Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports TV News

Richard Deitsch: ESPN Doesn’t Want To Highlight Its NBA Studio Crew

“I think business wise it’s probably smart. I do think, though, that the downside or what you’re trading off is that you’re trading off improving or making your studio show more entertaining.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

ESPN Images

ESPN and ABC have taken center stage with the NBA Finals are underway.

When compared to that of TNT’s Inside the NBA, Richard Deitsch, media writer for The Athletic and host of the Sports Media Podcast, said ESPN paints a different picture especially with its transition to post-game coverage.

“The difference is like ESPN has a made a decision, let’s say in (Scott) Van Pelt’s case, that that’s the person they really want to highlight with the big lead-in,” Deitsch told Boston Globe writer Chad Finn. “Where Turner makes the decision like, ‘What we want to highlight is Inside the NBA and our guys there.'”

Deitsch added that there’s no knocking Van Pelt, as what he’s done hosting Sports Center at 11 p.m. has worked.

“It’s probably their smartest play, because they have a popular host in Van Pelt who’s produced really good ratings. And so it’s great branding for their SportsCenter brand,” he said. “I think business wise it’s probably smart. I do think, though, that the downside or what you’re trading off is that you’re trading off improving or making your studio show more entertaining.”

ESPN has a specific structure to how they want to cover the game and the league, as is evident with SVP and Sports Center taking over post-game coverage. Turner has its own way of doing things, but offers a bit more flexibility in covering various storylines.

“Outside of the fact that (Charles) Barkley is probably the biggest unicorn in the history of studio sports programming, you’ll never get another guy like him, and the fact that the chemistry of that show is phenomenal, and Shaq’s an all-timer so he’s just interesting cause he’s Shaq,” Deitsch said. “They get so much time after games where they can really get into stuff.”

Deitsch ultimately said those things are primarily why ESPN can’t compete structurally with Turner.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports TV News

NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 7 Draws 16.3 Million Viewers in North America

Since the data has been tracked in 2004, the is the second most-watched NHL game across North America on record.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Graphic for the Florida Panthers winning the Stanley Cup
Screengrab: ESPN YouTube

The NHL season reached its conclusion with a near-historic seven game series between the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers, which the Panthers won four games to three. This was the first Stanley Cup championship in the history of the organization. Across North America, the NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 7 drew 16.3 million viewers between ABC, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Since the data has been tracked in 2004, the is the second most-watched NHL game across North America on record.

ESPN says the game drew 7.7 million viewers in the U.S. on its platforms, an increase of 182% over last year’s final game which was Game 5 between Florida and Vegas. It was also an increase of 32% over the 2022 final game between Colorado and Tampa Bay.

The game peaked at 10.3 million viewers from 10:45 p.m. ET to 11:00 p.m. ET and drew the largest non-Original Six audience on record. The Original Six consists of the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Overall, the Stanley Cup Final averaged 8.8 million viewers across North America and 4.2 million viewers in the U.S.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Report: Dusty Baker to Once Again Join TBS for MLB Coverage

Baker worked with TBS in a similar capacity in 2015 and was also an analyst for ESPN in 2006 and 2007.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Screengrab of Dusty Baker on MLB Network
Screengrab: MLB Network

World Series champion Dusty Baker, the former player and manager, is headed back to TBS. According to a report from Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post, the former player and manager will take part in some regular season broadcasts and will be a part of the studio team for the postseason where he is expected to work with co-analysts Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins and Curtis Granderson.

Baker worked with TBS in a similar capacity in 2015 and was also an analyst for ESPN in 2006 and 2007.

A three-time Manager of the Year, Baker managed over 4,000 games over 26 years before retiring after the 2023 season. Baker spent time with the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, who he won a World Series with in 2022.

As a player, Baker played 19 seasons, mostly with the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a two-time All-Star and won a World Series in 1981.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese Matchup on ESPN is Most-Watched WNBA Game Since Memorial Day 2001

Eight of the nine games with more than an average of 1 million viewers have included Clark and the Fever.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

WNBA on ESPN Logo
Courtesy: ESPN

The Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky have been embedded within the conversation surrounding the WNBA this season as both teams aim to contend for a league championship. The Fever selected Iowa guard and NCAA Basketball all-time scoring leader Caitlin Clark with the first-overall selection in the WNBA Draft, while the Sky chose LSU forward and former national champion Angel Reese seventh. Clark and Reese faced one another for the third time in the WNBA on Sunday, drawing an average of 2.3 million viewers on ESPN. It was the second consecutive week in which a matchup between these two rookies surpassed 2 million viewers and represents the most-watched WNBA game since Memorial Day 2001.

Before the WNBA season began, the league had not surpassed an average of 1 million viewers for a game in 16 years. Amid the 2024 regular season as it stands, the league has shattered that outcome nine times with more than half of the schedule to go. Eight of those nine games have had Clark and the Fever, which includes the team’s Friday night game against the Atlanta Dream. That matchup averaged 1.18 million viewers on ION, the largest WNBA audience the network has ever attained as it continues the second season of its three-year media rights deal.

Reese, along with Sky rookie Kamilla Cardoso, received media exemptions following a change in the WNBA media season access policy. This means that they will be exempt from media availability following morning shootarounds; however, they will still be available in pregame and postgame windows throughout the season. It is unknown if this change will extend to other teams around the league as the season continues, but the rule states that two members of the team can be exempt from speaking with media after morning shootaround. Sky players had previously demonstrated frustration by questions pertaining to the flagrant 1 foul committed by Sky guard Chennedy Carter on Clark in early June.

The NBA is reportedly negotiating media rights deals including the WNBA and is expected to leave a slate of games available for a separate deal later. NBA media rights are expected to be granted to The Walt Disney Company (ESPN/ABC), NBCUniversal and Amazon’s Prime Video following the conclusion of next season, although no resolutions have officially been announced. Reports have indicated that the NBA expected to net $76 billion over the term of the new deals, which would nearly triple the fiscal value of its existing rights. Moreover, the WNBA could quadruple the money it receives from media rights to $240 million per year, according to a recent report from Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.