USA Today Sports

ESPN's new morning show ratings bomb in debut

Alex Reimer
April 04, 2018 - 8:47 am

There is no positive spin to the ratings for ESPN’s new highly priced morning show, “Get Up.” The program averaged 283,000 viewers for its debut Monday, down significantly from the standard version of “SportsCenter” that aired in its time slot one year ago. 

And the news gets worse once you dig deeper. 

Last year, “SportsCenter” averaged 327,000 viewers from 7:00 a.m. –– 10:00 a.m. ESPN is paying hosts Mike Greenberg, Jalen Rose and Michelle Beadle an estimated $14.5 million per year to seemingly chase viewers from their television sets. 

While “SC6” with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith was a ratings disaster, ESPN could at least frame some of its numbers in positive terms. The program, for example, attracted a younger and more diverse demographic than many of the WorldWide Leader’s other studio shows. That wasn’t the case with “Get Up’s” debut. The age of the show’s median viewer Monday was 44.9, per the Athletic’s Richard Deitsch. That number is higher compared to the typical version of “SportsCenter.” 

To be fair, “Get Up” can’t be judged on just one episode. The show will likely evolve over time. But so far, it just looks like a jazzed up version of other ESPN programs, relying heavily on interviews with the same personalities seen across ESPN’s platforms.  Its new initiatives, such as a segment that features executive producer Bill Wolff predicting the day’s hot takes, don’t inspire much excitement, either –– unless you’re a fan of forced laughter and fake fun.

“SC6” lasted for roughly one year. That seems to be an appropriate timeline for “Get Up,” given its debacle of a debut. 

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