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WWE President Nick Kahn Explains the Netflix Deal for Raw on ‘Pat McAfee Show’

“At the end of the day, to be the first movers with Netflix live on a consistent basis…we think it’s a great deal.”

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Pat McAfee and Nick Khan on The Pat McAfee Show

Pat McAfee and WWE President Nick Khan had a brief conversation about the recent deal between WWE and Netflix that would see Monday Night Raw leave linear television for the first time in 31 years and go to a streaming platform.

On Choosing Netflix as the Best Spot for ‘Raw’

After putting over Khan and former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon for being reliable mentors in the media space, McAfee got right into things and asked Khan why Netflix was the right spot for Monday Night Raw. Netflix will be Raw’s exclusive broadcasting home for at least the next five years and can be where it lives for up to the next 20 years.

Khan says that RAW never had to live exclusively on television or an NBCUniversal network, citing past examples of RAW and WWE’s other primary television show SmackDown airing on TNN and UPN, respectively.

“Once the deal with SmackDown closed, which will shift SmackDown over from FOX to USA starting this October 1, we hyper-focused on RAW,” Khan said. “It was a robust marketplace, we had a number of meetings, there was a lot of interest, there were a number of offers, and at the end of the day, to be the first movers with Netflix live on a consistent basis…we think it’s a great deal.”

The Reaction From WWE Internally

McAfee then asked Khan how internal stakeholders took the move. Khan responded, “overwhelmingly positive.”

“If you look at the streaming wars, Netflix continues to sit at the top of that perch, so it’s an entity everybody, certainly in our sphere, subscribes to,” Khan said. “We think it’s a great way to grow the WWE audience while growing the Netflix subscriber base.”

On The Future of Premium Live Events

Khan mentions nothing much other than that Premium Live Events air currently on Peacock and will seemingly continue to do so. WWE’s deal with Peacock expires in 2026 and, according to The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, whoever wants WWE’s PLEs will have to pony up.

On Whether the Show Will Remain on Monday Nights

Lastly, McAfee asked Khan if a rumored move off Monday nights was in the cards for RAW. Throughout the show’s 31 years, the show has regularly aired on Monday nights, despite competition from Monday Night Football and other live sports. Khan says for now, the show is safe on Monday nights, but things can change.

“At this moment in time, it remains Monday Night Raw,” Khan said, “but keep in mind we have ten and a half months until this deal is up and running.” Khan then mentions all the competition RAW faces as a Monday night program, between “the proliferation of gambling with Monday Night Football,” plus an enhanced MNF package, the “ManningCast,” NFL playoff games, college football and basketball national championship games and more. Despite this, Khan reports that RAW still did a 0.6 in the key 18-49 demos against the College Football Playoffs.

In closing, Khan said, “If we stay on Mondays, it’ll work, if we move it to another day, we think it will work too.”

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NESN Bruins Announcer Jack Edwards Addresses Speech Slowdown Issues For First Time

“The way I see it, two things work to my disadvantage. The game is speeding up all the time. And I’m slowing down all the time.”

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Jack Edwards of NESN
Courtesy: NESN

Longtime NESN Boston Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards recently spoke to The Boston Globe and addressed an ongoing health issue. While Edwards says he’s been cleared of cancer, dementia, and a stroke, he is still slurring and slowing his words at an increasing rate. Edwards credits it to two primary factors:

“The way I see it, two things work to my disadvantage,” Edwards said to the Boston Globe. “The game is speeding up all the time. And I’m slowing down all the time.”

According to The Globe, this is the first time Edwards has spoken about his struggles publicly, mostly because of the mysticism surrounding his condition. It’s not related to any sort of accident, or serious disease or condition — and doctors have no formal diagnosis or medical term to give him. Edwards says he is in “robust” health and receives “superior” grades on intellect tests. But Edwards still struggles with his speech slowing down.

“It doesn’t fit in any slot,” Edwards said. “There have been a couple of guesses, but they haven’t made a definitive diagnosis and they’ve been working on me for a year and a half. It’s very frustrating, as you can imagine, for me to have this slowdown in my speech.”

At the behest of his daughter, Edwards began speech therapy following his struggle with reading the Declaration of Independence on July 4, something Edwards and his father have done each year. “The Declaration of Independence has quite a few unusual words,” says Edwards, “and a year and a half ago, I couldn’t process the words, and it’s not like it was unfamiliar. I’ve read it for, like, 20 years, 25 years.”

Edwards goes through 40-60 minutes of what he calls “exhaustive and exhausting” speech therapy exercises on non-game days but still finds time to freshen up on game days for about 10 minutes. He’s appreciative of the work his speech therapy team does with him every day.

“I thank all the people who are working on this problem and helping me, and they seem to feel and I anecdotally feel that I’m making incremental progress,” he says. “The brain is a funny thing, especially mine. It is still possible to train a 66½-year-old brain to do the same things you used to do in a different way. And that’s what we’re working on through speech therapy.”

While Edwards is optimistic, he is a realist and is treating his speech issues as an in-season injury. If it gets better, he will continue to serve as the Bruins’ play-by-play voice. If not, he offers the stark reality of his situation. “If I, or NESN, decide that I’m hurting the product or costing the fans an enjoyable experience, I will say goodbye. But we haven’t had any discussions like that.”

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Nielsen Custom Survey: Super Bowl LVIII Reached Estimated 210 Million Viewers

“The Super Bowl is singular across the television and media landscape not only in its unparalleled viewership, but because it is largely watched in group settings.”

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NFL Logo at Media Row 2023

A custom survey commissioned by the National Football League to Nielsen Media Research discovered that Super Bowl LVIII reached an estimated 210 million viewers, representing nearly two-thirds of Americans across CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon and Univision, along with CBS Sports, Univision and NFL digital properties, including NFL+. This represents a 4% increase compared to last year’s game figure of 202 million unique viewers reported through the Nielsen syndicated ratings service that measures viewers who tuned in for at least one minute of the game.

This survey, which was ordered to add to Nielsen’s audience measurement data and provide more insight into the total audience estimate for the league’s championship game, discovered that Super Bowl LVIII had an average minute audience of approximately 143 million viewers.

The survey encompassed 5,267 households and reviewed the size of viewership groups, location notwithstanding, and if they are larger than what is currently measured by Nielsen in the present day. NORC at the University of Chicago conducted the survey utilizing the AmeriSpeak panel.

“The Super Bowl is singular across the television and media landscape not only in its unparalleled viewership, but because it is largely watched in group settings,” Paul Ballew, chief data and analytics officer of the National Football League, said in a statement. “With that in mind, additional measurement is needed in order to have a complete picture of the total viewership of this special event and the results of this custom survey with Nielsen illustrate the true magnitude of the Super Bowl.”

Nielsen Media Research found that Super Bowl LVIII averaged nearly 124 million viewers across the aforementioned properties, rendering it the most-watched Super Bowl matchup of all time. The research firm is in the midst of expanding its national out-of-home panel as well which will bring its coverage to 100% of the portable people meter (PPM) technology footprint. Nielsen data recently demonstrated that NFL games encapsulated 93 of the top 100 most-watched television broadcasts throughout 2023.

“Nielsen understands the nuance of the Super Bowl, which historically has drawn the largest television audience of the year and includes unparalleled viewership from large groups of people, both in and out of homes,” Deirdre Thomas, chief product officer at Nielsen, said in a statement. “We are proud that the NFL partners with Nielsen to provide the best possible measurement of their programming, for the Super Bowl and throughout the season.

“Additionally, we’re excited about the expansion of our National Out-Of-Home panel, which we announced earlier this month, because it will enhance our ability to provide the most complete picture of the audience, especially for major events like the Super Bowl.”

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Report: Luke Donald To Join NBC Golf Coverage for Two Events

According to Sports Business Journal, Donald will join NBC’s coverage of the Cognizant Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational alongside Dan Hicks.

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Luke Donald after a golf swing
Courtesy: Wikipedia

NBC continues its quest to find a full-time golf analyst and will allegedly next try out former European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald to fill the role. According to Sports Business Journal, NBC is expected to announce the move this weekend.

SBJ reports Donald will join NBC’s coverage of the Cognizant Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational alongside Dan Hicks. The sometimes-active pro’s stock reportedly rose within NBC following Europe’s massive win over the U.S. in the Ryder Cup last September. He also brings star power as a former world number one and PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Donald is the latest name to join NBC as a golf analyst since the network laid off Paul Azinger in November. Donald will directly succeed Jim “Bones” Mackay, who will call the Mexico Open this weekend, who himself succeeded former Tour pros like Brandel Chamblee and Kevin Kisner. At one point, Geoff Ogilvy was rumored to be an option for NBC, but with each passing analyst, that thought seems more likely to remain in the rumor mill.

The Cognizant Classic takes place from Feb. 29–Mar. 3 at the PGA National Members Club in Palm Springs Beach, FL. The Arnold Palmer Invitational will air Mar. 7–10, 2024 at Palmer’s Bay Hill Golf Course in Arnold, MD.

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