Both in life and in sports, there are varying degrees of losing.
Take, for instance, the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors. Both teams lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But the Pacers forced a critical Game 7, while the Raptors were swept as the No. 1 seed. Indiana can walk away from its loss feeling inspired and hopeful for the future, while Toronto is probably looking at the possibility of blowing up the whole team.
Both of those teams lost, but those losses aren’t equal.
By any metric, ESPN’s newest morning talk show “Get Up!” has been a big loss for the company.
Taking aim at a younger demographic, which seems misguided considering much of the younger demographic needs to get ready for school early in the morning, “Get Up!” has been an unmitigated disaster ratings-wise.
Ratings for the show have consistently dropped after netting an unimpressive 283,000 viewers for the inaugural episode May 2.
“Get Up!” is also dealing with something worse than horrendous ratings — indifference.
Whereas trashier sports debate shows like “Undisputed” and “First Take” might not offer much in improved ratings or critical reception, at least people are talking about how bad Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith’s latest nonsensical hot take is. “Get Up!” doesn’t even have the benefit of being so bad that it’s worthy of discussion.
Compounding those issues is the fact that the three big stars ESPN tabbed to co-host “Get Up!” are raking in an unfathomable $15 million combined — and that figure accounts just for Michelle Beadle, Jalen Rose and Mike Greenberg, not the crew or any of the other ancillary costs involved with running a nationally televised show.
Very clearly, “Get Up!” has been a loss for “The Worldwide Leader.” But with resources as vast as ESPN’s, “Get Up!” could’ve just been a Pacers-sized loss.
Instead, it’s officially becoming a Raptors-sized loss, and perhaps even more of a gut punch than Toronto’s embarrassing defeat.
The NFL Network shared some ratings numbers for its “Good Morning Football” show with Sports Illustrated, and the numbers show just how bad “Get Up!” has been for ESPN.
Since the debut of “Get Up!” ratings numbers in key demographics have all surged for “Good Morning Football.”
Remember, and this can’t be stressed enough, it’s not even football season.
In the ever-critical 18-49 demographic, “Good Morning Football” has seen a 20 percent uptick since “Get Up!” began.
In terms of total viewers, “Good Morning Football” saw a 23 percent increase since the advent of the ESPN show. And compared with the same time last year, “Good Morning Football” is enjoying a whopping 40 percent bump in the 18-49 demographic.
Those aren’t small jumps. Those are swathes of football fans whom ESPN is picking up in a limo and dropping off in the parking lot of a competitor.
New ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro is going to have quite a decision on his hands regarding “Get Up!” and its struggles. You never want to pull the plug too early or too late. But by the same token, even the worst shows rarely push viewers to their competition.
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