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Media Tells Two Different Stories About NBA All Star Ratings

“The smaller audience is definitely something that the league is concerned about, but given the trend of all sports broadcasts being down, the NBA is still outperforming most of its competition outside of football.”

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The ratings for the NBA All-Star Game were either very bad or very good depending on who you ask and how it is framed.

Let’s start with the bad. It is undeniable that ratings for the NBA, like every sport since the pandemic began, have struggled to draw the TV audience it used to. Sunday night, that fact was crystal clear as the NBA All-Star Game saw its lowest ratings and smallest TV audience ever. Overall viewership was down 24% from last year.

Numbers-wise, the NBA has to be particularly disappointed with the 18-34 demographic. A fanbase that the league touts as one of its strengths only delivered a 2.4 rating.

Now, let’s talk about the good. This is a similar narrative to the Super Bowl. The audience was low by comparison to past events, but compared to the rest of television, the NBA All-Star Game, like the Super Bowl, delivered.

Inside the sports world, the All-Star Game tops every non-football telecast since last year’s World Series. It is the most watched game of the NBA season.

Maybe some older viewers skipped the All-Star Game in favor of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Megan Markel on CBS, but with that 18-34 demo, basketball beat the royal tell all.

So it was undeniably a good night for the NBA while simultaneously being an undeniably bad one. The smaller audience is definitely something that the league is concerned about, but given the trend of all sports broadcasts being down, the NBA is still outperforming most of its competition outside of football.

Discussions of the NBA’s ratings have come with social implications since 2019, when the league forced then-Rockets GM Daryl Morey to walk back a tweet expressing support for democracy in Hong Kong. For one night only, it seems that the same game provided fodder for both narratives about the country’s interest in the NBA.

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The CW to Air 2023 Barstool Arizona Bowl

After going streaming-only last year, the 2023 Barstool Arizona Bowl will also air on the CW.

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The Barstool Arizona Bowl just secured an additional broadcast home — The CW.

The news broke earlier today on Twitter from the official Barstool Arizona Bowl account. The 2023 Barstool Arizona Bowl will stream once more on Barstool.TV but can also be found on your local CW affiliate.

Fear not, Stoolies — your favorite Barstool personalities won’t be replaced by The CW’s broadcast teams. Pardon My Take’s Jake Marsh confirmed that he will once again assume play-by-play duties, while his bosses Dan “Big Cat” Katz and Dave Portnoy will join him as color commentators. Caleb Pressley and Adam “Rone” Ferrone will act as sideline reporters.

Last year, Barstool ditched a traditional media platform to air their bowl game after reports surfaced that CBS wouldn’t work with Barstool to broadcast the game. Instead, the company streamed the game direct-to-consumer on Barstool.TV, the company’s streaming platform. Ratings were about on par with a streaming-only event, with 1 million total viewers, 500,000 unique viewers, and a high of 130,000 concurrent viewers according to Front Office Sports.

Last year, Ohio defeated Wyoming 30-27. We’ll find out which two teams will play in this year’s Barstool Arizona Bowl following this weekend’s college football slate.

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CFP National Championship Game Could Rotate Between Partners in New TV Deal

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN and FOX have already made presentations to the CFP.

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College Football Playoff Logo
Courtesy: College Football Playoff

Ahead of the College Football Playoff (CFP) expansion to 12 teams in the 2024 season, the playoff could look to have the National Championship Game rotate among its media partners every year.

The goal through the process would be to maximize the scope of the media rights fees and cross-promote the game once the existing 12-year, $5.64 billion rights deal with ESPN expires, sources have told Front Office Sports.

Various media outlets have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring rights to the CFP, including ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, and Warner Bros. Discovery, along with streaming providers Amazon Prime Video and Apple. Michael McCarthy and Amanda Christovich of Front Office Sports reported the news of the prospective structure, along with several media companies that could be involved in the bidding.

Within the report, it is stated that no structure of a deal has been agreed upon at the moment. Last year’s contest between Georgia and TCU averaged 17.2 million viewers on ABC, which made the contest the least-watched National Championship Game since the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) came into existence in 1999. According to Front Office Sports, ESPN and FOX have already made presentations to the CFP, and ESPN could be reportedly willing to forgo part of the CFP to pay for other rights, such as the National Basketball Association.

The discussion surrounding the CFP comes at a time when NASCAR recently announced seven-year media rights deals with CBS, NBC, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Amazon Prime Video worth a combined $7.7 billion. Moreover, the Big Ten inked a seven-year, $8 billion deal with CBS, NBC, and FOX that began this season and is slated to run through 2029.

ESPN will broadcast the National Championship Game on Jan. 8, 2024 at 7:30 PM ET.

Last year, the network presented an alternate broadcast featuring Pat McAfee and members of his program, The Pat McAfee Show, broadcast on ESPN2 while Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Holly Rowe, and Molly McGrath were on the traditional presentation on ESPN.

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Andrew Whitworth: Being on Amazon Prime Video Keeps Me Connected to Football

“I just finished this incredibly long football career, but I feel like I’m 18 years old and I just got a fake ID and I can go to a club.”

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Andrew Whitworth
Courtesy: Jason Hanna, Amazon Sports

After 16 seasons in the NFL, Andrew Whitworth is officially retired from playing the game, but he is still very much around the gridiron as a member of Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football studio broadcast team.

Whitworth is on-site at the games every week behind the desk as an analyst on TNF Tonight where he provides his insight and expertise regarding the action on the field. The four-time Pro Bowler is situated alongside Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, along with host Charissa Thompson.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Whitworth described how he is looking at the game of football in a different light now that he is retired. Within his remarks, he conveyed that he is not sure if he was necessarily a fan of the sport when he was playing, something he acknowledges is ludicrous to state but a legitimate question he has. Rather than viewing the game as a whole, he was more focused on his role as an offensive tackle and being able to effectuate scoring drives by stopping defenses.

“I just finished this incredibly long football career, but I feel like I’m 18 years old and I just got a fake ID and I can go to a club,” Whitworth said. “That’s how I feel watching football now – I just want to consume everything I can.”

Immediately after the final season of his career – which ended with a Super Bowl championship as a member of the Los Angeles Rams – Andrew Whitworth wanted to discover a way to remain involved in the sport. There were options, he shared, to stay within the Rams organization, along with opportunities to work with other teams. His mindset was focused on the art of storytelling though and how to promulgate and discuss a sport that granted him a successful career.

“Being in these stadiums, it keeps you so connected,” Whitworth said. “And every week it seems, I’ve got players asking me, ‘Hey man, you got any thoughts on my game? Things you could help me with?’ For my last five or six years in the NFL, I was kind of a coach-player, mentoring guys. Now, I’m getting to do that a little bit while also covering the games, which has been great.”

Andrew Whitworth outlined a typical week as a member of the Amazon Prime Video Thursday Night Football broadcast, which begins with a production meeting on Monday mornings and subsequent research and film study. In the afternoon he coaches a junior high basketball team for his son and then proceeds to coach his other son’s football team. The film study continues on Tuesday before traveling to the city where the game is taking place that night.

“As soon as I get to that city, I start putting together a tape to talk about and show the producers,” Whitworth said of his Wednesday routine. “We all get together, usually at the hotel, and spend [four to five] hours having dinner and talking about the game.”

Another production meeting takes place on Thursday morning before touring the city and finding enjoyable things to do throughout the day. The crew then arrives to the stadium to do the broadcast that night – in this case, a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks, which begins with TNF Tonight at 7 PM ET.

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