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Clippers, Pelicans See Spike In National TV Games

“The Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans will earn a lot more national attention this NBA season.”

Jack Ferris

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In a sports world filled with contradicting opinions, one assertion that’s accepted as universal truth is the following: the 2019 NBA off season was the craziest we’ve ever seen.  Never has the balance of power in any league shifted as dramatically in a two week period as the NBA did in early July.  As a result, there’s huge interest in a number of teams that otherwise were irrelevant to casual basketball fans last year.

The team that tops that list, without question, is the Los Angeles Clippers.  With the blockbuster signings of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers went from a fringe playoff team in the West to a serious title contender – and the NBA’s TV partners have taken notice.  

Monday, in a press release from Warner Media, the Clippers learned they would make 11 appearances on TNT this season, behind only the Warriors and Lakers who have 12 appearances each.  In fact, the NBA on TNT’s opening week will feature two Clippers games, the first coming on Tuesday October 22 against the Lakers and the second two days later in San Francisco in the first regular season Warriors game at the Chase Center.  All in all, the Clippers will play the Warriors, Lakers, Rockets and Blazers twice each on TNT.  On Christmas Day, Kawhi Leonard’s new team will wear their road jerseys at Staples Center tipping off against the Lakers on ABC.  In all, the Clippers will make 15 appearances on ESPN or ABC this season.  

Another team in the West that gained new found popularity this Summer is the Pelicans – who locked up Duke phenom Zion Williamson with the first overall pick of June’s draft.  New Orleans will be featured much more prominently on the national stage this season with 5 TNT games.  In fact, the 2019-2020 NBA on TNT season will tip off in Toronto when the Raptors host the Pelicans on Tuesday October 22.  Zion fans will have plenty of other opportunities to see the rookie play on the national stage with 12 games on ESPN or ABC this season.  

While teams like the Clippers and Pelicans have to be pleased with the national exposure they’ll see this year, there are two teams in the east who must be disappointed with the draw.  The Hornets have a grand total of one nationally televised game on TNT, and none on ESPN or ABC, and the Knicks will appear on TNT twice and ESPN once. 

The Knicks, who still top Forbes’ list of the most valuable NBA franchises, had a tremendously disappointing off season losing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the Nets – and it looks like the national exposure followed the All-Stars to Brooklyn.  The Nets will appear on ESPN or ABC five times this year, with TNT broadcasting an additional six games.  

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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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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