Scott Van Pelt can get a bit feisty on Twitter, especially when former friends and co-workers go after him on there. That’s what happened when Jay Mariotti — the former Around the Horn panelist — tried to insult SVP’s style on his year-old midnight show.
SVP absolutely let him have it and let him know exactly how relevant he is now.
Mariotti’s employment with ESPN was terminated in 2010 when he was charged with felony assault of his girlfriend and released on $50,000 bond in Los Angeles.
Van Pelt also spoke to the Washington Post about ESPN and the apparent rivalry between the Worldwide Leader and FS1. FOX Sports has been trying to do everything to get under ESPN’s skin like throwing Skip Bayless on a billboard right by ESPN’s headquarters, but SVP and his crew keep chugging along. Former ESPN VP of Original Programming and Priduction, Jamie Horowitz, is one of the big fish at FS1 trying to take down ESPN with stats, but SVP has a response for that.
“Jamie Horowitz is a guy that’s a friend, and every article he’s quoted in he mentions ‘SportsCenter’s’ failing ratings. And not one says, ‘Well how about [the Cowherd-Whitlock team-up] “Speak for Yourself,” which gets 50,000 people.’ We don’t have a single show that rates that badly. He gets constantly quoted talking about our ratings, and that is an astonishing thing that continues to happen. … At some point, if you’re going to talk [junk] about our ratings, you should be held accountable for yours. They’re not close. And by not close, I mean it’s like Washington to Los Angeles, not Washington to Baltimore. You’re a long, long, long, long flight away.
And Van Pelt wasn’t done bringing up ESPN’s ratings as compared to FS1:
“I’m competitive. I’m professionally competitive. There’s not one person involved in this discussion that I’m not friendly with. Skip Bayless, I don’t know [him]. But Colin, I’m friendly with. [Jason] Whitlock, I’m friendly with. The higher-ups at Fox, I’m friendly with. There’s no anger in any of this, I’m just professionally competitive. And so I can say, ‘Wait, if you’re going to keep saying that,’ then I’m going to say, ‘What are your ratings?’ I saw one day there was 28,000 people watching that show. … That’s the attendance of a Cincinnati Reds game. That’s your audience. ‘SportsCenter,’ on its worst day, gets 300,000 people. But we’re failing. We’re just failing away over here.”
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He does make a good point with bringing up ratings for those other shows. While overall viewership of ESPN might be down, it’s still considerably greater than that of FS1, so until the network ups its game and actually has decent ratings to speak of maybe its employees shouldn’t try to anger Scott Van Pelt.
[h/t Awful Announcing]