I’m sure Mickey is taking this news well.
Viewership for Thursday’s two College Football Playoff semifinal games was down drastically when compared with last season, a clear indication that ESPN paid a price for the games’ move to New Year’s Eve.
ESPN had hoped to turn New Year’s Eve into a new sports holiday to showcase the semifinal games, much as Thanksgiving has become for the N.F.L. and Christmas Day for the N.B.A. The network aggressively marketed the advent of the semifinals in a promotional campaign, but the effort apparently did not succeed.
Clemson’s 37-17 victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, which started at 4 p.m. Eastern, was seen by an average of 15.6 million viewers, a 45 percent decrease from the 28.2 million for the 2015 Rose Bowl, the semifinal game played in the comparable time slot on Jan. 1.
The second semifinal, Alabama’s 38-0 rout of Michigan State, averaged almost 18.6 million viewers in prime time, down 34 percent from the nearly 28.3 million for the Sugar Bowl last season.
That’s a total drop of about 15 million viewers. Yeah, I’d call that pretty apparent.
As for what the steward of the game has to say about this, well, it’s about what you’d expect.
These guys don’t do retreat very well. Unless there’s a lot of money at stake. Which, ultimately, there will be. Anybody wanna bet on how this gets resolved?
Bowls making you hungry? Okay.
- ESPN is reporting that Scott Cochran will be getting more than $600,000 a year to stay at Alabama. $600K for a strength coach. Jesus.
- Speaking of salaries, you’ll be pleased to know that Charlie Weis comes off the Notre Dame payroll tomorrow.
- This probably isn’t good.
- I don’t know if you watched the Holiday Bowl last night, but some kid who had two career sacks coming into the game managed three – on three straight plays. Wowser!
- “ESPN wants to dominate New Year’s Eve, much as the N.F.L. takes over Thanksgiving Day and the N.B.A. deploys five games in its bid to wrest control of Christmas from Santa Claus.”
- Nobody at The Miami Beach Edition cares, ESPN.
- Why they love bowl season: Jake Ganus confesses to eating 13 lobster tails at the bowl game dinner.
- I didn’t realize that Ivan Maisel wrote for the AJ-C. It’s something to consider how much talent came and went at that paper.
If you’re wondering how Disney’s stock price could decline in the face of record breaking numbers from the new Star Wars flick, look no further than genius calls like the Longhorn Network.
That’s not to say ESPN’s future is doomed. But it is an indication that viewers’ wallets aren’t as bottomless as school presidents and athletic directors assume them to be… not that any of them are likely to be paying attention to this. Yet, anyway.
Shorter Alex Scarborough: Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina, if you’re not going to give me anything sexy to write about, why make a coaching change?
Never one to want to fall behind a trend, ESPN jump starts the Gus Bus 2016 Hot Seat meme.
Really, this is perfect.
Although, maybe it’s just that May wants to get Brown off ESPN as much as I do. Well, not that much.
UPDATE: This is about as comical.
Because if there is, this ESPN piece on Dan Mullen’s future nails it.
As Mullen prepares for his eighth offseason in Starkville, there might be no better time to go than right now.
If there was ever a year to look around at other jobs, this is it. We’re on pace for the largest pool of job openings in recent memory. Miami, USC, Virginia Tech, Missouri, South Carolina, and Maryland are already open. That’s not to mention rumored potential openings at Georgia and West Virginia.
Gee, thanks for your concern over the rumored potential opening in Athens, fellas. Although I am a little surprised you didn’t ask Greg McGarity for a quote about Mullen.