Following Bill Simmons’ fallout with ESPN in 2015, HBO offered the sports commentator a fresh start with a new show on the network — a show which will face an abrupt end next week.
Any Given Wednesday, Simmons’ sports and pop culture-based talk show, will air its final episode on Nov. 9, HBO announced Friday, just over four months after the show’s debut. While the network had expected a large, devoted fan-base to follow Simmons from his previous post at ESPN and Grantland, the show saw poor ratings according to the New York Times, “often struggling to attract 200,000 viewers, and the Oct. 26 episode, opposite Game 2 of the World Series, delivered a series low of 82,000 viewers.”
Because the network’s revenue is based on a subscription model rather than advertising, viewership and the ability to attract a wide audience are the most important metrics for HBO, and the end result reflects as much.
“We loved making that show, but unfortunately it never resonated with audiences like we hoped,” Simmons told the New York Times in a statement. “And that’s on me.”
After Simmons left ESPN, he started a pop culture site called The Ringer through Bill Simmons Media Group, which has found success, and which HBO is a minority investor in.
As Simmons still has time on his three-year deal with HBO, which earns him $7 to $9 million a year, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the network will continue to work with him to develop new projects, including podcasts, documentaries, and shows, Quartz reported.
“HBO is committed to Bill Simmons, and we are excited to bring his unique vision to bear on an array of new programming initiatives under the HBO Sports banner in 2017,” Peter Nelson, executive vice president for HBO Sports, said.
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