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All NFL Broadcasts See Ratings Drop Except FOX

“There are a number of factors working against the NFL’s ratings right now and protests might be one of them.”

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Sports ratings have been down almost across the board since leagues, games and events began returning in late July. Predictably, TV ratings for the NFL’s opening week experienced similar declines. 

Headlining the NFL’s TV ratings were drop-offs for their Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football broadcasts. For Sunday Night Football, NBC drew an average audience of 18.94 million for the matchup between the Cowboys and Rams, a 15% decline from 2019’s opening week according to Nielsen. Sports Business Journal’s Austin Karp noted it was SNF’s smallest Week 1 audience since 2008.

For Monday Night Football, ESPN’s early game between the Giants and Steelers averaged 10.8 million viewers, down from 2019’s 13.5 million, but an increase from 2018 which drew 10.45 million. The late game on ESPN, however, was historically low as the Titans-Broncos broadcast averaged just 7.7 million viewers. 

But even as the TNF, SNF and MNF audiences dipped from 2019, there were some bright spots for the NFL in Week 1.  According to Nielsen, the national window for FOX garnered an average of 25.85 million viewers as Tom Brady and the Buccaneers went up against the Saints in New Orleans. For FOX, it was their most watched Week 1 America’s Game of the Week since 2016 and a 7% jump from last year. FOX also touted a 7% gain from 2019 during its regional window, with a 13.5 million average audience.  

In contrast to FOX, CBS was down 12% with 13.6 million viewers for its singleheader. 

NFL Detractors will point to anthem protests and defenders will tout the big audience who watched Brady and Brees on FOX. There are a number of factors working against the NFL’s ratings right now and protests might be one of them. But not to be forgotten are decreased broadcast TV consumption, empty stadiums, the election year, no preseason hype, and fans building a tolerance for life without sports.

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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Sports TV News

Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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