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First Take Blasted For Arch Manning Segment

First Take took on the topic of whether or not Arch Manning will surpass his famous uncles and grandfather as the best QB in the family.

MIchael Quirk

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The days sandwiched between the end of the NBA season and the beginning of the NFL season are the dog days of sports reporting. It’s a time when networks and publications latch on to the NBA Draft and free agency period, the MLB trade deadline, NFL camps, and really anything that can get a reporter through the day. First Take is never one to miss an opportunity to start the silly season early, and Tuesday was no exception as they discussed the topic “Will Arch Manning surpass Peyton, Eli & Archie to become the greatest Manning yet?”

If you are keeping score at home, or at a specific family reunion near New Orleans, let’s take a quick look at the credentials. Peyton Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of the top 5-10 quarterbacks to ever play the game. Eli Manning is also a two-time Super Bowl champion whose legendary playoff runs are cemented in NFL lore. Archie Manning is the patriarch who architected the familial football dynasty and was a dynamic signal-caller in his own right relegated to what was at the time considered football purgatory in the Bayou. Arch Manning, however, just wrapped up his sophomore year in high school.

“Peyton Manning was like the most excellent player who ever lived until it mattered most and then Eli was the best,” Max Kellerman lobbied while breaking down Peyton, Eli, and Archie’s attributes. “He may have all of that in him. He doesn’t have to be the best at each category, just mix it all up in there.”

It is a topic that did not go unnoticed by the sports media. Many writers and talking heads had the same conclusion: it is nuts to be talking about this right now.

For context, Arch is by all accounts an elite prospect at this point in his high school career. He’s had eyes on him since middle school due to his highly-publicized surname, with his Isadore Newman football games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks in recent years. He is the No. 4 overall player in the country by the 247Sports composite for the 2023 class, including the No. 1 quarterback in the class. While his recruitment is being played close to the chest, the options he is reportedly considering at this early stage are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, SMU, and Texas along with his mother’s alma mater in Virginia, and his father, uncle, and grandparents’ alma mater in Ole Miss.

The recruiting machine and the content machine are two that seemingly are never-ending. Though, contemplating whether or not a kid who has yet to attend his junior prom is destined for greatness surpassing his legendary family members seems like at least one of those machines may have a loose cog in it.

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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