Pardon the Interruption, but @PTI’s December ratings are down ~9% year over year


Thirteen plus years of 200+ episodes a year and still going strong! If you watch the cable sports networks ratings on a regular basis it’s not lost on you that Pardon the Interruption is one of ESPN’s best performers. Mondays through Fridays where no live sporting event was telecast, and even on some days when there are, PTI usually leads viewership for ESPN.

But on a quick look through 10 December episodes, PTI’s viewership is down nearly 9% year over year:

December 2013 2014 Diff
Mon 1.478 1.105 -25.24%
Tue 1.220 1.302 6.72%
Wed 1.095 1.060 -3.20%
Fri 1.061 0.967 -8.86%
Mon 1.459 1.209 -17.14%
Tue 1.180 1.171 -0.76%
Wed 1.050 1.150 9.52%
Thur 1.123 0.925 -17.63%
Fri 0.995 0.838 -15.78%
10.661 9.727 -8.76%

The above table lists live+same day viewership in millions, with several caveats:

  • The first Thursday show in December was omitted because in 2013 it aired on ESPN2. Better remove it altogether than make that kind of lopsided comparison (though if I had, the year/year decline would’ve looked much more favorable).
  • These shows are definitely news driven and I’ve already forgotten last week’s news cycle, let alone last year’s.
  • While the importance of fill-in guest hosts to ratings is greatly overstated by the hosts (most of you don’t actually turn away when Le Batard is on!) it does matter.  I can’t remember if there were any substitutions this December, let alone last.
  • This only includes the 5:30p ET telecast on ESPN, and not any of the various encores on ESPN2, ESPN News, etc.
  • This is only for the TV telecasts and does not include live streams via Watch ESPN and other apps.

All numbers above are live+same day DVR viewership.  Same day DVR viewership includes any viewing up to 3AM the day after the telecast. While DVR viewing almost certainly is a healthy chunk of the show’s viewership, almost all DVR viewership would get captured in the same day ratings.

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