When Skip Bayless’ massive contract extension from FOX Sports was revealed last week, it came with a report that the sports talker could be adding an afternoon show. And according to Michael McCarthy of FrontOffice Sports, one of the ideas the network has considered features Bayless as the judge of a debate show.
If the idea for Bayless as a judge does take off, requiring him to reflect 18th century fashion should be a caveat and he can even turn to another sports talker for help in Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.
The potential plans for an afternoon show won’t take Bayless away from co-hosting Undisputed with Shannon Sharpe every morning on FS1. The afternoon show is also unlikely to include Sharpe. Instead, Front Office Sports states the 69-year-old Bayless would probably judge debates featuring some of the network’s younger talent such as Emmanuel Acho, Joy Taylor and Nick Wright. The show will ultimately give sports audiences more Skip Bayless, but less of his argumentative opinions.
Bayless recently signed a four-year $32 million deal to stay with FOX Sports. It’s his second contract with FOX Sports and a 33% increase from his first one which was signed in 2016. Adding an afternoon show to his schedule could be an effort to justify giving Bayless a bump in pay and a near $8 million annual salary.
Launching an afternoon show also could be an attempt from Bayless to keep up with his former partner Stephen A. Smith. Smith recently signed a massive contract extension with ESPN, where his daily show First Take sometimes more than triples the audience of Bayless’ Undisputed on FS1. Smith recently added a solo afternoon show on ESPN+ to his daily schedule and continues to be one of the network’s premier personalities.
Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN
“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”
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.
Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game
“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”
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.
Kentucky Derby Rebounds With 16 Million Viewers
“The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.”
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.