Every week the folks over at Awful Announcing put out articles showing the ratings of ESPN, NBCSN and FS1 & FS2.
For whatever reason, I find the numbers fascinating. I think we all know (and expect) that ESPN has a huge lead over everyone else; but I continue to be surprised that Fox Sports Live, the show they pour tremendous resources into, hasn't seemed to be able to gain any traction at all. Allow me to share some of the numbers (as compiled and presented by the team at Awful Announcing).
I won't bore you with the massive lead that all of the ESPN properties (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, etc...) have over everyone else because the margin is ... well yeah, you get it.
Instead, let's look simply at SportsCenter vs. Fox Sports Live.
Last week, the most watched SportsCenter drew a 2.8 (HH) rating with over 4.6 million viewers.
On July 11th (the day the LeBron news broke), the 11am SC saw 512,000 viewers, noon SC 880,000 viewers, 1pm 1.3million viewers, 2pm 1.1million, 3pm 865,000, 4pm 732,000, 6pm 988,000, 7pm 756,000, 8pm 691,000, 9pm 497,000, 10pm 488,000, 11pm 646,000 and 12am 684,000. That looks like an average of nearly 1 million viewers for every single hour that day.
Now, let's take a look at Fox Sports Live... not one broadcast of the show cracked FS1's top ten list for the week...meaning that not a single broadcast recorded more than a 0.1 (HH) rating and not one had over 300,000 viewers. AA didn't list out each show so I really don't have any idea if any of the broadcasts even came close to those numbers.
AA did point out that Fox Sports Live averaged (for the week), 62,000 viewers for their "most-watched" telecast per night.
Most-watched of 62,000. That's a head scratcher.
To try to wrap my arms around that, I took a look at how many cities there are in the US. Good ole Google tells me that per the US Census bureau there are about 19,000 cities in America. 62,000 viewers in 19,000 cities, yeah, that's a little over 3 viewers per city. Well, perhaps that's not fair, so I asked Google how many cities there are with over 100,000 people...293. So, if we just look at cities with over 100,000 people in them, that means that on average, about 211 people in each of city is watched the "most-watched" Fox Sports Live each night.
I'm blown away by how small this number is.
I recognize they are building it for the future; but man I sure thought that the collective pull of all of the talent they have amassed and marketing spend they have invested would have paid off larger than this by now.