With three weeks of shows now in the books, the ESPN morning show Get Up is still not evincing much in the way of signs of life, despite an extensive publicity campaign and months in development prior to its April 2 debut. Airing from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday, the chat show which some touted as a cross between SportsCenter and Good Morning America/Today, features principal host Mike Greenberg along with co-hosts Michelle Beadle and ex-NBA player Jalen Rose, who broadcast from an expensive new studio in lower Manhattan.
According to Sports Illustrated, the trio has yet to gain any traction with sports fans.
“The debut episode drew 283,000 viewers. This Tuesday’s episode drew 233,000 viewers while Wednesday’s show pulled in 243,000 viewers. The show is not picking up viewers, which would’ve been expected with the NBA playoffs going on. The other problem for the World Wide Leader is that the show has no momentum, no buzz…Is Get Up’s problem that people don’t like the format or that they don’t like the hosts? That’s a question ESPN better find out the answer to sooner rather than later because those hosts are making $14.5 million dollars combined to bring in a number that a much cheaper show could bring in.”
The Hollywood Reporter previously detailed that ESPN is paying “Greeny” $6.5 million and Beadle and Rose $5 million and $3 million, respectively, for their services, despite having laid off hundreds of staffers at its Bristol, Connecticut, headquarters and elsewhere as recently as November 2017. ESPN is obviously also on the hook for the salaries of the newly built New York City facility’s production and support staff.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 20, 2018
To make matters worse perhaps, Get Up is apparently taking down the ratings of the show which follows, the high-volume First Take with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Molly Qerim. First Take has reportedly suffered a 5 percent year-over-year loss in its audience so far this month, and its lead-in Get Up is apparently down roughly 15 percent year over year as compared with a traditional SportsCenter “nuts-and-bolts” presentation, The Big Lead noted.
To what should further concern the Disney-owned sports channel’s executives, the NBA playoffs on ESPN don’t seem to be helping, WEEI claimed.
“That means, lots of folks are watching the network before they go to bed at night — and apparently turning to another channel first thing in the morning. It is mind-blowing that Get Up hasn’t seen any ratings increases during the NBA playoffs so far.
Longtime ESPN critic Clay Travis, the Fox Sports Radio host and blogger, who has taken to calling ESPN “MSESPN” for, in his view, pushing a liberal, social justice agenda on sports fans who primarily just want to watch games and game highlights, has derisively nicknamed Get Up as “WokeCenter AM.” To date, Get Up, however, apparently has been free of any political content.
“At this point, it isn’t even about bringing in viewers. It’s about retaining the people who watched the weekday morning SportsCenter up until last month,” WEEI added about Get Up.
Ratings for the former powerhouse sports talk radio station WFAN in New York City are also lagging considerably in the all-important morning and afternoon drive itinerary.