Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed” broke its own TV ratings record, when 283,000 total viewers tuned in Monday to watch host Skip Bayless eat crow over his beloved Dallas Cowboys.
Dubbed “America’s Team,” Bayless’s favorite squad lost a nail-biter NFL Playoff game to the Green Bay Packers the previous day. The former Dallas Morning News columnist had pretty much guaranteed a Super Bowl victory — let alone a divisional round win — for his hometown team.
Rut-roh. That’s bad for Bayless, but good for business — right, Fox Sports?
The previous “Undisputed” series record was 196,000 total viewers on January 2 — so this is a pretty sizable jump, clocking in at +44 percent. Sunday, Jan. 1 was the final day of the National Football League season, aiding that previous record.
Monday also marked the second time that “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” beat the 10 a.m.-noon “SportsCenter” on ESPN2 head-to-head. And this time, the margin was larger. The first time that happened was also earlier this month, Thursday, Jan. 5.
TheWrap is told that to celebrate a quarter-million-plus viewers, the “Undisputed” staff will be surprised soon with quarter-pound burgers from In-N-Out.
Though FS1 is sized to compete with ESPN2, the longterm goal is to tussle with ESPN’s “First Take,” which recently moved to the Disney sports brand’s main channel. For now, it’s not much of a fight at all.
“First Take,” which employed Bayless for a dozen years and basically invented (or at least, re-invented) the morning sports debate genre, is co-hosted by Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman. Former NFL great Shannon Sharpe is Bayless’ new partner.