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SB LVIII Delivers Most-Watched Telecast in TV History For CBS

“Over 200 million watched all or part of the Super Bowl across all networks. On CBS alone, 120 million tuned in.”

Derek Futterman

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Super Bowl LVIII
Courtesy: Steph Chambers, Getty Images

CBS Sports and the National Football League have announced that Super Bowl LVIII was the most-watched telecast in history with an average total audience delivery of 123.4 million viewers across various platforms, including CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Univision and digital properties owned by CBS Sports and the NFL. The metrics are according to Nielsen Fast National data and Adobe Analytics, with final Nielsen numbers to be available on Tuesday.

The championship game, which ended in a 25-22 overtime victory for the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Francisco 49ers, grew its average audience by 7% year-over-year. Kansas City won that championship as well with a victory over Philadelphia and are now winners of the Vince Lombardi Trophy for three of the last five seasons. No team has ever won three consecutive Super Bowl championships, a feat the Chiefs will look to achieve next year.

More than 200 million viewers watched all or part of Super Bowl LVIII across networks, rendering the game with the highest unduplicated total audience in history of 202.4 million. Last year’s game drew a total unduplicated audience of 183.6 million, placing Super Bowl LVIII up 10% compared to last year. The game also achieved a record-setting audience on Paramount+ that made it the most-streamed Super Bowl in history, further demonstrating the growth and appeal of OTT streaming platforms.

For CBS specifically, the network averaged 120 million viewers for its broadcast of the matchup, the largest audience in history for a single network. For the year as a whole, the NFL on CBS garnered its most-watched regular season since the NFL returned to CBS in 1998 in addition to its most-watched postseason since that year as well.

CBS Sports presented programming leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, including NFL Slimetime, You Are Looking Live and The NFL Today. Paramount Global offered two telecasts for the game – the traditional call on CBS and alternate broadcast on Nickelodeon – both of which were available to stream on Paramount+. Additionally, this was the last Super Bowl broadcast under the leadership of CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, who is retiring from his role this April and will be succeeded by David Berson, the current president of the company.

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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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Skip Bayless
Courtesy: @SkipBayless on Instagram

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
Courtesy: Getty Images

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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