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NBC, NFL Extend Sunday Night Football Agreement For 11 More Years

The NFL is keeping Sunday Night Football on NBC.

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Sunday night football viewers won’t have to change their viewing habits for the next 11 years. The NFL is staying put on NBC. The two parties have announced a brand new 11-year extension which calls for NBC Sports to continue as the exclusive home for primetime television’s #1 show for the past 10 years, Sunday Night Football.

The deal will officially go into place in 2023. Under the terms of the new agreement, NBC and Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, will broadcast the Sunday night game thru 2033. Starting with the 2021 season, Peacock will begin streaming all NBC Sunday Night Football games and the Football Night in America studio show. Peacock will also create a new exclusive and expanded postgame show following each week’s game.

“We are excited to expand upon our relationship with the NFL, which is the most powerful content in sports and entertainment,” said Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Sunday Night Football has been television’s most-watched primetime show for a decade, and we look forward to continuing our best-in-class presentation of SNF, Super Bowls, and playoff games for many years to come, while also broadening our audience with Peacock becoming the live streaming home for all NBC NFL games.”

“Comcast and the NBC family have been outstanding partners for us and we are excited to continue that relationship long into the future,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Sunday Night Football is firmly established as the No. 1 show in primetime television, and we are looking forward to working with NBC and Peacock to continue to bring the NFL to more fans in more ways than ever before.”

According to NBC’s press release, the network will broadcast a Divisional Playoff game in each of the next 13 seasons. They will also televise two Wild Card playoff games during the 2021, 2022, 2023, 2026, and 2031 seasons, with a single Wild Card telecast in all other seasons. In each of the next seven seasons, NBC will carry a Sunday primetime Wild Card game. All NBC NFL postseason games will stream live on Peacock.

Peacock will also serve as the exclusive national home of six NFL regular-season games – one each year from 2023-28 (giving NBC Sports an additional regular-season game in those seasons) – and will launch a virtual NFL channel, highlighting classic games, as well as NFL Films’ series, library, and archival content, which will all also be available on demand. NBC Sports will have the option to incorporate enhanced and interactive features in game presentations to be streamed live on NBC digital platforms, including Peacock.

Another positive for NBC/Peacock, they’ll have the opportunity to produce four of the next 13 Super Bowls, including an additional three Super Bowls as part of the new deal. The events which will fall under NBC’s control are the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles, and Super Bowl games that will be played in 2026, 2030, and 2034. The cities for those games have not yet been determined.

One tidbit that did cause a few media pundits to raise their eyebrows, the NFL will have the opportunity to terminate the agreement with NBC on a one-time basis after seven years of the new deal have been completed. Whether they do or not will depend largely on the appetite for media rights at that time.

Sports TV News

ESPN Decides Not To Send Reporters To Beijing For 2022 Winter Olympics

ESPN originally planned to send four reporters to Beijing to provide coverage.

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One day after NBC announced that none of its 2022 Winter Olympics broadcast teams will work on-site from Beijing and instead work remotely, ESPN has made a similar decision.

On Thursday, the network announced that it won’t send any news personnel to China to cover the Winter Games. According to its official release on the matter, ESPN originally planned to send four reporters to Beijing to provide coverage. But those four will now work remotely with the numerous television and digital personnel assigned to the Olympics.

ESPN.com already has a section dedicated to its Olympics coverage and plans will continue to provide the site with feature content along with scoreboards, medal counts, and additional information and statistics that will be updated in real-time. That Olympics content will also be available on the ESPN app.

Though video restrictions for Olympics highlights will be in place, SportsCenter will also report on results from Beijing and run reports and features on the Beijing games. (NBC holds exclusive rights in the U.S. for Olympics video footage.)

“The safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive VP, event and studio production, in the network’s announcement. “With the pandemic continuing to be a global threat, and with the COVID-related on-site restrictions in place for the Olympics that would make coverage very challenging, we felt that keeping our people home was the best decision for us.”

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics begin with the opening ceremony Friday, Feb. 4.

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Sports TV News

2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Election Results Exclusively Revealed On MLB Network Jan. 25

Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny, and Lauren Shehadi will host MLB Network’s extensive Hall of Fame election coverage.

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This Tuesday, Jan. 25, the 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame election results will be announced exclusively on MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. ET in a four-hour announcement show.

Beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET, National Baseball Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch will reveal the results live from the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery in Cooperstown, as voted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). MLB Network’s Hall of Fame program on Tuesday will be simulcast on MLB.com and in the MLB app on connected devices.

Greg Amsinger, Brian Kennyand Lauren Shehadi will host MLB Network’s extensive Hall of Fame election coverage. This will include analysis from 2018 Ford C. Frick Award winner Bob Costas, MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds, and MLB Network insiders and Hall of Fame voters Jon Morosi, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci.

During the program, there will be clips from a players-only roundtable discussion on the 2022 BBWAA ballot hosted by Reynolds and featuring MLB Network analyst Yonder Alonso, three-time Gold Glove Award winner Mike Cameron and 2007 Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy.

More of baseball’s elite will also join the programming, including Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, 2022 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner Tim Kurkjian, three-time Manager of the Year Award winner Jim Leyland, and longtime baseball journalist and Hall of Fame voter Rob Parker. MLB Network will cover the ballot results across its studio programming, including Hot Stove (9:00 a.m. ET), High Heat (1:00 p.m. ET) and MLB Now (2:00 p.m. ET).   

According to MLB Network’s official release, the live pre-announcement show will also feature the following content:

  • A Tom Verducci essay on 2022 being the final year on the ballot for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
  • A feature by customized piece by hip-hop legend and baseball diehard Chuck D on which questions fans and voters face as this year’s announcement approaches.
  • Brian Kenny looks at each of the eight first-year candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot.
  • Short videos on the atmosphere surrounding Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown, the Plaque Gallery, and candidates anticipating getting “the call.”

Prior to the Tuesday announcement, Brian Kenny will host MLB Now live from the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 24 at 2:00 p.m. ET. And following the election results on Wednesday, Jan. 26, MLB Network will cover the announcement across its daily studio programming.

MLB Network will also exclusively air the 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Sunday, July 24.

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Sports TV News

ESPN, FS1 Morning Studio Shows Drew Big Ratings Monday After Cowboys’ Playoff Loss

Dallas losing a playoff game in embarrassing fashion compelled plenty of viewers to tune in for sports debate shows.

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Monday morning following the Dallas Cowboys’ 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their NFL Wild Card playoff game was very good for sports daytime TV. Both ESPN and FS1 boasted big, record-setting ratings for their studio debate shows, with viewers obviously wanting to know what on-air personalities and analysts thought of the Cowboys’ bumbling last-second failure.

On ESPN, Get Up drew 658,045 viewers, a six percent increase from the show’s previous season-high, set a week earlier. First Take attracted 918,386 viewers, the largest audience for that program. That total seven percent higher than the show’s prior best number, set on Dec. 28, 2019.

Fans clearly wanted to see Stephen A. Smith take delight in the Cowboys’ demise, also perhaps knowing that Hall of Fame Dallas receiver Michael Irvin was sitting across the desk from him Monday.

As mentioned, FS1 benefited from the Cowboys losing as well. Skip and Shannon: Undisputed brought in 442,000 viewers, the highest audience that show has ever attracted. Fans surely tuned in to see the reaction from Cowboys fan Skip Bayless and the taunts he’d receive from Shannon Sharpe.

The Herd with Colin Cowherd also earned its best ratings on FS1, drawing 290,000 viewers for Monday’s show. The network would also like you to know that the audience for both programs has gotten a boost year-over-year, with Undisputed enjoying an 89 percent increase and The Herd up 20 percent.

The Cowboys have always been a big ratings draw for the NFL’s television partners. Apparently, Dallas losing a playoff game in embarrassing fashion provides a significant benefit for the shows responding to the weekend’s major sporting events.

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