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ESPN’s NFL Studio Shows Celebrate Big November

“Monday Night Countdown continues to be top draw and bring in plenty of eyeballs.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Several of ESPN’s NFL shows have hit their stride and experienced positive viewership growth in 2021, according to a press release Tuesday from the network.

Particularly, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and NFL Live have seen an increase in their respective audiences year-over-year through Week 12 of the 2021 season.

NFL Live saw an average audience of 430,000 viewers each show in November. The network says it’s the program’s best draw in nearly three years. The show peaked at 523,000 viewers for its Nov. 22 episode. Demo wise, ESPN says the show is up 19% in viewers aged 35-49 and 20% among females.

Monday Night Countdown continues to be top draw and bring in plenty of eyeballs. The show is averaging 1.531 million viewers per show. That number is up 26% year-over-year. Its Nov. 8 episode setting the table for the Chicago Bears/Pittsburgh Steelers contest on Monday Night Football brought in its largest audience of November at 1.765 million.

Meanwhile, Sunday NFL Countdown saw audience growth each week in November and is experiencing modest gains in the 25-34 demo.

Something continues to work well for ESPN and its slate of marquee NFL shows, and the numbers are proving that.

Sports TV News

Terry Bradshaw Is Cancer Free

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

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During FOX NFL Sunday, Terry Bradshaw revealed he was diagnosed with two different forms of cancer in the last year.

However, after surgeries and treatments, Bradshaw said he is now cancer free.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer said he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November of last year and surgery and treatments removed the cancer. Then, in March of this year, a tumor was found on the left-side of his neck. Bradshaw called it a “Merkel cell tumor”, which he had removed.

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

The 74-year-old has worked on FOX NFL Sunday since its inception in 1994. He will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame later this year.

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Sports TV News

Scott Van Pelt’s ‘Bad Beats’ Becoming 30-Minute Monthly Show

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread.

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The popular “Bad Beats” segment from SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt is being turned into a monthly half-hour show on ESPN.

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread, otherwise known as a “bad beat”. Generally, the segment lasts around 5-10 minutes. ESPN will repurpose the content from the show to package it into a half-hour edition.

The new monthly show debuted yesterday at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Sports Media Reacts To Rodney Harrison Concussion Plea On Football Night In America

“This isn’t the first time Harrison has spoken about his own experience with CTE”

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Everyone that covers the NFL has spent the better part of a week talking about Tua Tagovailoa. The Miami Dolphins quarterback’s health has been the subject of speculation after suffering two traumatic hits in the span of five days leading many to wonder if he was sent back onto the field after suffering a concussion.

Questions about the way the Dolphins and the NFL treated the quarterback are being asked all over TV and radio. There have already been consequences on the field too as the independent doctor that examined Tagovailoa has been fired for making “several mistakes” in his evaluation.

Sunday night, Rodney Harrison sounded off about what he saw and his own experience with head injuries. The former Patriots defensive back explained the lingering effects he has dealt with.

“I would implore these young men, don’t go back on the field if you get hurt,” he told Maria Taylor and Tony Dungy on Football Night in America. “Because I don’t want them to have to feel like me and so many other players that had to deal with concussions, whether it’s depression, anxiety, paranoia, broken relationships, not being able to communicate with your spouse. It’s a lot. CTE takes you to a dark place and I want these players to know it’s not worth it. Please take care of yourself.”

One of the most eyebrow raising moments of Harrison’s statement came from his blunt advice to players about the people evaluating them after big hits.

“Don’t depend on the NFL. Don’t depend on anybody. If something’s wrong with your head, report it!”

The clip was shared all over social media and drew praise and commentary from Rodney Harrison’s colleagues.

This isn’t the first time Harrison has spoken about his own experience with CTE. He was on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday to talk about the way Tagovailoa’s injury was handled. He said that he would regularly lie to doctors when he was being checked out after a big hit.

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