The opening night of TNT’s documentary The Arena covered some weighty topics including NBA players’ role in addressing social justice when they return to play, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell fearing for his life after testing positive for COVID-19 and Dwayne Wade’s Tweets. But before they could start the in studio discussion, host Cari Champion asked panelist Charles Barkley and Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green to address their ongoing feud.
“Can you two get along?”
Champion’s question is a fair one, considering Barkley and Green’s history. Their feud started in the 2018 playoffs when Barkley became frustrated with Green’s style of play, causing the NBA on TNT analyst to say he wanted to punch Green in the face. Green welcomed Barkley to do just that the next time the pair met and they have been exchanging verbal jabs ever since.
They seemed to have put aside their differences aside in order to focus on the more pressing issues The Arena addresses.
“I like Draymond. I really do,” Barkley said. “He annoys me when he’s on the court because, well just ask him if he has ever committed a foul. For me, it was more that I’m on TV a lot of hours every day. I have to come up with things to talk about.”
Green, who said in USA Today that he and Barkley were not close friends, was not as conciliatory in his response, but admitted he respected Barkley.
“He’s a Black man, I respect him,” Green said. “The issue that I’ve had is, a lot of people watch the game of basketball and don’t know what they’re looking at. So when they look at Chuck or they look at different guys who have these platforms, they take what you’re saying and they listen to that and they run with that. So where as for me, it hasn’t necessarily affected my pockets, but there are a lot of guys in this league that people run with what guys say on these platforms, and it affects guys’ pockets, and that’s the issue that I’ve had.”
Green says he made his feelings known on Stephen Jackson’s All the Smoke podcast in April, but says there are more important issues at stake than his personal feelings.
“As a Black man, you got to support the next Black man. You can’t keep putting the next Black man down,” Green said. “I understand that there’s a job to do, but I also know I’ve done too many great things in this league and won a lot, to hear some of the stuff he has been saying about me.”
Champion ends the segment by pointedly asking if Barkley and Green still have a beef with one another.
“For the sake of unity, there is no beef,” Green said. “Absolutely none,” Barkley agreed.
The Arena continues nightly through Friday from 8-9pm on TNT.
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years
“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.