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Booger McFarland Staying At ESPN But Doesn’t Know What’s Next

“Marchand wrote that he has been told ESPN has a “prominent studio role” in mind for Booger. The details are still yet to be worked out.”

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After two years of analyzing Monday Night Football games, Booger McFarland has been moved out of the booth by ESPN. Despite the network very publicly courting replacement candidates, he and play-by-play partner Joe Tessitore were informed last week that the network was moving in a different direction.

McFarland spoke to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post on Thursday and said that he can’t say for sure what his next assignment will be. He does know that he is staying with the network though.

“I have a couple of years left on my contract so I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “So I’m assuming that we get through this pandemic and everything that is going on with that, we will figure it out.”

Marchand wrote that he has been told ESPN has a “prominent studio role” in mind for Booger. The details are still yet to be worked out.

While it is likely that the role would be on one of ESPN’s NFL studio shows, a return to the college football world probably shouldn’t be ruled out. Prior to moving to Monday Night Football, McFarland was a studio analyst on the ESPN-owned SEC Network. He also made regular appearances on College Football Live and ESPN Radio.

As for his time in the Monday Night Football booth, McFarland says he wasn’t a fan of the hype around the debut of the new broadcast team in 2018. Producer Jay Rothman said McFarland would be “football’s Charles Barkley” while comparing play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and fellow analyst Jason Witten to a combination of Brent Musburger and Frank Sinatra and Captain America respectively.

“For me, I always try to approach things and I’ve always learned that the best approach is the humble approach,” McFarland said. “That is the way I go about things. Unfortunately, you can’t control what other people say.”

McFarland was not initially in the booth. During the 2018 season, he was on the sidelines in a mobile cart dubbed the “Boogermobile.” He told Marchand that it was a set up that made it hard to create a rapport with his new partners, because three people cannot develop chemistry or understand each other’s timing “with one of the people 75 yards away.”

While it’s clear he feels like some things were mishandled, McFarland does not have negative feelings about his Monday Night Football experience. The criticism was something he expected and he hopes whoever takes over the booth next season is ready for it.

“Obviously, it is one of the top jobs, if not the top job, in the industry. Overall, regardless of the outcome, it was a very good experience.”

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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Sports TV News

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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