Ratings for ESPN’s New Lineup: Revamped NFL Live Debuts Low

Videos by OutKick

Monday, ESPN debuted its new daytime lineup highlighted by a revamped NFL Live that now airs 4-5 pm ET. 

The new cast, Marcus Spears, Dan Orlovsky, Laura Rutledge, Mina Kimes, and Keyshawn Johnson (who was not on yesterday), debuted to 158,000 viewers. On August 10, the most recent Monday airing on ESPN, NFL Live drew 206,000, per ShowBuzzDaily.

It did air directly up against TNT’s Thunder-Rockets playoff game, which averaged 1.2 million viewers. That said, the number is low. 

During the football season, NFL Live needs to draw drastically higher to prove worth the change. A change I found unnecessary as the previous iteration, while not newsworthy, had an audience. Social media buzz does not equal ratings. ESPN, again, foolishly chose the former. 

In the change, Jalen & Jacoby and Highly Questionable were demoted to the 2:00 and 2:30. Yesterday, the 30-minute programs drew 217,000 and 205,000, respectively. 

The NBA’s return has not helped the ratings for the daily sports shows that continue to pull in cringeworthy viewership. Monday, PTI led with just 358,000 viewers. First Take followed at 353,000. PTI aired during NBA games; First Take did not.

Football season will bolster the numbers, but it may not be as high as executives are hoping for. Remember: shows like First Take, HQ, and Jalen & Jacoby spend more segments on the NBA than NFL. Right now, during the playoffs, these programs should be drawing significantly higher viewership. Thus, my concern that viewers left during the pandemic, due to months of slanted social coverage, and aren’t coming back.  

To interview Bobby Burack, contact him on Twitter @burackbobby_.

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’ll have to watch it before making an opinion of the show. One thing that may hurt NFL ratings is that many fantasy leagues are taking the year off. The one I’ve been in for 12 years decided to shut it down for 2020.

    One thing about the ESPN shakeup does put a smile on my face….Dan LeBatard being demoted. The only thing I like about that show is his old man.

  2. So far I have been successful at dumping ESPN. I’m getting closer to cutting the cord all the way.

    I’m case study in what’s wrong with ESmsNBC. I used to watch a lot of sports and gradually found myself on ESPN to catch up, see highlights and catch mike and mike.

    MNF was almost a religion. Must watch. All this changed about 3 years ago. In Calendar year 2020, i never turn on that channel except for the Dance docudrama and golf.

    Every version of that channel is unwatchable. They hire untalented ‘identity’ merchants to peddle SJW Blah.

  3. I have been trying to watch nba games but it has become increasingly more difficult to watch. I like gambling but it’s not same as it used to be. I tried watching the nba games last night without sound and it just didn’t really work out to well and just feel asleep. The nba now feels so very niche. I really don’t have friends or family to discuss the games since nobody is watching nowadays. It is really upsetting because I just love sports and live competition but they do not want me to watch. I am tired of being called a racist.

Leave a Reply