First Take has been a hit show on ESPN for a number of years.
Recently, however, the show has gone through a bit of change, but not without the controversy that followed due to the change that took place. Stephen A. Smith, one of the network’s megastars, has stood as the network’s cash cow through the many recent years of turmoil that’s soiled the award-winning sports and entertainment network America has come to know and love.
He’s been at the forefront of First Take, has been placed in front of the camera on a number of ESPN-related shows and events, and he’s stood out to become the face of a network that seemingly possessed a very large number of impressive on-air talent in the past.
In recent weeks though, Smith has been put under fire for potentially pushing his now ex-First Take co-host — Max Kellerman — because he said it wasn’t working anymore. The move signaled ESPN’s desire to push Smith into the spotlight more, a plan that’s been going on for a few weeks now by the way of Smith being the only consistent face on the show along with a varying number of guests co-hosts.
However, that plan seems to be backfiring as ratings for First Take haven’t been impressive since Kellerman left the show.
ESPN doesn’t dispute that First Take is lagging behind their other shows but also would like to point out that First Take is up 30% over three weeks ago and Kellerman’s new show is an improvement on who was in the same timeslot last year.
Some nice early signs on the studio show front.
Since the format changes, FIRST TAKE is up +30% compared to three weeks ago.
Since its premiere, THIS JUST IN is up +26% compared to the same time slot on ESPN last year.
— Flora ESPN Insights (@ESPNFlora) September 30, 2021
Flip the page to check out the ratings.