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Sports TV News

Kyle Brandt Knew Right Away Mannings Didn’t Need A Host

“Brandt was part of a small group of candidates that actually had the chance to audition with the Mannings before ESPN, and the brothers decided they didn’t need a host.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: NFL Network

Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina had Kyle Brandt on his podcast this week, and the NFL Network host shed some light on his audition for the Manningcast and finding Nate Burleson’s replacement on Good Morning Football.

Brandt was part of a small group of candidates that actually had the chance to audition with the Mannings before ESPN, and the brothers decided they didn’t need a host for ESPN2’s alternate coverage of Monday Night Football.

“There were some feeling-out meetings, a couple phone calls, and then we just did a straight-up audition, myself with Peyton and Eli,” Brandt described to Traina. “We did a game. And when it ended, one of the executives who was running the thing called me right afterward and said to me, ‘What do you think?’ And I said, the hype is real, they don’t need a host. They don’t need a third person. I think you should just do it with the two of them.”

Brandt’s old Good Morning Football teammate, Nate Burleson, left the show to pursue a hosting role on CBS Mornings. There are plenty of worthy candidates ready to replace Burleson, but the crew is making sure they check all the right boxes for the unique show.

“It’s a very difficult spot to fill, not only because of the obvious chemistry deal and the obvious work we’ve had behind us with Nate,” said Kyle Brandt. “It’s just like, we’re looking for an ex-player — he’s gotta be an ex-player, this is the NFL Network — and he has to be an ex-player who not only wants to get up at 4:30 in the morning every single day to go to a table to talk to three people who did not play in the NFL and are going to tell him his opinion is wrong. You also have to have that ex-player live in the New York-New Jersey area.”

With a month gone in the 2021 NFL season, there isn’t much of a rush to cement Burleson’s old spot. GMFB can take their time finding someone ready to take the role.

Listen to the full podcast appearance here.

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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