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Roger Goodell Not Concerned by TV Ratings Decline

Jason Barrett

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According to Josh Carpenter of Sports Business Daily, the NFL’s TV ratings decline continued into the start of the playoffs. Each game this past weekend experienced a double digit drop as compared to last season’s wild card round.

The Titans Chiefs matchup on ESPN/ABC drew a 14.7, down 11% from the 16.6 garnered by Texan’s Raiders. NBC’s Falcons Rams broadcast received a 14.9, falling short by 10% when compared to the 16.5 in last year’s Lions-Seahawks game. The rating for Jaguars-Bills on CBS was a 17.2, a 10% dip from Steelers-Dolphins in 2017. The most entertaining game of the weekend, Saints-Panthers on Fox drew a 20.4 rating, down 15% from Packers-Giants which did a 24.

The NFL has had to answer ratings questions for two years now. On Sunday, Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with reporters and did not express much concern.

“We always want ratings to go up, but we’re 37 of the top 50 shows, which is higher than ever,” said Goodell prior to the Jaguars-Bills playoff game. “We’re likely to be the No. 1 show on Fox — excuse me on all of television, the Fox Sunday afternoon game. Sunday night, prime time is for the seventh year in a row the No. 1 show. Thursday Night Football is No. 2. I think dominance of the NFL in television is still very clear.”

Goodell also discussed the league’s streaming partnerships. “We always want to figure out how to expand our audiences, and that’s why we’re doing things with Verizon, we’re doing things … with Amazon,” he said. “Those types of things are how we’re reaching more consumers and that’s a transition and that’s something that we’re putting a lot of focus on.”

Cord cutting is certainly a cause of the league’s ratings decline and offering accessible streaming options will help reach a larger target audience. Television ratings are down as a whole, but other sports aren’t seeing the same decline.

According to ESPN, while the NFL experienced a double digit drop during their first week of playoff ratings, the college football bowl games had a double digit increase. ESPN does use total audience measurement to determine their ratings, which means streaming numbers are included.

Even with the decline, the NFL still receives ratings other sports and TV programs would love to achieve, but the consistent decline is a trend the league would prefer to reverse. Poor matchups for Wild Card Weekend as well as the upcoming divisional round haven’t helped, but Championship Weekend and the Super Bowl should still be an important measuring stick.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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NFL Total Access

‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick Return to Host Indy 500 for NBC Sports

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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Logos for Indy 500, NBC Sports and photos of Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick
Photos Courtesy: NBC Sports

With less than two weeks until the event, NBC Sports has officially announced its team of race and studio commentators for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. For the sixth year in a row, we can expect to see familiar faces such as host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage.

The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26, on both NBC and Peacock.

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe will call the race for the sixth consecutive year. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns, and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters.

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