ESPY Ratings Plummet

Videos by OutKick

The 2020 ESPY Awards aired Sunday. But few will be able to recap it.

Only 482,000 viewers tuned in on ESPN and ESPN2. This is the smallest ever and down substantially from the previous low of 1.98 million in 2011.

That’s down 81% from 2014, which was the last time it aired on ESPN, not ABC. Last year’s event averaged 3.9 million.

Everyone expected the ratings to drop this year. It was pre-recorded, lacked a live audience, and we haven’t had sports in months. But that doesn’t explain a drop of this magnitude. This type of epic decline follows a long pattern in ESPN’s attempt to be woker than the Twitter mentions of one of its TV personalities.

Instead of using the night to distract the country from all of the problems, the award show was all about social issues. And this time, fans didn’t even tune in to give it a chance; they knew it was coming. If you turn on any ESPN show right now you have to blink a few times to make sure you didn’t accidentally click on MSNBC. It’s that close. Fans have responded by turning the channel giving ESPN all-time lows.

ESPN made this same mistake in 2016. Instead of providing sports fans with a distraction, it made the strategic decision to ignore the audience and give political and social advice.

Every single woke sports show ever created has failed. Yet, it hasn’t changed decision making.

This year’s ESPYs could have reminded millions of fans of the epic NFL and college football seasons we had. It sure would have been a refreshing escape.

If the ESPYs are back in front of an audience next year, the viewership will go up. But it’s going to need much more than attendance to fix the current direction, which is epically failing.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


Leave a Reply
  1. I am pretty much done with ESPN and I am eagerly awaiting Outkick to provide live scores and highlights in the future ;). This is the only reason I still go to ESPN. The journalism is atrocious.

  2. Even Big Mike on Golic and Wingo has begun to blabber about social issues! Sports is my escape from the real world! It wan’t that long ago I started wearing glasses because i couldn’t see the scroll from across the room. Now it just doesn’t matter!

Leave a Reply