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Mike Francesa Confirms February 1 First Take Appearance

“I have agreed to make an appearance with those two and I will be there in studio with them on February 1.”

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Mike Francesa

Mike Francesa says his inbox has been flooded with questions about him joining Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Stephen A. Smith on First Take. On his podcast Tuesday, the Sports Pope said that it is true and the details have been confirmed.

“That is true,” Francesa said. “I have agreed to make an appearance with those two and I will be there in studio with them on February 1.”

His announcement comes less than a week after Russo made the announcement on his SiriusXM radio show. The way Russo announced the date led some to wonder if all of the details were confirmed.

Things have moved fairly quickly with the reunion. While rumors of a Mike Francesa appearance on First Take have been swirling since Chris Russo joined the show’s rotating panel of co-hosts, it was last week that things were kicked into overdrive.

Stephen A. Smith got the ball rolling last Wednesday on The Howard Stern when he revealed that his plan was to stage a Mike and the Mad Dog reunion.

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Sports TV News

49ers and Cowboys Draw More Viewers Than Any Telecast Since Super Bowl

“It is the second highest-rated Divisional Round game on record.”

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FOX bosses love the Dallas Cowboys and it is easy to understand why. The team has tremendous national appeal. That was evident on Sunday as 45.7 million people tuned in to see the team lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs.

The audience is significant. First, it is the second highest-rated Divisional Round game on record. The top spot is held by the Cowboys’ loss to the Packers in 2017. That game drew 45.8 million viewers. It is also the most-watched TV broadcast since the Super Bowl last year.

NFL football is always a ratings driver, but the Cowboys have been at the center of some major milestones this season. Last week, their win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the most-watched playoff game in ESPN history. On Thanksgiving Day, more than 42 million people tuned in to see the Cowboys take on the Giants, making it the most-watched regular season game in history.

Overall, the Divisional Round continued the positive ratings trend for the NFL. Across all four games, the league averaged 37.1 million viewers. While that is a 3% drop from last year, it is still the third highest-rated Divisional Round of all time.

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Sports TV News

More Than 34 Million Tune In For Chiefs vs Jaguars

“The game was the most watched Saturday afternoon divisional game since 2015 and also set a new NBC Sports NFL streaming record.”

Jordan Bondurant

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NBC Sports on Monday reported viewership numbers for Saturday night’s AFC divisional playoff game between the Chiefs and Jaguars. They are very good.

Viewership of Kansas City’s 27-20 win over Jacksonville peaked at 37.3 million, averaging 34.1 million across TV, streaming on Peacock and NBC Sports Digital, as well as NFL Digital platforms.

The game was the most watched Saturday afternoon divisional game since 2015 and also set a new NBC Sports NFL streaming record.

“What an exciting way to cap our coverage of the 2022 NFL season, with star quarterbacks in a one-score game for a berth in the AFC Championship Game,” NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua said. “We thank our best-in-class team for their creative effort and tireless work throughout the season, and look forward to watching the culmination of an exciting postseason.”

Kansas City will take on Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon in the AFC championship game.

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Sports TV News

Chip Caray Leaving Braves To Be New TV Voice of St. Louis Cardinals

“Chip Caray fills the seat of Dan McLaughlin on Bally Sports Midwest.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The St. Louis Cardinals have hired a new TV play-by-play announcer. Chip Caray was believed to be the leading candidate according to Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. By Monday evening The Athletic’s Cardinals reporter Katie Woo and Atlanta Braves reporter David O’Brien confirmed that Caray will be trading his seat in the booth at Truist Park for the one at Busch Stadium.

Chip, the son of broadcaster Skip Caray and grandson of Harry Caray, had called Braves games on Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast since 2005.

Chip was born in St. Louis and went to high school in the area. His grandfather, who s best known by many for calling Cubs games on WGN, called Cardinals games for over two decades.

Chip Caray fills the seat of Dan McLaughlin on Bally Sports Midwest. McLaughlin and Bally parted ways in December.

Neither the Cardinals or Bally Sports Midwest have made any formal announcement of Caray’s hiring.

Seattle Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith was also interviewed for the job but recently withdrew his name from consideration according to Caesar.

The Braves now have to find a new voice to replace Caray on TV. The first full-squad spring training workout for the Braves is February 21, and Grapefruit League games begin February 25.

Atlanta opens the 2023 season on March 30.

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