Sometimes perception isn’t reality. While Men In Blazers, on paper, may be perceived by some as a success given their TV appearances and name recognition, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. So far this TV season, their live show on NBCSN has averaged just 47,000 viewers*, which is 3.4% fewer than last season’s first 9 episodes.
This season, last Monday’s show with Seth Meyers was watched by just 26,000 people, while two of their shows were watched by 29,000 viewers (the September 21st episode with guests Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux, as well as their October 5th episode with Bobby Flay). The episode that has the best viewership this season was the August 3 season premiere featuring The 2 Robbies, which was watched by 71,000.
Despite NBC Sports Group’s best attempts to promote their show through in-house ads, mentions by Premier League TV presenter Rebecca Lowe, in-game promos, press releases and plenty of exposure via NBC’s web and social media channels, NBC’s best efforts have come to naught to resuscitate the show’s viewing figures. Simply put, the Men In Blazers shtick has gotten old, cliched and completely transparent. Their only apparent success is that they’ve been able to pull the wool over the eyes of league representatives and celebrities this long.
Even the star power of guests Seth Meyers, Guy Ritchie, Edward Burns and others has been unable to boost the viewing figures for Men In Blazers. The show is suffering from the same poor start that it experienced last year.
All this is even more surprising considering that FOX Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports were embroiled in a bidding war to sign Men In Blazers after World Cup 2014. In an e-mail leaked by Wikileaks, co-host Michael Davies foreshadowed the lackluster viewing figures when he told the Sony Pictures Television Chairman Steve Mosko, “I have reminded them all that this is a suboptimal podcast about soccer.”
For 2014 through October 19, Men In Blazers is averaging 72,368 viewers per episode. The two most-viewed live episodes were May 4th (265,000 viewers; immediately after Stanley Cup NHL playoffs, and featuring Noel Gallagher as guest) and March 2 (246,000 viewers; featuring guest Josh Duhamel). If you remove those two outliers from the history of Men In Blazers TV viewing figures on NBCSN, the show is averaging 58,921 viewers per live episode.
Whether you enjoy Men In Blazers or not, the fact is that the show’s viewing numbers are in decline.