As a long time fan of ESPN's(PTI) it's fun to check in now and then to see whether people really do grab the remote control as soon as they see that Dan Le Batard is filling in for one of the hosts. That myth has been worked in as a bit on the show over the years, but consider the myth busted.
The numbers below were for the the last two weeks and not the current week where Bob Ryan & Le Batard are hosting, There is one day of Ryan/Le Batard data below, appropriately enough for Friday the 13th.
If you compare only the first four days of the week of August 2-6 where Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon hosted, with the first four days of August 9-13 where Le Batard and Wilbon hosted, the numbers were 7% lower in total viewers when Le Batard hosted. I excluded Fridays from the comparison since Wilbon wasn't there on 8/13.
Week to week fluctuations of 7% aren't out of the ordinary even when TK & Wilbon are hosting all the time. There's not much to be made of the 7% other than it's clear there is no mass exodus.
While there are definitely people who say they won't watch if Le Batard hosts, they're clearly in the minority. Apparently Nielsen households like sweaty hosts and lots of chest hair just fine.
Here's the data:
|8/3/2010||PTI||ESPN||Tue||05:30P-06:00P||1,385||Kornheiser & Wilbon|
|8/5/2010||PTI||ESPN||Thu||05:30P-06:00P||1,275||Kornheiser & Wilbon|
|8/4/2010||PTI||ESPN||Wed||05:30P-06:00P||1,272||Kornheiser & Wilbon|
|8/2/2010||PTI||ESPN||Mon||05:30P-06:00P||1,203||Kornheiser & Wilbon|
|8/6/2010||PTI||ESPN||Fri||05:30P-06:00P||1,090||Kornheiser & Wilbon|
|8/9/2010||PTI||ESPN||Mon||05:30P-06:00P||1,255||LeBatard & Wilbon|
|8/10/2010||PTI||ESPN||Tue||05:30P-06:00P||1,236||LeBatard & Wilbon|
|8/11/2010||PTI||ESPN||Wed||05:30P-06:00P||1,197||LeBatard & Wilbon|
|8/12/2010||PTI||ESPN||Thu||05:30P-06:00P||1,071||LeBatard & Wilbon|
|8/13/2010||PTI||ESPN||Fri||05:30P-06:00P||1,023||LeBatard & Ryan|
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.