Through the first two months of 2023, SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt is off to a strong start for ESPN.
Per a Thursday release from the company, the show is averaging 903,000 viewers in 2023, a whopping 45% increase from the same time period in 2022.
That huge viewership for the show has been anchored by three straight Mondays in January. On January 2nd, the show started early due to the postponement of the Bills-Bengals Monday Night Football game because of Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest. A show-record audience of 5.164 million viewers tuned in to the Van Pelt-hosted SportsCenter. A week later, Georgia demolished TCU in the National Championship game, with 2.197 million viewers sticking around for SportsCenter after the game. Finally, on January 16th, ESPN aired the Cowboys’ NFC Wild Card victory over the Bucs, and 1.720 million watched SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt afterwards.
Last year, two of those three Mondays delivered less viewership: 2.010 million viewers for the first Monday, a strong 3.832 million for the second Monday, and 1.546 million for the third. Given how much the show’s viewership is anchored by the Monday shows during football season, the outcome isn’t surprising.
But hey, those are just three shows, and the increase across those three was smaller than the overall year over year increase. To me, that says the show is still working, despite launching so many years ago.