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Roman Harper Joins The SEC Network

“The revamping of SEC Nation takes place after Paul Finebaum and Marcus Spears left the show, reportedly on their own terms, earlier this year.”

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ESPN announced the addition of New Orleans Saints Hall-of-Famer and University of Alabama alum Roman Harper to the SEC Network. Signing a multiyear contract, Harper will be featured on SEC Nation, joining host Laura Rutledge, analyst Tim Tebow and fellow newcomer Jordan Rodgers.

The revamping of SEC Nation takes place after Paul Finebaum and Marcus Spears left the show, reportedly on their own terms, earlier this year.

“The opportunity to join SEC Network means the world to me, and it’s something I’ve been working toward for a long time,” Harper said in the press release. “Since my playing career ended, I’ve been focused on being the best version of myself as an analyst. I never saw this career opportunity coming in my life, and I take the responsibility of having a valued voice in this conference and on this network very seriously.”

Since retiring from the NFL in 2016, Harper has spent the last two seasons as a Saints analyst for WDSU in New Orleans, and earlier this year launched The Clubhouse Podcast with Kyle Bailey of WFNZ in Charlotte. In addition to hosting SEC Network’s adaptation of College GameDay, Harper will regularly contribute to other studio programming including SEC Now and The Paul Finebaum Show.

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Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN

“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”

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The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.

The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.

Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.

Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.

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Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game

“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”

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The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.

Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.

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Kentucky Derby Rebounds With 16 Million Viewers

“The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.”

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The Kentucky Derby has now eclipsed 15 million viewers in each of the last eight years that the event was not effected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. An average audience of 16 million tuned in Saturday to see longshot Rich Strike win the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.

During the weekend, the event kept finding new life on social media. According to an NBC Sports press release, the overhead shot of the final call drew big audiences across a number of the network’s digital platforms, having been viewed in total more than 36 million times.

Peacock also cashed in on the event’s success. The streaming platform posted an average minute audience of over 247,000 viewers during the Kentucky Derby.

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