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FS1’s changes to ‘Undisputed’ failing as show gets blown away in ratings by ESPN’s ‘First Take’

undisputed, first take
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Despite taking a couple of months to revamp “Undisputed” after co-host Shannon Sharpe’s departure, the ratings for the popular FS1 sports talk show are falling well behind their ESPN counterpart “First Take.”

When it comes to morning sports talk, few brands are more well-known among fans than “Undisputed” and “First Take.” While many may disagree with the hot takes that the hosts of the shows offer about the sports world and the stars in it, fans continue to watch daily.

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However, despite the popularity of “Undisputed” the series has become the clear No. 2 to the ESPN show. That, along with a growing divide between host Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, led to a major shakeup as the former Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens star departed the series and FS1 took a couple of months to find a replacement.

Yet, instead of picking one person to fill the role, FS1 chose to go with a quantity over quality strategy and former NFL stars Keyshawn Johnson, Michael Irvin, and Richard Sherman will be a part of a co-host rotation with Bayless. Unfortunately, that strategy has not delivered good ratings for the network thus far.

Revamped ‘Undisputed’ obliterated in the ratings by ESPN’s ‘First Take’

undisputed, first take
Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, Front Office Sports reported the first set of ratings since the revised series returned after a couple of months away this week, and the results were pretty rough.

“The premiere of the new and improved ‘Undisputed Live’ drew 131,000 viewers on Monday to 448,000 for ESPN’s top-rated ‘First Take,’ according to sources. The gap widened on Tuesday, with ‘Undisputed Live’ averaging 120,000 viewers to 474,000 for ‘First Take.’ On Wednesday, ‘Undisputed Live’ plunged to 78,000 viewers vs. 423,000 for ‘First Take.'”

– Front Office Sports

The first few installments of the revamped “Undisputed” all delivered lower ratings than Sharpe’s final episode in June, which averaged 154,000 viewers.

It was reported last month that Sharpe will join Stephen A. Smith as a consistent co-host for “First Take’s” NFL coverage during the 2023 season.