After a promising opening weekend, the ratings for Fox Sports 1 are crashing back to reality. The network that is only 11 days old is realizing building a 24/7 cable sports empire is much more difficult than it seems.
Viewership totals for the channel are making their way into the public eye and the clouds are being lifted in seeing just how high the mountain is that Fox Sports 1 is hoping to climb to compete with ESPN.
In fact, thus far Fox Sports 1 is behind Speed in total day average viewership. (Maybe all those angry Speed fans have a point after all.) According to Nielsen (via Variety), Fox Sports 1 is averaging 81,000 total day viewers. Speed averaged 100,000. In primetime, FS1 is ahead thanks mainly to their opening night UFC bump, but just barely - 161,000 to 158,000.
Last week Fox Sports 1 wasn't just behind ESPN in primetime viewership totals, they also lagged behind ESPN2, NFL Network, and MLB Network...
Top sports nets in prime last week: ESPN (2.246M viewers); ESPN2 487K viewers; NFL Net 384K viewers; MLB Net 196K viewers.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 27, 2013
Sports nets in prime last week: FS1 averaged 157K viewers; Golf had 134K viewers; NBCSN had 96K viewers; ESPNU had 63K; NBATV had 60K.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 27, 2013
The good news for Fox is that FS1 is already outpacing NBCSN from the outset, which was predictable given their superior rights portfolio. But what is discouraging for Fox Sports 1 are the viewership totals for their flagship program, Fox Sports Live. Fox Sports Live is crashing back to earth at warp speed. The debut episode on August 17th registered a 0.2 rating and 476,000 viewers. Monday's program registered a 0.0 overnight rating. That's... that's not good.
Overnights (rounded to single digit) from 11pm-midnight last night: SportsCenter (0.6), Olbermann (0.4) Fox Sports Live (0.0).— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 27, 2013
In viewing the ratings comparison between Fox Sports Live and SportsCenter, you can see just how large the gap between FS1 and ESPN truly is at the outset and the challenge FS1 faces. From the week of August 19th-26th at 11 PM ET, SportsCenter averaged 1,002,588 viewers. Fox Sports Live averaged 61,451 viewers. SportsCenter had 16 times the audience of Fox Sports Live.
These numbers shouldn't cause the folks at Fox to go into a panic, cracking each others' heads open and feasting on the goo inside. Building an all sports network from scratch takes time and Fox knows the most important factor for their short and long term success is live sports rights. So far in their first week, FS1 has only really had the UFC and the Craftsman Truck Series to drive viewership. No MLB. No college football. No college basketball. Fox's studio shows are dependent on live sports lead-ins. For instance, Regis Philbin's Crowd Goes Wild has ranged anywhere between 179,000 to just 29,000 in their young existence.
But anyone hoping for Fox Sports 1 to immediately challenge ESPN is in for a reality check. As I've maintained, it's going to take years and possibly even decades for any potential challenger to reach or surpass ESPN's hold on the sports world. The ratings throughout the first 11 days of Fox Sports 1 are proof of that reality. At this point they're much closer to NBC Sports Network than they are to ESPN.
And to tell the truth, that's what should be expected for a network that is barely more than a week old. It's going to take time for Fox to even surpass the old Speed viewership totals and build an audience that sees the network as a destination point and not just a place to watch a game or two. FS1 is going to be dependent on their live sports programming to draw in viewers for some time moving forward.
ESPN wasn't built in a day, and the same is going to be true for Fox Sports 1.
WE Want Speed Channel Back...Join us on Facebook... 23K strong we need more Speed fans to like us on Facebook...https://www.facebook.com/WeWantSPEED
the fact that speed only had 100,000 viewers after all those years and fs1 already has 80000 to me says fox made the right decision. Speed and FS1 reach different demographics. I wouldn't be caught dead watching speed, but i love other sports.
Who the hell put Nascar Race Day after the fricken race, That tell's us race fans everything before the fricken race...FIRE the dumb ass who did this.....this is a pre-race show dumb ass.....keep our Nascar stuff alone and keep all related Nascar practices, truck, and nationwide crap alone......You guys have screwed up a good racing channel.......should have used your soccer channel instead of speed channel.....get your shit together.....
What The F--K... Fs1 Said They Are Going To Show All Of Nascar Showes.... So Get That Football; Shit Off Of FS1 When Theres Nascar Stuff On And Put It On FS2 And Put Nascar Back On FS1 Im Not Going To Pay For Another Sports Chan. To See Nascar Put Nascar Back on Where It Was........................
You are right Websurfer. With shows like Chop Cut Rebuild, Gears, Pinks, and a crapload of other car shows to choose from, why would we want to see football, basketball, or boxing when we can see them on other channels. In my opinion, Speed was one of the best channels on TV.
I hope Fox Sports ratings go down the crapper. Nobody wants to see this channel compared to Speed. Somebodies bright idea wasn't so bright was it? Bring back Speed with it's original show lineup and do yourself a favor
11pm ET time slot is the last time I'd watch TV for sports news, except possibly on the weekend.
Either I just read stories online or I wait until the next day to find out about boring MLB or scrub NCAA FB scores.
The show is really bad...the only talent on the show is Charissa Thompson & Gabe Kapler. SportsCenter has nothing to worry about! ESPN misses Charissa her career was sky rocketing she's a real talent. I hope she didn't make a bad move for her career going to Fox. EA has been MIA since leaving the world wide leader and her career is sinking fast, she's not the talent Charissa is so hopefully the same fate won't be in store for Charissa.
@awfulannouncing What is the explanation? Sports fans can't complain about ESPN if they keep watching SC. FSL is better.
@AgentTDB going to be in trouble soon. Some of those numbers aren't as good as podcasts Ive been on. Brutal. Hope your having a good one T!
@AgentTDB next hr. to give that timeslot a boost, because our over run would be credited to their 1st 1/4 hr. Im rambling now, but Fox1 is
@AgentTDB In the late 90s we'd have overalls in the high 4s & some 1/4 hrs in the upper 5s. To where the network would let us run into the
@AgentTDB in the low 1s isn't anything to pop open the champagne over. If they don't get Monday N Football or something , they're screwed.
@AgentTDB which is about 1.8 million homes. They considered that a big success. WWE averages a 3. or higher I think. in comparison a rating
@AgentTDB Fox Sports 1 debuted in 90%of Television Universe. 78 million of about 115 million homes. The UFC drew something like a 1.2 rating
Who needs a sports show with Regis Philbin???? I find that this new sports network doesn't give NASCAR anytime. They have cut Race Hub from an hour 4 days a week to an half hour a few nights a week!!!! Fox sport1 needs help a lot!!!!
So far they haven't shown any sports worth watching. Once college football starts up this weekend, those numbers will rise. Certainly not to ESPN levels but they certainly won't go the way of The Mtn.
@awfulannouncing Do the FS Live numbers include the simulcasts on the regional FSN's? I would think that could be hurting them short term.
If FoxSports1 cannot put something together to beat ESPN's debate show with Smith and Bayliss,they might as well close up shop. Just don't script any talk shows like that one. I swear to God this is true story ....I watch Mike & Mike every morning. I haven't watched Smith & Bayless for over 6 months. All Bayliss talks about is Tebow and tries to analyze games from his couch. He doesn't even go to games and talk to anybody or anything , just watches on tv!! I got curious a couple of days ago and tuned in...I am not shittin you , Bayliss was talking about how Tebow will be New Englands back up quarterback after a horrendous pre-season game !!!!!! I swear its like the last 6 months never happened for me! Its the exact same script ! Unbelievable ! I would rather watch infomercials!
@awfulannouncing up in prime time despite crap programming and comparable daytime.
@awfulannouncing can't get it without the box
@awfulannouncing FS1 is currently a joke. Their "SC killer" did the opposite 4 me with its amateur hour. I appreciate ESPN more now than b4.
@awfulannouncing what about SportscentRE? That's the true measure.
@awfulannouncing don't like FS1, it's dumbed down like espn.
@awfulannouncing Silver linings... we're still on the air and Kris Jenner is not.
@awfulannouncing SPEED had its target audience, many of those dedicated like myself, who now aren't going to watch watered down Sportscenter
"The good news for Fox is that FS1 is already outpacing NBCSN from the outset, which was predictable given their superior rights portfolio."
"So far in their first week, FS1 has only really had the UFC and the Craftsman Truck Series to drive viewership. No MLB. No college football. No college basketball. "
So FS1 is outpacing NBCSN because of their superior rights portfolio, consisting of UFC and Craftsman Trucks against NBCSN's F1 and English Premier League?
@awfulannouncing never watched one minute of Speed, but have watched soccer and UFC on FS1. I think it will do well, given time.
@awfulannouncing Well, FS1 is quite terrible.
@awfulannouncing yes I know Speed was the same way, but people bought the Speed channel because it served a niche audience that is now gone.
@awfulannouncing Thats because no one can find Fox Sports 1 on TV anywhere yet. I haven't found it on any channel.
@awfulannouncing But poor ratings aside, are they having FUN!
@awfulannouncing largely because theyre considered a premium channel by distributors....
Please, Please, Please, bring back the speed channel or build another motorsports network, there are plenty of chnnels for kickboxing, soocer,football,basketball, and other games where men are playing with balls....
When those "bring back Speed" whiners finally realize there's still more racing than just about anything on FS1, they'll bring the ratings back up
@MMASupremacy did you change your name to @fs1ratingstalksupremacy? It's getting kinda boring please get back to mma news
@TomCerrato Well said.Just hope they read this
@seejay I agree completely.What has happened to the Monster Truck shows,The motorcycle racing,off road racing.We got enough channels for football,basketball boxing,wrestlind and socer
@JustusCleveland @awfulannouncing The simulcasts are, as I understand it, a limited free preview to encourage viewers to check out FS1. They won't last long. But I doubt those numbers are included.
@cpress75 if you don't start out beating espn after 11 days you failed is the narrative on the web. Piss on espn
@JayOnrait I pray you outlast all the Kardashians on television, even when North West is the Bachelor in 2035.
@WillCarter27 @awfulannouncing i don't think fox really planned on keeping all the speed fans on the new network. The reason they took speeds spot was because they wanted the basic cable spot that speed held.
@Eric Stone Don't bet on it. Us bring back Speed whiners as you call us have lost more than 75% of what Speed offered. Speed was not just racing but people whom only chase balls wouldn't know that. We have to pay more to get the Speed channel. And that was by choice because WE WHINERS liked Speed enough to pay extra. We do not feel the same about FS1. Plus they are asking for a boycott of all fox networks and/ or programing. We are a many sport family but if I want to see any other sport than motorsports I have several channels to chose from. But Speed was the ONLY Motorsport network.. Would you be whining if they took every sport channel off the air and only gave you a few games? And apparently you are not watching FS1 too much either or you would know there is very little racing.
@mike251083 Part of the biz after debut on a new network! Expect more after tonight's event lol. It won't be as bad later on obviously.
@MMASupremacy I understand reporting on ufc ratings just not everything else. You don't give all the ratings for spike shows or Axs tv
@mike251083 Comparables. I give them because people ask if it's good or not, want to compare with their other programming.