2010 WSOP Main Event Ratings Plummet

Why don't more people care about someone winning $8.9M?

Well that’s not good.

While this year’s WSOP Main Event final table certainly lacked the draw of 2009 (with the dominant Phil Ivey and Darvin Moon storylines) or 2008 (first year of the November Nine concept plus when¬†Dennis Phillips captured the first of his back-to-back WSOP ME titles), we didn’t think it lacked that much appeal.

ESPN’s 2010 WSOP Main Event final table broadcast drew 1.563 million viewers for a 1.1 rating (and .6 in the coveted Adult 18-49 demo), down math math math 26% from last year.

For comparison’s sake, Millionaire Matchmaker with Beth Shak (which aired an hour earlier on Bravo) scored 1.37 million viewers and a .8 among A18-49. In related news, that voice you hear right now is Beth Shak calling Mori Eskandani¬†saying, “Mooorrrriii, put me on Poker After Dark I’m a draw, Morrrri…”

Here are viewer breakdowns for the last few WSOP Main Events:
:: 2010 – 1.563M viewers, 1.1HH
:: 2009 – 2.1M viewers, 1.8HH
:: 2008 – 1.9M HH
:: 2007 – 1.25M HH

If we’re reading this right, then this year’s final table drew less households than the epic Jerry Yang 2007 broadcast.

In fairness, the ratings still ranked 9th overall for the night on cable, and 8th in the coveted Adult 18-49 demo. It’s also possible ratings dropped in part due to the ESPN3 live stream. And year-to-year comparables will be somewhat off as the broadcast aired an hour later (10pm ET) this year.

Regardless, down is bad and up is good. We’ll wait for the final Neilsen ratings to come out for final analysis, but get a quick look at the overnights from TV By the Numbers here.

So what can be done to fix this downward trend? Is the drop just because there was no “everyman” to root for like Dennis Phillips and Darvin Moon? Or does it go much deeper than that? Look for our thoughts later today…


6 Responses

  1. hecubus

    November 11, 2010 12:15 pm, Reply

    late start time, lack of promotion, viewer fatigue from week after week of ME episodes (watch today as they play from 241 down to 214 players!), the fact that almost everyone at the final table was a twenty-something male.

  2. Greg

    November 11, 2010 2:13 pm, Reply

    Airing it at 10pm was a huge issue. No average Joe is going to stay up until midnight on a weeknight to watch the WSOP. Putting a recap/profile show on at 8 with the FT starting at 9pm would have been perfect. I guess they thought the way they did it last year made too much sense…

  3. T

    November 11, 2010 10:38 pm, Reply

    They aired it too late . Not to mention the economy with people cutting cable to save money. I wish I had ESPN3 cuz I’d rather watch the uncut version .

  4. skunk puddle

    November 12, 2010 10:07 am, Reply

    The bottom line is that poker has become an internet kids sport. Internet kids play poker online and can watch the wsop online. Also for me personally I hate the cut down to two hours. Also instead of showing poker they show celebrations. Do I really need to see the Mizrachi brothers and his Mom every 5 fucking seconds? No

  5. JR

    November 16, 2010 8:52 am, Reply

    The last couple years I invested my time watching the shows getting down to the November 9 only to have it all ruined for me by an outside news source announcing who had won before the show was aired, I emailed ESPN telling them why I would not watch the final episode this year, I was pissed off, no sport takes their biggest event edits it and shows it two days later, put the dam show on live/slightly delayed get WSOP to figure out how to do it
    I didn’t watch & didn’t care anymore, ESPN did respond specifically saying they would get my comments to the right people, damage done though to both my time and their ratings

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