NBC Sports is following in the footsteps of ESPN and FOX and asking its on-air talent to take a pay cut through the end of the year. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that everyone at NBC has agreed to temporarily reduce their pay by five to ten percent.
Pete Bevacqua, the NBC Sports Group President, issued a statement to SBJ that read “Our on-air personalities reached out to see how they could contribute to helping our company during this difficult time, and all have voluntarily accepted temporary pay reductions It’s another reminder of the truly great team we have at NBC Sports and how we’re all working together to get through this immense challenge.”
It won’t just be the talent taking pay cuts for NBC. Last week the network announced that all executives will take a 20% pay cut. Any employee making more than $100,000 annually will be subject to a 3% pay cut.
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal outlined the grim outlook for TV advertising in 2020. The television industry stands to lose as much as $1 billion if major advertisers pull out over fears that there is no original programming to attract viewers or if feeble economy draws fears that the companies could not sell products and services.
Manningcast Audience Sky Rockets In Week 2
“Just under 2 million people tuned into the Manningcast on Monday night.”
There was curiosity for Week 1 of Peyton and Eli Manning’s broadcast of Monday Night Football. Less than a million people tuned in to ESPN2 for the first game, but enough of them talked about it in a way that made more people interested. Ratings for Week 2 were significantly better.
Week 2 saw the audience on ESPN2 more than double. Just under 2 million people tuned into the Manningcast on Monday night. That is 138% growth!
Chris Denari provided an interesting stat. The Indianapolis market is watching the Manningcast with more enthusiasm than most. The Pacers’ play-by-play man pointed out that the ESPN2 broadcast did a better than 2.5 rating in the city where Peyton spent the majority of his NFL career.
What exactly is the reason for that? Well, the word of mouth certainly played a role. It could be argued that the guests were better in terms of generating fan buzz. Pat McAfee brings his own loyal audience, Rob Gronkowski generally attracts attention, and it is possible that a few Packers fans that wanted to focus on the game may have flipped over to see what Brett Favre had to say.
The curiosity surrounding the Packers likely also helped. After getting hammered by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, plenty of fans wanted to see if and how Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers bounced back.
Peyton and Eli return with another Manningcast next week. After that, there will be seven more left on the 2021 Monday Night Football schedule.
Stephen A Smith: ‘I Haven’t Been This Excited To Do First Take in Years’
“Anytime Smith and Irvin match up it creates headline haymakers and that contributed to the feel of First Take on day one.”
The new era of First Take just hit the two-week milestone, and the path to changing the show up was a big group effort. ESPN FrontRow detailed the changes and those behind them, including a prizefight feel on the Sept. 6 debut.
Michael Irvin is now debating Stephen A. Smith on Mondays, while Tim Tebow saddles up to the debate desk on Fridays with a rotating cast in between.
“I haven’t been this excited to do First Take in years,” Smith said in the story. “The future is limitless.”
Anytime Smith and Irvin match up it creates headline haymakers and that contributed to the feel of First Take on day one.
“My first Monday on First Take,” Irvin described. “The set was covered with white boxing ring ropes on all the walls throughout the studio. I thought it was beautifully designed and set the stage for what was about to transpire every Monday. ‘Put your dukes up!!!’”
The first shot of the new era featured just Qerim Rose on the debate desk — then the prizefighting debaters walked out to the arena.
“Senior coordinating producer Antoine Lewis wanted to swing big and come out with something memorable,” producer Michael Goldfarb said about the process. “I pitched him on the boxing intro open. Meg Drobniak directed the shoot from Bristol. Stephen A., Michael, and Molly all came in on their off day to film. Associate producer Kat Seelig then worked with remote editor Lauren Bernstein on Sunday night to turn it around in edit for Monday morning. It was an awesome team effort to create something memorable to kick off an important new era for the show.”
The talent and production crew went above and beyond to create the memorable open. A new beginning for a show that’s leaned on Smith for years and isn’t shying away from that strategy anytime soon.
“I’m incredibly excited about First Take’s future. Considering the exceptional lineup of experts who already contribute to our show, combined with an enthusiasm that emanates from the close relationships we all have with one another, you can expect lots of laughter and entertainment, along with astute analysis.”
PFTCommenter Makes It On Manningcast Again
“This week, PFT tweeted what seemed like a compliment to Eli Manning.”
Either PFTCommenter’s tweets really do get under Peyton Manning’s skin and someone in the ESPN control room knows it, or someone in the ESPN control room is a big fan of Pardon My Take.
For the second week in a row, ESPN2 put a tweet from Barstool’s PFTCommenter on the screen during the Manningcast of Monday Night Football. And, for the second week in a row, the older Manning brother complained about his spelling.
It started last week when the podcaster tweeted Peyton Manning needed a prescription helmet, because the one he was using on set clearly did not fit.
Peyton countered by pointing out that PFT does not know how to spell the word prescription.
This week, PFT tweeted what seemed like a compliment to Eli Manning.
“Oh this guy’s back,” Peyton said when the Tweet appeared on screen.
Eli joked that it was his burner account, but his older brother, likely still sore from the way PFTCommenter fired back at him on last week’s Pardon My Take, pointed out another spelling error.
“He spelled wonderful wrong again. He couldn’t spell prescription last week.”
Will PFTCommenter respond on this week’s Pardon My Take? If so, how? We will find that out on Monday.
In the moment, PFTCommenter seemed happy to have the recognition. He noted that he has now made more appearances on the Manningcast than he and Big Cat ever did on Barstool Van Talk, which ESPN2 cancelled after one week.
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