Skip Bayless’ impact on Fox Sports 1’s TV ratings is truly undisputed.
The former ESPNer’s new series “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” has produced a 358 percent overall time slot increase in its first month versus the same calendar-part last year. In the key 18-49 demographic, the jump is a whopping 733 percent in the 9:30 a.m. ET to Noon ET window on FS1.
Last September, prime competitor ESPN2’s average viewership was 23 times that of Fox Sports 1. This time, the ESPN2 advantage was down to three times that of FS1. Not bad for four weeks of work.
Speaking of ESPN2, Skip’s old show, “First Take,” is down 28 percent since the launch of “Undisputed.” Max Kellerman replaced Bayless as the foil for Stephen A. Smith on that sports debate show.
“I’m thrilled with the launch of the show on FS1 and what we’ve accomplished in the first month,” said Bayless in a statement. “I’ve been overwhelmed with the fans’ support and loyalty. This is just the beginning.”
“Undisputed,” moderated by Joy Taylor and co-starring Shannon Sharpe, launched on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, on Fox Sports 1. Bayless previously spent a dozen years on “First Take,” which was formerly called “Cold Pizza.”
The “Undisputed” impact is also carrying over to the show that follows it, “The Herd With Colin Cowherd.” Since the launch of “Undisputed,” “The Herd” has recorded its four most-watched weeks in history, rising 60 percent over the same time period last year.
Plus, ESPN2’s “His & Hers,” which goes head-to-head with “The Herd,” has been down 22 percent since “Undisputed” kicked off, per Nielsen numbers.
“The pairing of two shows with incisive perspectives has been a great way to bring new fans to FS1,” said Charlie Dixon, executive vice president of content. “I’m excited to see the plan come together.”
Before “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” Fox Sports 1 mostly just ran replays of both random sporting events and some studio shows. So, the massive gains are at least as much a product of “out with the old” as “in with the new.”