ESPN Is Pathetic

ManicCompression

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This bit may belong in the “ESPN has wised up“ thread.
They spent $85 million to get McAfee, who's only getting them 300K viewers despite a lead in from First Take (600K viewers). I wouldn't say anything about their decision making here is wise. Particularly because they laid off a bunch of people to pay this buffoon a ton of $.

The network is a total clown show at this point.
 

The Social Chair

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I've always been interested in Norby. He seems to fight with almost all big name ESPN personalities but has never been fired. A real Game of Thrones character.
 

smokin joe wood

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They spent $85 million to get McAfee, who's only getting them 300K viewers despite a lead in from First Take (600K viewers). I wouldn't say anything about their decision making here is wise. Particularly because they laid off a bunch of people to pay this buffoon a ton of $.

The network is a total clown show at this point.
You are quoting the numbers that McAfee is saying were leaked to make his show look bad. ESPN has since put out a release with more comprehensive numbers.

https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2024/01/the-pat-mcafee-show-sees-steady-growth-in-december-garnering-886000-average-viewers-per-episode-across-live-channels/

"In December, the show garnered 886,000 average viewers per episode during the live airings across all platforms (ESPN, YouTube, TikTok) through the show’s innovative live simulcast options."

College GameDay has had two of its best seasons ever (ratings wise) in 2021 and 2022 in part because McAfee has energized that show. Approx. 2 million per show.

McaAfee isn't everyone's cup of tea but he does well with the younger demo, and because of that, you can't use live linear ratings to judge his show's success.
 

ManicCompression

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You are quoting the numbers that McAfee is saying were leaked to make his show look bad. ESPN has since put out a release with more comprehensive numbers.

https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2024/01/the-pat-mcafee-show-sees-steady-growth-in-december-garnering-886000-average-viewers-per-episode-across-live-channels/

"In December, the show garnered 886,000 average viewers per episode during the live airings across all platforms (ESPN, YouTube, TikTok) through the show’s innovative live simulcast options."

College GameDay has had two of its best seasons ever (ratings wise) in 2021 and 2022 in part because McAfee has energized that show. Approx. 2 million per show.

McaAfee isn't everyone's cup of tea but he does well with the younger demo, and because of that, you can't use live linear ratings to judge his show's success.
First off, no one leaked ratings. These are publicly available, third party numbers that any journalist can access.

ESPN is combining television ratings and YouTube ratings. TV ratings are, AFAIK, averaging out the number of viewers across the two hours he’s on. YouTube numbers include people who only watch for a minute - they’re totally different and it’s misleading to pretend like they’re the same.

And in terms of ESPN’s business, the TV viewers are much much much more profitable than whatever they get from YouTube. So you can and should absolutely use the linear numbers to judge his success. His ratings are worse than sportscenter was at the same time slot. That’s not slanted journalism to make him look bad - he looks bad because those ratings are bad. You can tell because ESPN put out this press release in a Friday news dump - even they know they’re bullshit.
 

smokin joe wood

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First off, no one leaked ratings. These are publicly available, third party numbers that any journalist can access.

ESPN is combining television ratings and YouTube ratings. TV ratings are, AFAIK, averaging out the number of viewers across the two hours he’s on. YouTube numbers include people who only watch for a minute - they’re totally different and it’s misleading to pretend like they’re the same.

And in terms of ESPN’s business, the TV viewers are much much much more profitable than whatever they get from YouTube. So you can and should absolutely use the linear numbers to judge his success. His ratings are worse than sportscenter was at the same time slot. That’s not slanted journalism to make him look bad - he looks bad because those ratings are bad. You can tell because ESPN put out this press release in a Friday news dump - even they know they’re bullshit.
You can absolutely leak information in advance of a press release. I believe that is McAfee's assertion.

There is also a ton of information that third parties/journalists do not have access to wrt viewership on ESPN's owned and operated platforms. The same is true of other network's streaming services. They only promote certain data. The SEC Network and ACC Network don't publish their ratings. They will cherrypick good numbers to promote their business on those channels. SOP nowadays.

We do not know the average length of the YT viewership but it's likely much higher than the average linear viewership considering it's a destination.

I think it's fair to ask if ESPN is getting its money worth with McAfee. Using the linear ratings to judge his success at this point seems misguided IMO.
 

ManicCompression

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You can absolutely leak information in advance of a press release. I believe that is McAfee's assertion.

There is also a ton of information that third parties/journalists do not have access to wrt viewership on ESPN's owned and operated platforms. The same is true of other network's streaming services. They only promote certain data. The SEC Network and ACC Network don't publish their ratings. They will cherrypick good numbers to promote their business on those channels. SOP nowadays.

We do not know the average length of the YT viewership but it's likely much higher than the average linear viewership considering it's a destination.

I think it's fair to ask if ESPN is getting its money worth with McAfee. Using the linear ratings to judge his success at this point seems misguided IMO.
Nielsen tracks ratings - they’re not like a proprietary bit of information that only ESPN knows. Any sports media journalist can get that information.

RE: linear vs YouTube/tiktok - ESPN keeps all its ad revenue on linear. They get a small fraction of the pie when it’s on YouTube. To treat these things as one and the same doesn’t make sense. To act like the YouTube/tiktok views are higher quality makes even less sense. If you told ESPN at the beginning, “You’re going to get less viewership than your cheap sportscenter reruns, but you’ll get hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok”, I don’t think they’d pay mcafee $17 million a year for that.
 

smokin joe wood

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Nielsen tracks ratings - they’re not like a proprietary bit of information that only ESPN knows. Any sports media journalist can get that information.
I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. ESPN controls all of the data such as streaming and social media. That is not publicly available. That information is certainly a part of McAfee's value.

Peacock, SEC Network, ACC Network, etc... are not tracked by Nielsen. The viewership numbers on those platforms is not available to any journalist.

Using Nielsen ratings or any other linear-only metric to judge a media personality's influence and worth is a bit antiquated in my viewpoint.
 

ManicCompression

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I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. ESPN controls all of the data such as streaming and social media. That is not publicly available. That information is certainly a part of McAfee's value.

Peacock, SEC Network, ACC Network, etc... are not tracked by Nielsen. The viewership numbers on those platforms is not available to any journalist.

Using Nielsen ratings or any other linear-only metric to judge a media personality's influence and worth is a bit antiquated in my viewpoint.
I’m not misunderstanding your point. You said ratings were leaked. You can’t leak Nielsen data - I don’t think Marchand said anything about non-linear ratings. It’s notable that his linear ratings are less than sportscenter, no?

Basically, I disagree that social numbers are at all instructive. ESPN doesn’t get much revenue out of them in comparison to linear advertising, so what good is it for them to get a bunch of YouTube views? That’s the failure here - they didn’t spend $85 million for all of these viewers to stay on YT (and if they did, that’s really stupid).
 

smokin joe wood

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I’m not misunderstanding your point. You said ratings were leaked. You can’t leak Nielsen data - I don’t think Marchand said anything about non-linear ratings. It’s notable that his linear ratings are less than sportscenter, no?

Basically, I disagree that social numbers are at all instructive. ESPN doesn’t get much revenue out of them in comparison to linear advertising, so what good is it for them to get a bunch of YouTube views? That’s the failure here - they didn’t spend $85 million for all of these viewers to stay on YT (and if they did, that’s really stupid).
ESPN execs will get overnights before a sports journalist. That point is semantics.

Marchand's piece quotes McAfee's YouTube show as averaging 400,000 viewers. I'm struggling to understand why you're being so dismissive of that number and in the same breath quoting the -12% number. ESPN's household penetration is down 7 figures since the same time last year. That cannot be ignored in the comparison. It's not quite apples to apples.

To be clear - I'm not saying McAfee's show has been a smashing success or claiming to know what he's worth. I'm simply saying you can't take his show's linear ratings and call him a failure. The picture is incomplete. He may very well fail. Most sports TV personalities do. I'm simply willing to wait longer than 4 months before coming to a conclusion.
 

ManicCompression

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ESPN execs will get overnights before a sports journalist. That point is semantics.

Marchand's piece quotes McAfee's YouTube show as averaging 400,000 viewers. I'm struggling to understand why you're being so dismissive of that number and in the same breath quoting the -12% number. ESPN's household penetration is down 7 figures since the same time last year. That cannot be ignored in the comparison. It's not quite apples to apples.

To be clear - I'm not saying McAfee's show has been a smashing success or claiming to know what he's worth. I'm simply saying you can't take his show's linear ratings and call him a failure. The picture is incomplete. He may very well fail. Most sports TV personalities do. I'm simply willing to wait longer than 4 months before coming to a conclusion.
It's not semantics. Calling it a leak just continues to distribute the paranoid McAfee spin that someone is out to get him. Media journalists report ratings. It's their job - they do it all the time, so how is it some uncouth thing to do here.

I'm dismissive of the 400,000 viewers on Youtube number because of economics. This is a rough estimation because we don't know the real numbers.

Creators typically get $3500 from YouTube for 500,000 views. Let's say that ESPN has a bespoke deal with Google that gets them 10X that - so they earn $35,000 for all of those McAfee YouTube viewers during a show.

I'll use a low CPM of $9 for 300,000 McAfee viewers on ESPN. 28 minutes of commercial time across two hours, so 56 half a minute commercials. $2700 (ad cost) times 56 is $151,200 per linear show.

Again, rough math that I'm trying to piece together, but the general point stands. They make a lot more money from linear viewership than they do YouTube, and that's particularly stark when you see that First Take doubles all of the McAfee linear numbers as a lead in, and that the Sportscenter numbers were better in the same slot. All for $17 million a year.

If your point is that Pat McAfee is popular and lots of people watch his show, I don't deny that. What I disagree with is whether that popularity is beneficial for ESPN, because it's clearly not - the bulk of the viewership is coming through platforms that eat into their revenue significantly more than linear.

Why wer'e supposed to beleive the ESPN PR spin, I don't know, but it's hard to buy that ESPN is happy with their investment.
 

Kliq

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Yeah that's been all over social media for the past 24 hours. It's funny, but you can't really shame Whitlock at this point, he is a grifter that knows his audience.
 

E5 Yaz

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Well, this is embarrassing
That request was one of many ESPN made of some of its biggest stars last year after the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the organization that administers the Emmys, uncovered a scheme that the network used to acquire more than 30 of the coveted statuettes for on-air talent ineligible to receive them. Since at least 2010, ESPN inserted fake names in Emmy entries, then took the awards won by some of those imaginary individuals, had them re-engraved and gave them to on-air personalities.
The fraud was discovered by NATAS, which prompted an investigation by that organization and later by ESPN. Those probes resulted in sanctions beyond the return of the trophies. While it is not known who orchestrated the scheme, Craig Lazarus, vice president and executive producer of original content and features, and Lee Fitting, a senior vice president of production who oversaw “College GameDay” and other properties, were among the ESPN employees NATAS ruled ineligible from future participation in the Emmys.
https://theathletic.com/5193316/2024/01/11/espn-emmys-fake-names-college-gameday/
 

ifmanis5

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Rigged elections and fake news all in one. This one is not paywalled. Worked with both Laz and Fitting and none of this surprises me.
View: https://twitter.com/Variety/status/1745496666365448544

ESPN has disciplined members of its staff who worked for years to secure Emmys for on-air personnel who were not normally eligible for the awards by using fake names and entering them in various categories.

Simpsons level names here.
Among the names found were “Kirk Henry” for Kirk Herbstreit; “Lee Clark” for Lee Corso; “Dirk Howard” for Desmond Howard; “Tim Richard” for Tom Rinaldi; and “Steve Ponder” for Sam Ponder.
 

Kliq

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Rigged elections and fake news all in one. This one is not paywalled. Worked with both Laz and Fitting and none of this surprises me.
View: https://twitter.com/Variety/status/1745496666365448544

ESPN has disciplined members of its staff who worked for years to secure Emmys for on-air personnel who were not normally eligible for the awards by using fake names and entering them in various categories.

Simpsons level names here.
The names sound like old Hollywood names, when stars couldn't have any ethnic sound names so they all got Anglo-Saxon names instead.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Am I reading this correctly? They submitted fake names on their list of show staff in order to get extra statues when the show legitimately won an award? Just so Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso could have something to put on their mantle?

They might as well have just bought statuettes at a trophy shop.
 

MDJ

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Am I reading this correctly? They submitted fake names on their list of show staff in order to get extra statues when the show legitimately won an award? Just so Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso could have something to put on their mantle?

They might as well have just bought statuettes at a trophy shop.
Yes. On-air talent are ineligible for Emmys won by the show, which is why they needed the fake names.
 

JOBU

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Those Emmys go to a giant list of people for a single award, no reason (before this) to check the legitimacy of the names.
So there’s no one on the Emmy side of the equation that actually evaluates the Emmys? They are just handing them out blindly? I always figured there was some kind of panel that reviews and then votes on it, but I guess not.
 

jon abbey

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So there’s no one on the Emmy side of the equation that actually evaluates the Emmys? They are just handing them out blindly? I always figured there was some kind of panel that reviews and then votes on it, but I guess not.
There are different Emmys, but when they award for a general presentation of an event, dozens of names are involved. Presumably they analyze the quality of the overall presentation, but really like most awards, it’s mostly bullshit.

(I worked in TV for two weeks in my life and won an Emmy as part of the 2008 NBC Olympic coverage.)
 

jon abbey

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They charge you a few hundred dollars for it (I think fulltime NBC employees didn’t have to pay?), I didn’t bother buying one. My brother works at NBC fulltime and he and his wife have a bunch.

"Congratulations on your Emmy win in the category of Outstanding Live Event Turnaround for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Attached is an order form if you would like to purchase a statue. If you have any questions please contact the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at 212-484-9421."
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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So there’s no one on the Emmy side of the equation that actually evaluates the Emmys? They are just handing them out blindly? I always figured there was some kind of panel that reviews and then votes on it, but I guess not.
You're not understanding.

If a TV show wins an Emmy, dozens of people that work on that show get an Emmy.

When the Emmys reached out to get the list of names for people to receive the trophy, ESPN would add made up names, then remove the name and re-engrave the award to someone else.
 

JOBU

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You're not understanding.

If a TV show wins an Emmy, dozens of people that work on that show get an Emmy.

When the Emmys reached out to get the list of names for people to receive the trophy, ESPN would add made up names, then remove the name and re-engrave the award to someone else.
Understood. This makes more sense
 

Ale Xander

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There are different Emmys, but when they award for a general presentation of an event, dozens of names are involved. Presumably they analyze the quality of the overall presentation, but really like most awards, it’s mostly bullshit.

(I worked in TV for two weeks in my life and won an Emmy as part of the 2008 NBC Olympic coverage.)
Did you tutor Catalon?
 

jon abbey

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Did you tutor Catalon?
I don’t know what that means.

NBC had a writer and a researcher assigned to each show, but one pair of them was not getting along well in the days leading up. They needed someone to bridge the gap there on very short notice, and not only had I worked on the Olympics previously when I was at Time, but due to being self-employed and being a night person, I was able to work 8 PM-8 AM shifts 17 nights in a row with almost no advance notice. It paid very well.
 

Ale Xander

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I don’t know what that means.

NBC had a writer and a researcher assigned to each show, but one pair of them was not getting along well in the days leading up. They needed someone to bridge the gap there on very short notice, and not only had I worked on the Olympics previously when I was at Time, but due to being self-employed and being a night person, I was able to work 8 PM-8 AM shifts 17 nights in a row with almost no advance notice. It paid very well.
Wow, cool.

(Andrew Catalon was the PBP for NBC Fencing in 2008)
 

nattysez

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They charge you a few hundred dollars for it (I think fulltime NBC employees didn’t have to pay?), I didn’t bother buying one. My brother works at NBC fulltime and he and his wife have a bunch.
A friend of my brother just won one. $615 including tax and shipping to order one for yourself.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Good thing they took back the phony statues. You wouldn’t want these 30 something statues diluting the 300 million legitimate statues out there in the world.
 

shaggydog2000

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Good thing they took back the phony statues. You wouldn’t want these 30 something statues diluting the 300 million legitimate statues out there in the world.
Hey, my friend Heywood Jablowmie worked his ass off to earn his statue, and I won't stand by and let that effort be denigrated in this manner.
 

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This should come as no surprise, but I turned on Get Up this morning for some empty sports calorie background noise, and Greenberg lists his top 5 NFL Superbowl era Dynasties. He has the Patriots 2nd run as #5 on the list, stating that it was more impressive than the 1st one, which was apparently #6, because that's the only time it was brought up. It was too painful for him to list 2001-2018 as easily the longest and most dynastic stretch, with 13 AFCCGs, 9 SBs and 6 SB victories.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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This should come as no surprise, but I turned on Get Up this morning for some empty sports calorie background noise, and Greenberg lists his top 5 NFL Superbowl era Dynasties. He has the Patriots 2nd run as #5 on the list, stating that it was more impressive than the 1st one, which was apparently #6, because that's the only time it was brought up. It was too painful for him to list 2001-2018 as easily the longest and most dynastic stretch, with 13 AFCCGs, 9 SBs and 6 SB victories.
Empty calorie is generous, Greenberg is just an empty suit. He's acting a fool like the NFL executives who just happen to be Jets fans, and were oh so willing to leak details about Spygate, Deflategate, etc. to make the Patriots organization look worse than a team who just got busted on technicalities.
 

Ale Xander

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Greenie on today's show didn't realize the Red Sox had won even "multiple" World Series this millenia. Didn't know SF won 3.

It's 4 RS titles, big guy.
 

tims4wins

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LOL

Celtics overcome Doncic's triple-double to beat Mavericks 138-110 for 10th straight win

Meanwhile

Giannis Antetokounmpo dominates with 46 points in Bucks' blowout win

Narrator: the Bucks won by 16, The Celtics won by 28
 
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Jace II

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This is not related to anything specific other than her being on ESPN's No 1 NBA broadcast team, but my issue with listening to Doris Burke is that in general she's so overly solemn. The manner in which she talks about basketball is like she's trying to keep an even keel while relating the plight of the Afghan people under the Taliban (if it's a negative comment) or a rich, husky breakdown of spoken-word poetry on NPR (when she's happy about something).

Yes, she knows a ton about basketball, the points she is making often i agree with or think are insightful, her delivery is just tough for me. I can go find 60 Minutes if i want.
 

Euclis20

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