From the Sports Business Daily, with our commentary in italics:
ABC’s “Shaq Vs.” was the most-viewed sports-based reality TV show of the summer, averaging 3.97 million viewers over five episodes.
Notice how that was couched. How many other sports-based reality TV shows were there this summer? Too many, actually.
The show’s finale, which featured Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal challenging swimmer Michael Phelps in a race, was the series’ most-viewed episode with 4.432 million viewers.
Or, at least a million-plus TV sets turned on to “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” but too lazy to change the channel afterward.
“Shaq Vs.” showed gains its final three weeks, but no episode finished higher than 46th in the rankings among all broadcast TV primetime shows in a given week.
Shaq also ranks 46th on the Cavaliers’ list of top 50 free throw shooters of all time. When he plays his first game, he’ll drop off that list.
The revival of “The Superstars” on ABC was close behind Shaq’s show, averaging 3.6 million viewers over six telecasts. The show’s premiere drew its highest audience with 4.274 million viewers.
VH1’s “The T.O. Show” scored the largest audience among sports-themed reality shows on cable, averaging 1.4 million viewers over seven episodes, good enough to have the series renewed for a second season.
Pro Football HOFer Michael Irvin’s show “4th & Long” on Spike started strong with 1.175 million viewers for the premiere, but the series never again drew an audience over 1 million for its remaining nine episodes.
Animal Planet’s “Jockeys,” which is in the middle of its second season, is averaging 439,000 viewers. The show averaged 498,000 viewers for 12 telecasts in its first season, which ran from February 6-March 13.
For the record, Keyshawn Johnson’s “Tackling Design” on A&E averaged 512,000 viewers for 11 episodes.
Now you see why.