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Ratings Drop, But Remain Strong For The Last Dance

“Week three was the first night The Last Dance didn’t see an episode average 6 million viewers or more.”

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If you were on social media Sunday night, you’re probably not surprised to hear ESPN’s The Last Dance continued to draw a large audience for the third straight week.

Episodes five and six of the highly anticipated Chicago Bulls’ documentary averaged 5.5 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2 Sunday night, May 3. Through six episodes, the series has averaged a total of 5.8 million viewers, 62% more than ESPN’s second-highest rated documentary, You Don’t Know Bo. Episode five averaged 5.8 million viewers from 9 – 10pm ET, with episode six generating an audience of 5.2 million from 10 – 11pm ET, according to Nielsen. 

Although The Last Dance continued to draw a large audience, the numbers did depict a slight drop off in viewership from its first two weeks. Week three was the first night The Last Dance didn’t see an episode average 6 million viewers or more. The series premiered with 6.3 million people tuning in for episode one and 5.8 million for the second episode. Episode three averaged 6.1 million viewers, with 5.7 million viewers for episode four.

For the third week in a row, The Last Dance was again one of the most prominent discussions on social media, generating 3.9 million interactions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although week three received the doc’s smallest linear audience so far, episodes five and six did see more social video views than the prior four episodes, reaching 8 million.

Three weeks in, it’s reasonable to anticipate The Last Dance will continue to enjoy successful viewership numbers for its remaining four episodes. With very few negative reviews, the product has proven to be great enough that people will be eager to keep tuning in.

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John Buccigross: Return Of NHL ‘Reenergized’ Me In ESPN Role

“I’m just grateful that I was able to get reenergized without leaving the company that I’ve worked for so long.”

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John Buccigross is probably the most thankful out of anyone that the NHL returned to the ESPN airwaves this season.

Bucci has been at the network for 25 years and was a part of the coverage team the last time ESPN had NHL broadcast rights. He told Awful Announcing that the change after the 2003-04 season really helped change his focus at the network.

“It’s probably a good thing that it went away back in 2004, because I was able to focus on SportsCenter and kind of move up the ladder there, and maybe I never would have if hockey had stayed all these years,” he said. “Maybe that was good. And then I got involved with college hockey, I asked to do play-by-play a couple of years after we lost the NHL, so I’ve been doing college hockey for over 15 years with play-by-play, hoping we would get the NHL back and then I could do NHL play-by-play.”

Now the NHL is back, the Stanley Cup Final will air on ESPN and ABC, and John Buccigross will be a part of it in some fashion. He said having the chance to pick back up where he left off all those years ago gave him a second wind in his career.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me in my career, being at ESPN over 25 years,” he said. “To kind of get reenergized, reinvigorated with your job after being in the same place for 25 years, that’s probably pretty rare. I’m just grateful that I was able to get reenergized without leaving the company that I’ve worked for so long. At this stage of my career, it was just perfect timing.”

ESPN and Turner Sports replaced NBC Sports as the U.S. broadcast rightsholders for the NHL this season.

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Mark Sanchez Emerges As Potential #2 NFL Analyst At FOX

“It is believed that Joe Davis will be the play-by-play man to sit opposite either Brees or Sanchez in the booth.”

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Football season is 104 days away and FOX is still sorting out its broadcast crews for the upcoming season.

Enter former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as one of the top candidates being considered for the number two booth at FOX this season.

Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that if Drew Brees doesn’t end up in the role, Sanchez is next in line. Greg Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt will comprise the top broadcast team for FOX this season.

It is believed that Joe Davis will be the play-by-play man to sit opposite either Brees or Sanchez in the booth. Marchand reported that Sanchez made a great impression on producers in auditions and tests.

Mark Sanchez began his broadcasting career three years ago. After two seasons of covering college football for ESPN, he made the move to FOX last year.

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Tracy McGrady’s Basketball League Enters Media Partnership With Showtime

“The Showtime Basketball brand will create a behind-the-scenes documentary following the OBL’s 2022 tour.”

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Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady launched his own basketball league this year. Ones Basketball League is a touring competition to find the best one-on-one basketball players in the country. Now fans can follow the action on Showtime.

The Showtime Basketball brand will create a behind-the-scenes documentary following the OBL’s 2022 tour. The all-access series will put new episodes on the Showtime YouTube channel.

“The production and creative team at Showtime Sports knows how to build and tell stories like no one else, and the detailed background and exciting drama we have already started to capture with OBL makes this content partnership a perfect fit for us,” McGrady said in a press release. “The team at Showtime shares our excitement for putting a spotlight on one-on-one basketball and all of the great action, rich stories, and hyper-competition that flows from the game.”

OBL competitions from now until the end of the season will be documented. Each tour stop features a 2-day, 32-player competition. Three of the league’s six competitions are complete.

Showtime will be there for stops in New York, Springfield, Virginia, and Los Angeles as well as the championship tournament in Las Vegas.

“We believe in Tracy’s vision and are thrilled to be working with the OBL on their inaugural season,” Brian Dailey, SVP of Sports Programming & Content for Showtime Networks Inc, added. “This collaboration embodies the Showtime Basketball brand — premium, bold and boundary-pushing. We are delighted to welcome Tracy and the OBL team to our unmatched lineup of content and talent.”

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