Starting September 11, ESPN will shift High Noon to a 30-minute show and move it to 4 pm. The network will also pair Cari Champion and David Lloyd together again hosting SportsCenter: Coast to Coast from 12-1 pm, and SportsNation will be canceled in the process.
Here are four thoughts on the latest moves from ESPN:
- High Noon’s ratings are likely to rise: Maintaining an audience for 30 minutes as opposed to 60 is kind to daily sports studio shows. In addition, the later airtime is traditionally more watched than a noon start time. Without question, Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre will benefit from those who routinely watch Highly Questionable – which rates well – turning it on early.
- People still want SportsCenter: As pointed out by The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel, once considered to be approaching extinction, SportsCenter all of a sudden has serious momentum. Since moving back to a traditional format with Sage Steele and Kevin Negandhi, the 6 pm edition has seen growth in ratings. At the same time ratings have declined in the morning and at noon since omitting those editions of SportsCenter.
- New personality-driven shows should air on ESPN2 not ESPN: All the indications from this move, the move at 6 pm, and the results so far from Get Up are that more personality-driven shows should not be expected. It would make little to no sense, at least in the near future, to create and insert another personality-driven show into its lineup on ESPN. Taking risks, and trying new things should be done on ESPN2 which consists right now of several replays. Moving the already established First Take from ESPN2 to ESPN has been a success. ESPN has a very deep roster of talent that should be given these chances on ESPN2: Will Cain, Jorge Sedano, Mina Kimes, Clinton Yates, Domonique Foxworth, and Maria Taylor just to name a few.
- This is not good news for Get Up: A person with knowledge of the situation told The Big Lead that ESPN is considering several different ideas to bolster Get Up‘s ratings. However, with ESPN going back to a traditional SportsCenter less than a year after moving it off of 6 pm, and announcing its return just over two months after moving it away from noon, it has to be believed it could happen in the morning as well. Whether it would be hosted by Mike Greenberg or whomever, if Get Up‘s ratings do not increase, there would be no reason for anyone to be shocked if SportsCenter’s music is playing leading into First Take come NBA playoff time.
Time (ratings) will tell if this was the right move.