Yesterday ESPN debuted a brand new insanely expensive new WokeCenter AM show starring Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose. That trio of talent will be making just shy of $15 million a year and ESPN also poured tens of millions of dollars into their brand new studio as well.
As if that weren’t enough ESPN also spent millions and millions of dollars promoting the new show and rolled out their entire marketing platform to ensure viewers were aware the show was launching.
And, well, the show’s officially already ratings disaster.
The show received tens of thousands fewer viewers than SportsCenter did last year on both ESPN and ESPN2. This means ESPN spent tens of millions of dollars to have less viewers than it did before this show even existed. Ratings were down double digits over the same time last year.
How many viewers did WokeCenter AM have?
Just out here killing it.
Nickelodeon happened to be airing Peppa the Pig head to head for a bit on cable in the nine AM hour. And Peppa the Pig just dunked on ESPN all balls to the face style, posting 753k total viewers. That’s triple what ESPN did in the same hour. (Peppa, get your agent on the phone, stat, you should be making $45 million a year!)
Again, this is the debut of the show on a Monday after Final Four weekend and after ESPN had spent millions and millions of dollars promoting.
It’s hard to understate how much of a disaster this number is.
But at least ESPN didn’t elect to spend a hundred million dollars on this show and fire hundreds of employees to ensure they could afford the show.