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Sunday Night Football Highest Rated Primetime Program

Jason Barrett

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According to NBCSunday Night Football just completed its most dominant season ever in terms of ratings and viewership.

Sunday Night Football averaged 18.2 million viewers this season and a 10.3 rating. It was the worst rating for NBC’s SNF since 2008, adding to the testament that the NFL’s popularity bubble may have already popped. Sunday Night Football’s viewership declined, but their separation over the primetime program with the second highest audience increased. While it’s true the NFL experienced a significant decline in TV ratings during the regular season for the second consecutive year, it’s also true that linear television viewership as a whole has declined.

The primetime program with the second highest viewership for the fall of 2017 was CBS Thursday Night Football with 14.1 million viewers, followed by the Big Bang Theory which averaged 14.037 million viewers, trailing Sunday Night Football by 30%. The NFL has many issues leading to their ratings decline, but Sunday Night Football being the highest rated program with a 30% lead over the top non-sports primetime show, means cord cutting is one if the league’s biggest hurdles.

With 6.9 million digital viewers for the season, Sunday Night Football streaming was up 12% from 2016. 689 million minutes of SNF have been consumed via digital streaming this season, which is already a record for NBC Sports Digital. NBC had no week 17 game and the 689 million minutes for 2017 is still more than previous years, some of which included 17 regular season games, two playoff games and a Super Bowl for the network.

NBC recently reached an agreement with the NFL, allowing consumers to stream Sunday Night Football to their mobile device. The ability for viewers to watch Sunday Night Football on their phones should help NBC Sports Digital set a new record next season.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

ESPN Accused Of Data Sharing Without Consent In Class Action Lawsuit

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.

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According to a potential class action lawsuit, user data from ESPN.com and ESPN+ has been allegedly shared with Meta Platforms without users consent.

Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.org has proposed the suit, alleging that ESPN “uses a pixel installed on the back end of its website to track when website and app users take certain actions, such as clicking on an ad or viewing video content”. That “pixel” is used by Facebook to capture “a subscriber’s Facebook ID, with which anyone can ‘quickly and easily’ locate, access, and identify a particular Facebook account and a file containing details of a watched video and its corresponding URL.”

Rizzi adds that ESPN.com and ESPN+ subscribers aren’t told their data could be shared. He also shares that while ESPN could create its website to information isn’t immediately shared with Facebook, it benefits financially from utilizing the “pixel” on its website.

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The VPAA, according to ClassAction.org, “prohibits ‘video tape service providers’ from knowingly disclosing without consent consumers’ personally identifiable information, including that which identifies someone as having requested or obtained specific video materials”.

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Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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