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World Series Ratings Still Down, But Game 5 Shows Promise

“According to Sports Media Watch, Game 4 was the league’s most-watched World Series game since 2018.”

Russ Heltman

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FOX’s World Series ratings rode a rollercoaster over the weekend as they went up against College and NFL broadcasts. Starting with Game 4 played in Atlanta, FOX averaged 10.771 million viewers in what ended up being the third least-watched World Series Game 4 in MLB’s history.

Saturday is usually the least-watched night of TV during the week, and that–paired with competing college football broadcasts–left the league and FOX with that mark. Historically, Game 4 was a disappointment, but it was a big victory when looking at recent history.

According to Sports Media Watch, Game 4 was the most-watched World Series game since 2018. The Braves moved their series lead to 3-1 and slotted in as the most-watched Game 4 since the 2018 matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The matchup increased 18% in ratings and 13% in viewership from last year.

Game 5 was a banner night for FOX as the Astros’ fight to stay alive brought in an average of 13.933 million viewers. That represented a 19% increase from 2019 and a 35% increase from 2020. NFL broadcast coverage leading into the game helped coverage from Houston, but it was still the sports largest audience since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series.

The most impressive part about the mark is that they went up against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. America’s Team didn’t have its starting quarterback, but it was a close contest throughout that ultimately didn’t hurt baseball’s ratings.

CBS posted figures on Sunday that they haven’t seen since 2015. The network’s NFL single header amassed averaged 17.777 million viewers on Sunday. The week also brought strong growth for Paramount+. ViacomCBS’s streaming service set a viewership record for the single header and is recording double-digit growth for the streaming platform compared to last season.

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ESPN to Produce Content Series Centered on Brittney Griner

“The last two years have been the most harrowing, transformative and illuminating period of my life, and I am grateful to be in a place now to share my story with the world.”

Jordan Bondurant

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After being imprisoned in Russia for almost a year, WNBA star Brittney Griner is ready to share her story. Griner has collaborated with ESPN and Disney Entertainment Television to develop a documentary feature from ESPN Films and a scripted series is in the works with ABC Signature.

Additionally, Griner will do an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.

“The last two years have been the most harrowing, transformative and illuminating period of my life, and I am grateful to be in a place now to share my story with the world,” Griner said. “I’m proud to partner with ESPN and Disney to share this very personal story because of its incredible potential to inspire hope around the world and their proven ability to do just that.”

The documentary feature will be a chronicle of Griner’s story from the moment she was arrested at a Moscow airport for cannabis possession, through her prosecution and imprisonment, to her eventual release from Russian custody.

The feature will feature exclusive footage, recordings and letters to and from Griner during her time in prison.

“Brittney is an exceptional athlete whose hardship and resilience are nothing short of extraordinary,” ESPN President of Content Burke Magnus said. “We are thrilled to be working with her to tell the nuances of her story and feel confident that this documentary will captivate audiences everywhere.”

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Andy North on Beginning TV Career: ‘You Don’t Have Any Clue What You’re Doing’

“You learn by mistakes and you get your butt chewed every day for a couple of years… You’re just trying to figure it out, but I’ve had some great people to work with and have had a ton of fun and it’s been 30-plus years.”

Jordan Bondurant

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A photo of Andy North
(Photo: ESPN)

ESPN golf analyst Andy North has enjoyed a successful broadcasting career, but he knows it’s taken a lot of work to get where he wanted to be.

North will be part of ESPN’s broadcast crew covering The Champions Cup team event this weekend, and he reflected on the early days of his second career.

North joined ESPN in 1992 as an on-course reporter. His big break came when the network asked him to fill in for Gary Koch, who was injured at the time.

“It went reasonably well, and they asked me to join (ESPN) the next year,” North told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

But things weren’t exactly smooth sailing right out of the gate for North, who said he basically went into the job blind.

“You don’t have any clue what you’re doing when you start out,” he said. “You learn by mistakes, and you get your butt chewed every day for a couple of years.

“You’re just trying to figure it out, but I’ve had some great people to work with and have had a ton of fun and it’s been 30-plus years,” North added.

Andy North continued that it was the support he got from everyone around him in the media space that helped him elevate his broadcasting skills. It helped that the two-time U.S. Open champion was also in his element.

“You’re around a bunch of guys you spent your whole life with,” he said. “You got a lot of great friends out here, and you can say it’s work and you work at it, but it’s not the worst thing you could do.”

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ACC Network Adds Chelsea Gray as Women’s Basketball Analyst

“I’m honored to be coming back home to the ACC. This conference proves its greatness year after year and I’m thrilled to be a part of it again.”

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ACC Network just added another talent to its growing roster, this time adding three-time WNBA champion and former Duke Blue Devil Chelsea Gray as a women’s college basketball analyst.

Gray will make her ACC Network debut on Sunday, Dec. 10 when her alma mater takes on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles live at Cameron Indoor Stadium at noon E.T.

“I’m honored to be coming back home to the ACC,” Gray said. “This conference proves its greatness year after year and I’m thrilled to be a part of it again.”

This won’t be Gray’s first rodeo when it comes to live game analysis. During the 2021-22 season, Gray was a key member of ACCN’s Nothing But Net studio coverage. She also called seven regular season games and three NCAA Tournament games throughout the year.

Along with her on-screen duties, Gray still plays as a member of the Las Vegas Aces, where she helped guide the team to back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2022 and 2023.

“We are very excited to welcome Chelsea back to the ACC Network as a game analyst. She’s competed and won championships at the highest level so her experience and knowledge of the game will be such an asset to our already strong women’s basketball coverage,” said Sara Gaiero, vice president of production at ESPN.

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