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17 Reasons Why The NFL Dominates On TV

Jason Barrett

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Extra, extra, read all about it! People love to watch NFL games. This is not news, of course, we all know this. But the extent to which America loves the NFL is even more staggering than you think. Here are some facts about the NFL’s television year-round dominance, not just at the Super Bowl.

1. The top 12 shows of the 2015 fall season have all been NFL games, led by the 29.4 million viewers who tuned in for the Seattle-Dallas game on Nov. 1. In all, 26 of the top 27 programs were professional football games, with only the first Republican primary debate interrupting the dominance with an appearance at No. 13.

2. This is nothing new. Usually, the fall season is completely dominated by the NFL (the No. 28 and No. 29 shows right now — the seasons premiers of The Big Bang Theory and NCIS, respectively, will be long gone by the time the season ends). Usually, only one other program — the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — cracks the top 30 of fall television. With the Donald Trump-led debate anomaly this year, there should be two non-NFL shows in the top 30 by New Year’s Eve, a veritable bonanza for non-NFL programming.

3. In 2015, the top 20 and 45 of the 50 most-watched shows of the fall season were NFL games. Sunday Night Football was the No. 1 show in all 17 weeks of primetime.

4. Everyone assumes primetime is king, but the biggest ratings are actually for the 4:25 p.m. ET games that alternate weekly between CBS and Fox. (You’d think baseball would see this and have a daytime, weekend World Series game for a change.)

Average viewers per telecast:

Fox (late afternoon) — 26.8 million

CBS (late afternoon) — 24.1 million

Sunday Night Football (NBC)– 23.7 million

Thursday Night Football (CBS/NFLN) — 17.6 million

1 p.m. games on Fox and CBS — 16.3 million

Monday Night Football (ESPN) — 13.0 million

(The CBS and Fox ratings are averaged from their respective doubleheader games through Week 10, via ratings from various sources, including sportsmediawatch.com.)

5. This year’s Week 1 had the most overall viewers for any opening week in NFL history.

6. In most weeks, the No. 1 television show in the NFL’s TV markets is that week’s NFL game. (It happened in Week 8, among many others.) When the NFL game isn’t at the top, it tends to be because a college game has leapfrogged it for a week.

7. Last week’s Browns-Bengals game was the first Thursday game to solely appear this season on NFL Network. Even that dog of a game did a good number, scoring 8.8 million viewers, the seventh most in the history of the network. But, as Sports Media Watch points out, that was the second-worst viewership of the season for any NFL game, with the 8.4 million who watched the early London game in Week 8 between the Lions and Chiefs. (That doesn’t include the Yahoo! game, which had numbers that were likely anemic when compared to broadcast games — don’t believe the spin.)

8. It’s been a steady climb for SNF. When it started in 2006, it ranked 9th, with American Idol at No. 1. SNF kept climbing until 2011, when it was the No. 1 show on all of television.

9. But then there are some oddities: Last week, for instance, the NFL’s primetime shows (Thursday/Sunday/Monday) were 17th, 1st and 8th in total viewers. (That doesn’t include the Fox or CBS game.)

10. This week’s Monday Night Football game — Bears-Chargers — had a season-low 11.4 million viewers, but that still would have ranked 13th for the week. However, that aforementioned Thursday game — the one with 8.8 million viewers — had the same amount of eyes on it as Survivor, a reality show that’s been around for 15 years and 31 seasons. (BTW, Survivor still rules. I know most people don’t realize it’s still on, but it’s a great show that’s more like sports than you’d ever imagine. I can’t recommend it more highly.)

To read 11-17 visit the USA Today which is where this article was originally published

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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