It was no secret that ESPN’s ratings were going to take a big-time hit when the sports world hit pause, but it’s surprising to see just how bad things have gotten for the network recently.
ESPN was founded in 1979 and on Wednesday its programming numbers hit an all-time low. Again, we can all agree that we’re in unprecedented times at the moment, but an all-time low is an all-time low, regardless of the situation. People simply aren’t watching the network, like, at all.
You could also make the argument that ESPN isn’t ‘sticking to sports’ at the moment, but it’s tough to really stick to sports with most major leagues still on pause.
According to Showbuzz Daily’s ratings for Wednesday, June 10, ‘First Take’ was the highest-rated ESPN studio show of the day coming in at No. 93 on the Top Original Cable Telecasts rankings with 211,000 viewers. The highest-rated SportsCenter of the day came in at No. 70 on the list with 233,000 viewers.
Now, 211,000 viewers may seem like a solid number, but when you take a look at other shows it’s easy to see that it’s actually an abysmal number showing that, for the most part, people are done with ESPN. ‘Miraculous: Tales of Lady’ on Disney Channel brought in 319,000 viewers, ‘Smuggler: Secret Stash’ on Nat Geo had 418,000 viewers, and ‘Craig Of The Creek’ on Cartoon Network even hauled in 200,00 more viewers.
When it comes to other sports-related shows, ‘Undisputed’ on FS1 had an even tougher go of things with only 131,000 viewers, yet another sign that people just aren’t tuning into their regular sports programs at the moment. People can only talk hypotheticals, ‘The Last Dance’, and LeBron vs. Jordan debates for so long.
It’s a unique situation that ESPN and other sports networks find themselves in at the moment and with the ratings dropping this much it will be very interesting to see how many people flip back to ESPN when the sports world ramps back up over the coming weeks.