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AEW Defeats WWE NXT in the Wednesday Night Ratings

“AEW on TNT delivered 1.409 million total viewers, ahead of WWE NXT on USA Network which generated 891,000 total viewers.”

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photo credit to Inside Pulse

The first round of the “Wednesday Night Wrestling Wars” goes to All Elite Wrestling. The new wrestling promotion debuted last night on TNT and bested WWE’s NXT head to head in the ratings. AEW also trended higher than NXT on Twitter throughout the night.

Overall, AEW on TNT delivered 1.409 million total viewers, more than half a million more than WWE NXT on USA Network which generated 891,000 total viewers according to The Wrap. In the key demographic of adults 18-49, AEW’s ‘Dynamite’ doubled up NXT by reeling in 878,000 viewers compared to NXT’s 414,000.

In a statement issued to The Wrap, WWE congratulated their new competitor on their first ratings victory.

“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”

Both programs ranked in the top 10 for Wednesday night shows on cable in the adults 18-49 demographic. By comparison, WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” delivered 2.57 million viewers over three hours in Live+Same Day so there’s room still for AEW and WWE NXT to attract more viewers.

“This is a league that at its core is created by wrestlers for wrestling fans and I am incredibly energized by the enthusiastic embrace the fans have given to the AEW talent and experience,” said Kevin Reilly, president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, and chief content officer, HBO Max. “AEW won the night with a high quality, incredibly engaging, sports-centric show that will continue with a seamless partnership between AEW and TNT.”

During the 1990’s and 2000’s, wrestling fans became accustomed to tuning in on Monday nights to WWE and WCW and following their battle for ratings supremacy. Fans are hoping that the new Wednesday night wars will produce similar excitement even if the numbers don’t match what USA and TNT earned years ago.

For AEW to start off with a ratings win against a brand as powerful as the WWE is a huge win for Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, Nick and Matt Jackson, Kenny Omega, Adam Page and Chris Jericho who took the huge leap to launch the new company. Though it’s just one win, if the first impression from both brands is what fans get treated to regularly on Wednesday night’s, both wrestling groups and television networks will be more than satisfied.

Sports TV News

FOX Says NFL Ad Sales Up From 2021, ‘Record Pricing’ Expected for Super Bowl LVII

“It’s obviously such a huge year for us,” Murdoch added later. “We’re looking forward to getting record pricing for the Super Bowl.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Super Bowl 57

FOX shared some lucrative news with investors on its quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. The network said sales for the NFL season are in a very short word: up.

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said “We sold more NFL Sunday advertising in the current upfront market than we did across Sunday and Thursday combined in the prior year’s market.”

He also went on to note that didn’t include commitments made for the network’s presentation of Super Bowl 57 in February.

“This excludes advertising commitments for the upcoming Super Bowl, where we are pacing well ahead of schedule and seeing very robust demand and record pricing levels.”

FOX began selling Super Bowl 57 ads last summer.

Murdoch didn’t share specific numbers regarding Super Bowl sales but in comparison, NBCUniversal sold 3-second spots for upwards of $7 million this last February.

“It’s obviously such a huge year for us,” Murdoch added later. “We’re looking forward to getting record pricing for the Super Bowl, and we’re well ahead of plan in terms of selling our Super Bowl positions.”

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Sports TV News

Potential Big Ten/ESPN Deal Did Not Include ESPN Plus Option

“I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN, BIG TEN

A shockwave went thru the sports media landscape on Tuesday when reports surfaced that the Big Ten would not be awarding a media rights deal with longtime partner ESPN. Since then, more details have come out about why the two might not be in business together after this season.

On The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, John Ourand added another piece of the puzzle that could offer some illumination. According to his reporting and sources, ESPN wanted to be able to offer Big Ten games on their direct-to-consumer streaming option, ESPN+ and the Big Ten didn’t receive that well.

“I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal.”

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Sports TV News

Bill Spaulding to Become New Jersey Devils New TV Play-by-Play Voice

Spaulding will replace Steve Cangialosi on the MSG Network broadcasts.

Jordan Bondurant

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New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils will have a new TV play-by-play voice when the puck drops on the 2022-23 season in October.

According to sources, Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com reported the team has hired Bill Spaulding for the job. Spaulding will replace Steve Cangialosi on the MSG Network broadcasts.

Cangialosi left as the team’s play-by-play man at the end of this past season. He had been with the team for 11 seasons.

Spaulding is a Syracuse University grad and has previously called Olympic hockey, as well as college games, on NBC. Additionally, Spaulding has experience calling college sports for ESPN. He’s a recipient of the Jim Nantz Award, which is given each year to the nation’s top collegiate sportscaster.

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