Thom Brennaman has been out of the play-by-play booth for the Cincinnati Reds for over three weeks now. Back on August 19, he could be heard using a gay slur over the airwaves of FOX Sports Ohio during a double header between the Reds and Kansas City Royals. He was suspended indefinitely. FOX also announced that it would not be using Brennaman to call NFL games this fall.
Brennaman issued an awkward on air apology. He also wrote a detailed apology for The Athletic. Mark Fischer has a story this week in The New York Post detailing the broadcaster’s efforts to meet with gay colleagues and LGBTQ activists in the Cincinnati area.
Evan Millward of WPCO TV in Cincinnati says he had his guard up when Brennaman asked to meet with him. He was concerned about being a pawn in an insincere apology tour that was just about PR.
“It was pretty clear to me early on that he was not using me,” Millward told Fischer.
Millward and Cincinnati LGBTQ activist Ryan Messer are working with Brennaman and having routine conversations to help the broadcaster understand why his words were so hurtful. They have run into an interesting quandary though.
Thom Brennaman claims that what was captured by TV microphones was the first time he had ever used the gay slur he did. Messer is pretty adamant that he doesn’t believe that is true.
“If he used it then, he used it before,” Messer said. He won’t dismiss the opportunity to educate Brennaman, even if it means Brennaman isn’t being totally honest. “If we don’t open the dialogue to help explain (the meaning behind the word), how do we learn and grow from it? And that’s where my whole perspective comes, and I’m willing to make sure he understands that, which is why he is coming to my house Saturday to meet my family, my husband and four kids.”
Brennaman says that the extent of his outreach to the LGBTQ community doesn’t stop at Millward and Messer. He says that he has spoken to groups across the country and that most have been forgiving and happy to see him making an effort to educate himself.
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.