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Clay Travis Wonders if ESPN Will Do Away with Radio After 53% Drop

OutKick reported Thursday that ESPN Radio fell a massive 53% year-over-year in the fall.

Clay Travis discussed the news on OutKick the Show, wondering if ESPN will soon give up on radio and simulcast its television shows across radio affiliates.

“I legit wonder if ESPN will just shut down ESPN Radio,” Clay says. “I wonder if, at some point, they will just put on ESPN television programming and do way completely with the ESPN Radio product.”

Clay goes on to say, “I knew that we were dominating ESPN Radio at Fox Sports Radio, but I didn’t know it had gotten this bad for ESPN.”

 

Thursday, I explained that there are several key points to take away from the fall book. Overall, sports-talk radio is down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which drastically cut the number of Americans commuting to work on a daily basis. In a normal year, the decline would not be nearly so high. However, I still believe the lineup would be down regardless, and likely by double digits.

“Industry experts initially called the new lineup weak, and they have not wavered from that initial assessment. OutKick then reported throughout the spring and summer that ESPN had ambitious plans to revamp ESPN Radio — but these efforts failed.”

I do expect the current ESPN Radio lineup to get another run next fall, when hopefully, COVID is far less of a factor. While Mike Greenberg will record stronger numbers from 10-noon ET than Dan Le Batard did, the rest of the lineup will likely draw alarmingly low numbers again. Thus, I agree with Clay that it wouldn’t be shocking to see ESPN eventually do away with its radio product and offer affiliates the option to air its TV shows — such as First Take, Get Up, and PTI — instead. Affiliates could decline and air more local programming, which could be more expensive but would be more popular in most markets.

Comment below with what ESPN should do with its radio lineup:

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers any news story that deserves attention but focuses on media. His interests include reading Stephen King novels, avoiding traffic on the road, and pretending to solve true-crime mysteries. He still believes Cersei should've won and encourages everyone to always question the news.

10 Comments

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  1. I don’t care what they do with it, there’s not a single thing on their lineup that interests me anymore.

    If it wasn’t for their deal with UFC there wouldn’t be anything across their platforms I want to consume outside of live games.

  2. Podcasts are a joke dude. Live Radio is still king, but PC culture has reached a sad point. when live hosts can no longer say anything except the 7 deadly words, its a tailspin.

    Fox Sports Radio is still good, but the radio brand has a lot of lefty – former espn’ers and they are just a few bad moves away from becoming EspnFox. Keep in mind Disney bought Fox Media Content except radio and cable news.

    i think a merger is coming, since the Fed Government no longer cares about monopolies or bias.

    • What are the “7 deadly words?” While podcasts are good, doing a radio format with tv like what Colin Cowherd does would be good. The main person is the star, so that person would have to be good.

      I agree that podcasts are the trendy thing now, and more famous/sports stars/media personalities people want to get into them because of Joe Rogan, and the money is slated to make. However, I think that most free platforms that make revenue through adverts will survive in some format.

  3. Why won’t anyone address the elephant in the room? Half of America (including myself) isn’t interested in any of their programming because we are scorned, laughed at and marginalized by many of their hosts. Fox is teetering on the edge but not as anti-American as ESPN. That’s why I enjoy Outkick, you call it like it is!

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