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Stephen A. Smith: I Am Underpaid

“I am paid well, but I know I am worth more. During a negotiation, you get what you can get, and you move on.”

Ricky Keeler

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On any of these debate shows, it is interesting when one host has the other seemingly figured out. For Stephen A. Smith, he already seems to know how to beat his partner on First Take, Max Kellerman, in any debate. 

This week, on The 10 Questions With Kyle Brandt Podcast, Smith told Brandt that the key to beating Kellerman in any debate is to just let him keep talking.

“He’s one of those guys that don’t underestimate him and think he doesn’t do his work, he does,” Smith said in praise of Kellerman. “Here’s the difference. The objective is a debate. All I have to do is let him talk and he loses. He’s the kind of person who will make his point, then make your point, my point and not realize you will forget his point. All I have to do is go so, what did you say? You remember my point because at the end of the day, the flip side to it is he couldn’t give you one opinion to save his life, he has to give you 10. That’s all you have to remember to beat him in a debate.”

Back in December, ESPN was laying off many of their employees and one person took to Twitter to blame Stephen A. Smith’s salary as the reason why. Smith was not happy about it and he hasn’t forgotten the accusation.

“Don’t ever associate me with the firing of anybody. I generate revenue that helps keep people employed. I don’t sit up there and cost the company revenue where they have to lay people off… As a guy that was once unemployed that lost my job at ESPN because I didn’t know my value and I was asking for more than I was worth at that point. Fast forward a decade later, and that clearly was not a problem.”

Smith did mention that he would never insult another colleague at another network or media outlet because he understands the business. Plus, he knows some people resent him at ESPN. However, he doesn’t care about it as long as they are not lying behind his back.

“Anything I have said about anybody publicly I have said to their face. in terms of my colleagues. I’ve been in journalism for 28 years.  I’ve been in television since 1999. I think it’s kind of stupid for people to resent me because in my eyes, I am opening doors for other people to get theirs because I don’t believe I am the only one who should get paid. Despite the huge contract that everybody wants to lean on, I am still underpaid. I am paid well, but I know I am worth more. During a negotiation, you get what you can get, and you move on.” 

On the rest of the podcast, you can hear why Smith tells people they should stay off the weed, if he considers himself a happy person, and how he got to the point where he uses a wide variety of vocabulary in some of his debates. 

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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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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