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Strong Stands Out At Fox Sports

Jason Barrett

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Soccer has been growing in popularity in the U.S. in recent years, but most of the announcers for the game still come from other countries. John Strong is one of the few American play by play announcers for Fox Sports’ Major League Soccer broadcasts, and he started here in the Pacific Northwest. Strong began his career announcing his high school football games on the internet, and quickly worked his way up to one of the TV announcers for the Portland Timbers.

On early success:

“The first ever Timbers MLS game in 2011 was in Denver. And I was at the time 25 and I remember in the minutes leading up to the game I actually got a little bit teary-eyed … ‘this is all happening!’ As a young kid, at the time … when British voices were seen as in vogue because that’s what you need to have to have an authentic soccer broadcast … and I had next to me Robbie Earl, an incredibly accomplished player and broadcaster … I had a lot of insecurity, truth be told, about what I was doing.”

On being a Blazers fan and the appeal of sports announcing:

“The way that I lived my fandom as a young kid was through the voice of Bill Shonley. And I think in retrospect the romanticism of that voice being the connection between you and the team … and that always really appealed to me … being able to be a voice that narrates, in this case for me, the growth of soccer, and the burgeoning of a new era for the sport in this country.”

On his personal play by play style:

“Rather than shout ‘GOOOAAAALL!’ —which I can’t do, it sounds terrible, it’s not authentic. But what I will do is if there’s a player who has a vowel sound at the end of their last name I’ll [draw out the last syllable of the player’s name] … that’s an influence from Spanish language broadcasting.”

On the popularity of soccer in the US:

“The growth of soccer in this country has been generational. There was never going to be a big bang moment of the U.S. wins a World Cup … and all of a sudden 40 million Americans wake up soccer crazy. … A lot of the predictions trying to tie youth participation to fans being adults … completely false. Otherwise tetherball would be a sport we see on ESPN2.

“What it took was a generational shift … When I was in elementary school, we all played soccer on the weekends, but at recess we were all wearing our Blazers or our football jerseys playing kickball. I go past [my old elementary school now] and they’re all playing soccer on the playground. “

Credit to OPB who originally published this article

Sports TV News

ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years

“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”

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The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. While the game’s controversial finish left LeBron James and Patrick Beverly upset, executives at the Walt Disney Company had nothing but smiles thanks to the performance of ABC.

The game drew 3.7 million viewers. That means the Celtics’ win is the most-watched game in the ABC Saturday night prime-time window in the last four years. A February 2019 game between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors drew 4.1 million.

Boston also delivered the highest-rated game of the NBA season so far outside of the league’s stacked Christmas Day slate.

NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is experiencing a nice uptick in viewership this season. Through the weekend, the Saturday night games are averaging over 3.4 million viewers according to an ESPN press release.

That number represents a 16% jump from last season. The edition of NBA Countdown that airs before the Saturday night game is having a good season as well. It’s average audience is up 3% to just under 1.5 million.

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Sports TV News

NHL Ratings on ESPN, TNT Down in 2nd Year

So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season.

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Viewership totals from ESPN and TNT show NHL ratings have declined heading into the All-Star break, but there are some extenuating circumstances for the nearly 22% drop.

So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season. However, both channels have increased their linear television schedule, doubling from 27 games to 54.

ESPN has aired 18 games with an average of 402,000 viewers. In the same time period last year, the worldwide leader had only aired seven contests, but garnered 622,000 per game. None of ESPN’s games last season had aired on weekends, while the network has broadcast six games on Sunday this year alone. The 12 games ESPN has aired that weren’t on Sunday have averaged 491,000 viewers.

The 2023 NHL All-Star Game will air on ABC Saturday, and the network is hoping for a lift from last season. In 2022, ratings fell 38% from the previous All-Star Game on NBC, and hit the lowest total since 2009. The NHL Skills challenge saw its largest audience in a decade after airing on ESPN in primetime on a Friday evening. Nearly 1.1 million watched the skills challenge, a 30% increase compared to 2020.

At this time last season, TNT had aired 20 games. Through 36 games this season, the network has seen an average of 359,000 viewers. The network is helped by the 2023 Winter Classic, which took place at Fenway Park on Monday, January 2nd. The afternoon contest saw an audience of 1.78 million, up 31% compared to the previous year.

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AFC Championship Game Delivers New Viewership High For CBS

53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI.

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The AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals drew a massive audience for CBS.

53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs’ controversial victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI. Additionally, the event is the most-watched NFL Conference Championship Game since 2017.

CBS claims the game peaked with 59.3 million viewers and was also the most-streamed live sporting event in the history of Paramount+.

With an audience of 53.1 million, CBS concludes its NFL playoff coverage averaging 40.798 million viewers for each game. That leads all networks thus far. The 2022 NFL season was the most-watched regular season on CBS in the past seven seasons.

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