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2021 NFL Draft Viewership Down, But Still Top 3 All Time

Awful Announcing notes that while there was a year-over-year decline from 2020, numbers were extremely close to 2019’s 6.2 million, making this year the third-most watch draft.

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Between Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase, the 2021 NFL Draft was filled will star-studded talent that viewers couldn’t wait to see selected.

According to Awful Announcing, Thursday night’s broadcast of the first round drew the second-highest viewership ever with 12.52 million viewers, while the entire three-day event saw an average of 6.1 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms, including ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and digital channels.

Last year’s draft took the cake in terms of viewership with fans watching while stuck at home and most all other sporting events canceled. It drew an average of 15.6 million on day one and 8.2 million throughout the three days, setting a new record.

Awful Announcing notes that while there was a year-over-year decline from 2020, numbers were extremely close to 2019’s 6.2 million, making this year the third-most watch draft.

A release from the NFL notes that this is the third-straight year Disney has worked with the NFL to provide a multi-network presentation of the NFL Draft for all seven rounds. Awful Announcing adds that while this year’s draft was the third most-watched draft, it’s important to note the broadcast setup of all rounds on ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network has really only been consistent for the past three years.

The NFL also mentioned that “digitally, the 2021 NFL Draft delivered an AMA of 261K across NFL O&O, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ABC platforms – up +36% vs. 2019 (192K).”

Sports TV News

Louis Riddick: ‘ESPN Knows I Am Interested In GM Opportunities’

“I will say my mindset has changed about it since I have left front office work, but the fire still burns. I know for a fact I can do it.”

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In over a month from now, one of the names you will start to hear for NFL general manager openings is ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Louis Riddick. He hasn’t worked for an NFL team in almost a decade, but that doesn’t mean he is not ready for another opportunity. He has interviewed for a couple of GM openings in the past. 

Before calling the Patriots-Bills matchup on MNF this week, Riddick was a guest on The Colin Cowherd Podcast and Cowherd asked him if he still has that itch to get back into being in an NFL front office.

“I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t. ESPN knows that,” Riddick answered. “They know it and I talk to them about it. That’s why those avenues have been explored like they were last year and then we’ll see what happens in the next month or two this year.”

While the competitive side of being in a front office has never left Riddick, he is still searching for the right opportunity to get back into the game.

“Right opportunity, right place, and it just matches up. Of course, it’s going to be one of those situations where you have to sit down and talk it over with your decision-making circle, talk it over with ESPN and you go from there. I will say my mindset has changed about it since I have left front office work, but the fire still burns. I know for a fact I can do it. I did it for 12 years. I know what it takes.” 

In fact, Riddick told Cowherd that he feels more prepared for the job now more than ever because of what he gets to do at ESPN and pick the brains of other coaches.

“I’ve learned so much more being on the outside now being able to talk to all of the different coaches in a different way. I’m really able to pick their brains and talk about team building, staff building, culture building, diving deep into the Xs and Os and comparing what teams do to one another…I am 10 times more smart about the game of football where it’s headed now than I was in 2012 when I was last in a front office….We’ll see what happens, but I am good either way.”

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Vince McMahon: ‘I Wish I Could Have Beaten Up Bob Costas’

“Apparently, Vince has an enemy in Bob Costas.”

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HBO

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s in-ring persona often is the same as it is in real life. Mr. McMahon can be brash, intimidating and command your attention. As a businessman, it’s also no surprise that he’s probably made a few enemies along the way, whether it be through business or in media.

Apparently, Vince has an enemy in Bob Costas. But that’s not earth-shattering considering part of his job is making enemies.

McMahon’s disdain for the former NBC broadcaster stems from a 2001 interview the two did on Costas’s HBO show, where Costas appeared to do everything right to push Vince’s buttons.

A transcript provided to the New York Post from a Jim Miller book called Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers details just how Costas managed to get under McMahon’s skin.

“Once we were doing the interview, he kept interrupting me and interrupting me, and bringing up topics that had nothing to do with what we were supposed to be talking about,” McMahon said.

Vince McMahon referred to Costas as “pompous” and was even quoted as saying he’d have laid hands on Costas had he not been so small.

“I wish he wasn’t 5-feet high and 140 pounds. If he was 6-5 and 295, he would deserve to get the shit beat out of him,” McMahon said. “I could have really given them some great television.”

The Post notes that the two were able to conduct a more civil interview a year later, but it seems like once you cross a boss like Vince McMahon, there’s no way to get back in his good graces.

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Sports TV News

Canadian Sportscasting Icon Brian Williams to Retire

“TSN plans to honor the career and achievements of Williams prior to kickoff of the Grey Cup.”

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Postmedia

A Canadian broadcasting icon is set to call it a career following this year’s Grey Cup on Dec. 12.

Brian Williams has spent the majority of his career between the nation’s biggest broadcasting companies, CBC, CTV and TSN. The largest chunk of his career was spent from 1974-2006 with CBC.

Williams is a 2010 inductee into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Football Reporters Wing and has covered some of the world’s biggest sporting events including the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

“Over the course of the last 50 years, I’ve been fortunate to cover so many great athletes and amazing events, both at home and abroad. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all,” Brian Williams said in a statement.

TSN plans to honor the career and achievements of Williams prior to kickoff of the Grey Cup.

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