“That Is What Desperation Looks Like” | FS1’s “Undisputed” Getting Hammered By ESPN’s “First Take” In Ratings

This past week FS‘1s sports debate show, ‘Undisputed’ returned to the airwaves with a whole new cast. The show, which had been off the radar since former co-host Shannon Sharpe left in mid-June, returned with a star-studded cast of former NFL stars, including Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson and Richard Sherman.

Skip Bayless, the show’s host, also added his good friend and legendary rapper Lil Wayne to the mix. Former longtime ESPN NBA analyst Rachel Nichols also joined the cast as well. 

But none of that seemed to help the show’s floundering ratings, in comparison to its rival show ESPN’s “First Take.” In many ways “Undisputed,” looked like a circus with the newbies consistently yelling over a hopeless-looking Bayless for a good portion of Monday’s first show. While, things got a little better during the week, sources told Front Office Sports that having all three on there Monday wasn’t a smart move. 

FS1 In Desperation Mode? 

“It was a panicked producer’s decision to put everyone on Day 1. That is what desperation looks like,” the unidentified insider told Front Office Sports. “What did they think would happen with four Type A talkers? In an effort to do a show where [Skip] took on everyone, he ended up as a host.”

Per Front Office Sports, if the ratings throughout the first week are any indication this new revamped version of “Undisputed,” could be in some major trouble. 

Through Wednesday’s numbers, “Undisputed” had just 329,000 viewers to 1.345 million viewers for “First Take.” That’s over 1 million more folks tuning in to ESPN, which is roughly 372,000 more viewers per day.  

The aforementioned Sharpe’s final shows in mid-June did better with a daily average of 154,000 viewers. 

Sharpe To ESPN Beginning Monday

With Sharpe set to join Bayless’ close friend Stephen A. Smith and “First Take” on Monday, producers at FS1 have to be searching for a way to increase ratings to stay competitive.

That may be very hard with the Pro Football Hall of Famer scheduled to appear on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the NFL season. That move should boost the viewership of “First Take,” even more, adding to their already decisive advantage in morning television sports talk ratings.

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