One of the enduring broadcast themes of college basketball season is Bill Walton’s calling Pac-12 games and doing so with a but of an untethered flare. Roxy Bernstein, one of Walton’s broadcast partners, says it’s a deliberate attempt to be interesting.
“I think people see this caricature on television,” Bernstein said. “Let me clue you in on a secret and pull back the curtain here: it’s an act.”
Bernstein made these comments as a guest on Announcer Schedules the Podcast. He talked about Walton’s style being one that suits him to satisfy his own happiness.
“If he wanted to be a cookie-cutter analyst, he’s done that. He could do it,” commented Bernstein. “But Bill, I think this is good simulation for him. His ability to inform the audience and make it a well-rounded broadcast, to culture the audience so there’s just laser-focused in on this game.”
Bernstein also noted that when you see Walton and his play-by-play partner for the first time on television, it’s often the first time they are speaking to each other.
“He never opens the door to what is going to happen that night,” said Bernstein. “Essentially the first conversation of that day that we are having is, ‘Hi, welcome to Pauley Pavilion. Along with the Hall of Famer Bill Walton, I’m Roxy Bernstein’. That’s the first time we are really talking all day.”
FOX Scores Another Big College Football Weekend
Saturday’s broadcast of Michigan-Iowa drew 4,198,000 viewers on FOX.
FOX continues to grabs heaps of viewers for its prime viewing window of college football coverage.
Saturday’s broadcast of Michigan-Iowa drew 4,198,000 viewers on FOX. To date, thru five weeks of the college football season, Big Noon Saturday is averaging 5,767,000 viewers, the most-watched window in college football.
NFL Ratings on CBS Off to Best Start Since 2010
That number buoys the network to an average of 18.559 million viewers over the first four games of the season.
The NFL of CBS is behemoth to start the 2022 season. This past weekend saw the more massive ratings for the network.
Sunday’s national game window, which was led the Patriots-Packers overtime game, averaged 24.647 million viewers which was the most-watched Week 4 window on CBS since 1998, when the NFL returned to CBS. It’s also a ratings increase of 8% from last season.
That number buoys the network to an average of 18.559 million viewers over the first four games of the season, CBS‘ best start to a season since 2010.
ESPN Asked NHL For More Games on Linear TV
“It’s something that ESPN pushed for. But to the extent that ESPN was looking to make an adjustment for Year 2, we’re pleased to have the ongoing exposure.”
The 2021-2022 NHL season was the first of a new media rights deal that saw the league’s games air nationally on ESPN and TNT.
The 2022-2023 season will see more games on linear television, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says that’s from ESPN’s insistence.
When asked by Sports Business Journal‘s Alex Silverman about a noticeably larger linear television schedule for the upcoming season, Bettman said “We’re happy to have it, but it’s something that ESPN pushed for. But to the extent that ESPN was looking to make an adjustment for Year 2, we’re pleased to have the ongoing exposure. Although, last year and the way things were balanced was a terrific year for us. Ratings were up, viewership was up, connectivity on all platforms for our fans was up. And ESPN and Turner have done an incredible job, and we’re grateful to be with them.”
Last season, ESPN and ABC only aired 28 games on linear television, 18 airing on ESPN or ESPN2 and 10 on ABC. 75 regular season games were exclusive to ESPN+ and Hulu.
This year, 52 games will air between the two networks with 37 games on ESPN or ESPN2 and 15 games on ABC. The Walt Disney Company has exclusive rights to 103 NHL broadcasts during the 2022-2023 season, including the opening night double header, the All-Star Skills Competition and All-Star Game, and the NHL Stadium Series.