It is the first day of Super Bowl week and ESPN’s top debate show, “First Take,” has already caused a stir by creating a storyline around Tim Tebow even though he has nothing to do with this weekend’s game.
The title of the segment, seen in the screenshot at right (via Deadspin.com), “Could Tim Tebow lead this Broncos team to the Super Bowl?” quickly spread through social media, angering many as a ratings grab.
However, that is exactly why ESPN’s “Embrace Debate” format is used by ESPN. It is the first morning of the first day of a big week and people are already talking about “First Take.”
Undoubtedly, the screengrab led to more people turning to ESPN 2 this morning and more people will turn in the rest of the week wondering, “what will they talk about next?”
It is reminiscent of the key scene in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts,” when a network researcher informs one of the producers that the average Howard Stern hater listens to his show twice as long as his average fan.
When asked why they listen at all, the researchers informs that the most common answer is “I want to see what he’ll say next.”
This was confirmed two years ago when ESPN executive editor John A. Walsh appeared on Bill Simmons’ podcast “The B.S. Report.” Walsh told Simmons that “First Take” has “hit a nerve because it has developed a debate personality…it’s hit ratings.”
ESPN doesn’t care that some fans on social media hate “First Take.” However, they would hate it if those same people ignored the show, which is exactly what they were doing until the show brought up Tebow.
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