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Robert Flores Announces He’s Leaving ESPN

Jason Barrett

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ESPN is losing one of its most recognizable personalities.

“SportsCenter” host Robert Flores announced Thursday he is leaving the network after 11 years for “more security and more creativity.” He announced his decision in a lengthy post on his Facebook page. Flores said his new employer will be announced next month.

Flores became part of the news last year when Lakers guard Nick Young, who’s engaged to rapper Iggy Azalea, took offense to a jab Flores made at his fiancee. Never one to hold his tongue, Flores also called out fellow media members for their lack of criticism of Travis Kelce’s touchdown celebrations in comparison to Cam Newton’s.

To read more of this article visit the Sporting News where it was originally published.

Sports TV News

NFL Thanksgiving Games Set Ratings Records

FOX Sports added that viewership was up 49% compared to 2021.

Jordan Bondurant

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NFL

The Thanksgiving slate of NFL games last week brought in the largest audiences ever. Viewership across all three games averaged 33.5 million.

The game with the largest viewership was Giants/Cowboys in the 4:30 p.m. window. FOX Sports reported that 42 million watched Dallas beat New York 28-20. It is the largest regular season audience ever, surpassing the previous leader set 32 years ago.

The network added that viewership was up 49% compared to 2021. FOX carried the Detroit Lions traditional noon Thanksgiving game last year. Compared to the Cowboys turkey day contest on CBS in 2021, viewership was up 3%.

The Bills/Lions game in the early window on CBS averaged 31.627 million, with the audience peaking at 41.981 million. It was the most-watched early Thanksgiving game on record.

Patriots/Vikings on NBC in the nightcap averaged 25.9 million. That figure was up 24% compared to Bills/Saints a year ago, with NBC Sports claiming it’s the second most-watched primetime Thanksgiving game on record. The game was simulcast in Spanish on Telemundo, which averaged 565,000 viewers and made it the most-watched NFL game ever on the network.

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Sports TV News

DirecTV Accuses FOX Sports Of ‘Scare Tactics’ As Contract Expiration Looms

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch indicated that this is just the first of a string of current negotiations that are upcoming.

Jordan Bondurant

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Cable and satellite TV subscribers should by now be accustomed to threats of seeing some channels disappear from their lineup due to contract disputes. The warnings by FOX Sports to viewers on DirecTV are no different, but the nation’s largest satellite provider isn’t appreciative of efforts by the network to make viewers aware.

FOX is currently coming up on the end of its current contract with DirecTV. With no new agreement between the two sides in place right now, FOX network, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network and FOX-owned local affiliates will be blacked out to viewers at 3 a.m. on December 2.

As is customary with these sorts of situations, FOX has instituted a crawl on the above networks making viewers aware that they could soon see the channels gone and encouraging them to tell DirecTV not to let these channels go.

For sports fans, blackouts could be massively disruptive for football fans and soccer fans. The World Cup is currently airing on FOX and FS1,while the NFL and college football also occupy time on those same channels.

Still, DirecTV has accused FOX of utilizing the crawl to use “the same old, tired programmer scare tactics,” according to a statement to Deadline.

Earlier in the fall, ESPN and Dish were in a similar situation. The negotiation deadline passed, and viewers, college football fans in particular, were unable to catch any games on TV for a day.

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch indicated that this is just the first of a string of current negotiations that are upcoming.

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Sports TV News

FOX Doubles Ad Price For Premiere US World Cup Matches

FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of USA/England.

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The 2022 World Cup is underway and the opener received a gigantic ratings increase for FOX Sports. Now, according to a report from Front Office Sports, the network has doubled its ad price for the USA match versus England.

USA/England will air in a lucrative window, at 2:00 PM ET on Black Friday, and FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of the match. That price, according to Front Office Sports reporters Michael McCarthy and Doug Greenberg, is double what the network had asked for from advertisers for other matches.

While the event opener saw a sharp increase, the first match featuring the United States saw a decline from previous World Cup openers for the country. 11.71 million watched the match in the US between FOX Sports and Telemundo. In 2014, 11.1 million watched on ESPN and in 2010 13 million watched the first US match on ABC.

Analysists have predicted FOX Sports could garner nearly $125 million in ad revenue for the duration of the tournament.

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