

10+ days of additional data haven’t change the landscape.  Through Friday January 20:

  • First Take on ESPN is up 18% versus the same period last year when it was on ESPN2
  • First Take has improved its margin of victory relative to ESPN
  • The 10-Noon SportsCenters are down 60% on ESPN2 versus the same period last year when it was on ESPN
  • The combined average of the First Take & SportsCenter from 10-noon ET is down 19% vs last year
  • Immediately prior to moving First Take to ESPN, the combined average of the two shows was down around 25% versus last year so there’s an argument to be made that the move helped. Down 19% is better than down 25%

Prior to moving First Take to ESPN both First Take and the 10-noon SportsCenter dominated whatever was airing on FS1. But since the move Undisputed has beaten ESPN2’s SportsCenter a few times.

Overall ESPN is about in the same boat as it was before except:

  • the people at First Take are surely happier
  • the people doing AM SportsCenter are surely unhappier
  • FS1’s Jamie Horowitz is smiling more

ESPN might have a reasonable case to make that First Take was a higher priority for it than AM SportsCenter. And ESPN certainly has a case to make that First Take was a higher priority than making Jamie Horowitz miserable. But after a couple of years of Horowitz somewhat ridiculously pronouncing SportsCenter vulnerable, ESPN gave Horowitz an in to say, “See? I believe I had that!”

That rankles.

Here are the numbers since First Take’s move to ESPN on Tuesday, January 3 through Friday, January 20:

Day First Take 2017 ESPN First Take 2016 (ESPN2) % Change 10-Noon ESPN2 2017 10-Noon ESPN 2016 % Chg Undisputed FS1 2017
Tuesday 647 438 48% 133 480 -72% 103
Wednesday 478 423 13% 130 332 -61% 129
Thursday 530 473 12% 121 359 -66% 116
Friday 437 415 5% 162 340 -52% 125
Monday 530 584 -9% 191 351 -46% 155
Tuesday 779 359 117% 254 516 -51% 174
Wednesday 426 453 -6% 160 421 -62% 116
Thursday 456 450 1% 186 422 -56% 105
Friday 482 463 4% 180 421 -65% 133
Monday 851 604 41% 257 520 -36% 283
Tuesday 438 389 13% 144 400 -64% 102
Wednesday 423 367 15% 90 336 -73% 92
Thursday 536 436 23% 110 324 -66% 100
Friday 384 440 -13% 99 346 -71% 121
Average 528 450 18% 158 398 -60% 132
2016 combined avg 847
2017 combined avg 687
Change -19%

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