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FOX Sports Averages 40 Million Viewers for Packers-Cowboys Wild Card Game

The reach of this game is up 20% over last year’s playoff tilt that aired in the same window when the New York Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings.

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NFL on FOX Logo - Courtesy: FOX Sports | Background Image - Courtesy: Unreal Engine

FOX Sports has announced an average audience of 40 million viewers for its Wild Card game broadcast on Sunday afternoon in the Green Bay Packers’ 48-32 defeat of the Dallas Cowboys. The matchup is projected to place the showdown as the property’s best performance for an NFL Wild Card game since 2015.

Moreover, the presentation peaked at 43.4 million viewers from the quarter-hour from 6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST. The network’s lead NFL broadcast crew of play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt, color commentator Greg Olsen, reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi were on the broadcast of the game. Viewership data for the matchup is provided by Nielsen Media Research and Adobe Analytics.

The reach of this game is up 20% over last year’s playoff tilt that aired in the same window when the New York Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings. A total of 33.2 million viewers watched the matchup that gave the Giants their first postseason victory since the 2011 playoffs. Prior to their playoff loss on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys ended their regular-season with a victory against the Washington Commanders that elicited an average of 21.73 million viewers and a 10.8 overall rating for FOX Sports, according to data reported by Sports Media Watch.

The Green Bay-Dallas matchup was preceded by a special edition of FOX NFL Sunday that included an exclusive interview with CeeDee Lamb conducted by reporter Erin Andrews. FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer delivered his “Ins and Outs” leading up to the matchup while Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan and Rob Gronkowski delivered analysis on the panel hosted by Curt Menefee.

Two additional Wild Card round games are slated to be played on Monday afternoon, starting with a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills on CBS at 4:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m. PST. Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson will be on the call for that game from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. after it was postponed due to a snowstorm that significantly reduced visibility.

On Monday night, ABC and ESPN will televise the traditional broadcast of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. ESPN2 will serve as the home of Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli featuring former NFL quarterbacks and Super Bowl champion brothers Peyton and Eli Manning. Both of these concurrent broadcasts of the action, which are being simulcast on ESPN+, are slated to begin at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST just before kickoff and will be preceded by the Monday Night Countdown pregame show.

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The Sports Media Industry Remembers ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen

“Upon learning of Mortensen’s passing, members of the sports media industry flocked to social media to remember the ESPN legend.”

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ESPN has lost a legend. Longtime NFL insider Chris Mortensen passed away Sunday morning at the age of 72. Mortensen spent more than three decades working for the worldwide leader in sports. The news of his passing was first made public by ESPN PR.

Affectionally referred to by his colleagues as ‘Mort’, Chris Mortensen contributed to ESPN’s NFL programs, SportsCenter and was the network’s top news breaker for years. He earned the Pro Football Writers of America’s Dick McCann Award in 2016, receiving his honor at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement ceremony in August of that same year. It was also the same year when Mortensen broke the news of Peyton Manning retiring from the NFL.

Unfortunately, 2016 was also the year when it was revealed that Mortensen was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer.

“Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. “He covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion, and was at the top of his field for decades. He will truly be missed by colleagues and fans, and our hearts and thoughts are with his loved ones.”

In 2023, Mortensen stepped away from his role at ESPN to focus on his health, family and faith. Prior to joining ESPN he wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering the Falcons, Braves and the NFL He was also a columnist for The Sporting News and a consultant with CBS Sports’ ‘NFL Today’.

Chris Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki, and son, Alex. Upon learning of his passing, members of the sports media industry flocked to social media to remember the ESPN legend.

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Struggles Continue for ‘Undisputed’ On FS1

According to Sports Media Watch, the Feb. 27 edition of the program had 50,000 viewers, the lowest in the show’s history.

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It’s been raining and pouring for Undisputed over the last few months — and February saw an all-time low for the long-running Skip Bayless vehicle. According to Sports Media Watch, the Feb. 27 edition of the program had 50,000 viewers, the lowest in the show’s history.

Among the shows that defeated Undisputed head-to-head were a re-air of Get Up on ESPN2 and first-round Dubai Open tennis on The Tennis Channel, according to Sports Media Watch.

Undisputed has been in dire straits for months. According to figures provided by USTVDB, the show passed 200,000 viewers just twice since August — the Monday, Sep. 4 edition that featured new co-hosts Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, and Richard Sherman and took place after the University of Colorado’s win over TCU, and the Monday, Jan. 15 edition following another Dallas Cowboys playoff loss, this time a blowout at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. Its viewers were likely there to revel in Bayless’ misery as a vocal Cowboys fan. For perspective, First Take enjoyed its most-watched episode ever on Jan. 15 with an average of 1.5 million viewers.

The show routinely averaged near or over 200,000 viewers but saw a sudden decline once co-host Shannon Sharpe left the show following last year’s NBA Finals. Sharpe then joined First Take, which saw its most-watched year ever in 2023, averaging almost 500,000 viewers per episode, and hasn’t slowed down at all.

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Minnesota Twins Add Former Outfielder Denard Span to Rotating Group of Analysts

Span played 11 years in the major leagues, started his career with the Twins, and will now join the Bally Sports North rotation of analysts for Twins games.

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Former Twins outfield Denard Span making a catch
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Minnesota Twins broadcaster Bally Sports North is adding another baseball alumnus to its airwaves. According to The Athletic’s Twins beat reporter Aaron Gleeman, Denard Span will join the Bally Sports North rotation of analysts for the 2024 MLB season.

Span played 11 years in the major leagues and started his career with the Twins. After five years in Minnesota, he left for the Nationals, where he had perhaps his best statistical season in 2014. He went on to play for the Giants, Rays, and Mariners before retiring after the 2018 season.

Bally Sports North’s analysis desk includes Hall of Famer Justin Morneau, former World Series champ Roy Smalley, along with former Twins LaTroy Hawkins, Glen Perkins, and Trevor Plouffe. The analysts will call games alongside play-by-play man Cory Provus, who will move from radio to television full-time this season. The guys will be joined by Audra Martin and Katie Storm, who will provide on-field reporting.

According to KTTC, Provus is a three-time winner of Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association and before joining the Twins, spent three seasons in Milwaukee where he did play-by-play with Hall of Famer Bob Uecker.

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