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Alex Rodriguez Ready For Another MLB Season on ESPN

The retired MLB-player is entering his fourth season calling games for ESPN.

Russ Heltman

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The 2021 MLB season has arrived, and with it comes another stint in the Sunday Night Baseball booth for Alex Rodriguez. The businessman and retired player is approaching a half-decade broadcasting baseball. On Wednesday, AROD shared a few thoughts on the 2021 season and reflected on his time broadcasting baseball games.

Joining Rodriguez on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball is play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian and Senior MLB Insider Buster Olney. Being part of that trio of experienced and talented broadcasters is what keeps Rodriguez feeling good about the network’s presentation for baseball fans.

“My chemistry with Matt is getting better and better,” Rodriguez said. “We spoke already this morning, and Buster Olney is as good as it gets. I’m surrounded by great talent.”

One thing Rodriguez has learned after three years behind the microphone is a comfortability with his own talent. 

“One of the greatest guys that I’ve ever seen in my career over the last 25 years has been Joe Buck, and I think he’s the greatest, and he gets a hard time,” Rodriguez added. “It’s a business that you’re never going to get everybody’s thumbs-up.”

Broadcasting is “just like playing baseball” for Rodriguez, who tried to purchase the New York Mets in the offseason. “We gave it a great run, and the Mets are a fantastic franchise with a great fan base, and I think the ownership is going to do a fantastic job,” Rodriguez said. “I also think they have very much a competitive advantage — when you have 29 teams that have been bleeding, and you have one owner that’s coming in hot and ready to win a World Championship, I think there’s an immense competitive advantage.”

Rodriguez praised MLB for its experimentation with mic’ing up players on the field, noting some conversations he had during playing days in between the lines would’ve made for great content. There’s been a great response to that side of the broadcast and it’s seen as a positive way to welcome a younger generation of fans to the game. 

“I want to see them (players) driving home and coming to the stadium,” Rodriguez said. “The more, the better.”

Rodriguez is on the call for New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 1. He’ll be part of ESPN’s Opening Day quadruple-header working with Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney.

Sports TV News

ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years

“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.

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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.

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