Thursday, April 27, 2017

I analyzed the recent ratings for ESPN's The 6. Surprise surprise, they are plummeting



Yesterday ESPN laid off 100 of their employees, many of whom were on-air personalities. I figured today is a good day to look at the recent ratings for The 6, one of the worst shows that I have ever watched on television, especially considering neither of the two hosts were laid off.

I cannot be objective when stating my opinion of the show. I think the show featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill is the television equivalent of a roaring dumpster fire filled with dogshit.

Last week Jemele Hill tried to educate me on the word nuance:



This middle aged woman who commonly uses words and phrases such as "Knuck if you buck, Trap Jesus, homie, thats a real G, I cannot wait to HOLLA at him" just to name a few, is trying to educate me. I don't have a vocabulary as diverse as Shakespeare's and I write because I enjoy expressing my opinion and generating reaction. That being said, I think I have a stronger vocabulary than that of an average 15 year old, which is apparently about where Jemele is at:



Instead of just ranting about how I think the show sucks I decided to take a look at an objective metric: ratings. Using sportstvratings.com I analyzed the daily viewership of The 6 (the head of sportstvratings.com did not respond when I asked for the source of the viewership totals). I compared the daily ratings from March 14th, 2017 through April 14th, 2017 versus the prior year (this was adjusted to compare similar days of the week i.e. the first Monday of April 2017 was compared with the first Monday of April 2016.) I compared The 6 with PTI, which leads into the show, as well as the 7 AM SportsCenter as an additional metric. I omitted days where there was not a like-comparison (i.e. if NFL Live was on instead of PTI, however there were few of these). Looking at one month should, for the most part, eliminate large variances in viewership caused by major sporting events in either year.

The rating declines are as follows:


Show  Average Daily Viewer Loss
The 6 -11.1%
PTI -15.3%
7 AM SportsCenter -13.8%

Not bad right? The 6 lost 2% fewer viewers than the 7 AM SportsCenter and 4% fewer than PTI. "Not bad" is exactly what the Richard Deitschs and other PC media critics will tell you.

This show has had more promotion than any show I have ever seen. I analyzed the most recent five weeks hoping to eliminate the affect that the advertising has had on the ratings. However, even as recently as the past two weeks I recall seeing the embarrassing commercial with Smith and Hill dressed up as various characters discussing the new show. If I worked in marketing or programming for ESPN and gave up thousands of dollars worth of advertisements to instead show commercials for The 6, I would want to see oh I don't know, an increase in my viewership!

The entire reason that today's layoffs are occurring is because ESPN is hurting their parent company Disney's earnings. A large part of this is due to giving their "personalities" large contracts (Jemele Hill drives a Maserati, so I assume she is taking home a large paycheck), when in turn they deliver a decrease in ratings. Of course, part of the decrease is due to cord cutting and people moving to web-based content instead of television. However, since ESPN gave Hill and Smith huge contracts (I assume) and a ton of advertising support, you would think that ESPN would want to see less than an 11% decrease in viewership.

Surely some other talking head who makes a quarter of what Hill or Smith make could deliver similar ratings. Considering the show has been an absolute train-wreck in its first two months on air, I'm guessing that ESPN could have found a pair that was much cheaper who could produce better content.

I plan to revisit these ratings to see if the sharp decline in viewership continues after the affect of the massive advertising campaign has worn off. Considering things aren't looking great for ESPN maybe I will do it after the next round of layoffs.

1 comment:

  1. Terrible article.
    First of all, you don't know the definition of "PC," that's just a nonce word.
    Secondly, the hyperbolic "This show has had more promotion than any show I have ever seen." is a hilarious exaggeration.
    Keep up the good work, sleazeball!
    I don't like their show either, but at least I know how to write an article.

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