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Magic Johnson Interview Gives ESPN Ratings Boost


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Exclusive interview with LA Lakers former President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, gives “First Take” a 54 percent ratings boost.

The Monday, May 20th, edition of ESPN’s popular morning debate show First Take with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and host Molly Qerim Rose featured the first in-depth television interview with former Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson since his abrupt departure from the team last month.

The one-hour interview – in which the basketball hall of famer candidly discussed the reasons behind his exit – was up 54 percent during the 10-11 a.m. ET window on ESPN over the comparable First Take episode in 2018 averaging 652,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. The show peaked at the end of Johnson’s interview between 10:45-10:59 a.m. with 677,000 viewers making it First Take’s most-viewed quarter hour since January

Monday’s complete two-hour edition of First Take (10 a.m.-noon) was up 27 percent over last year averaging 597,000 viewers.