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NBA Takes Warriors Games Off National Television

“Golden State was scheduled to play against the Jazz on ESPN Dec. 13 and in Portland Dec. 18. Instead, the league announced the Clippers-Timberwolves game will air Dec. 13 and Boston-Dallas will join the national TV schedule for Dec. 18.”

Brandon Contes

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While the NBA scrambles to make sense of their TV ratings problem, the Golden State Warriors have been no help in finding a solution. According to the AP’s Brian Mahoney, the league has already decided to pull the Warriors off two national broadcasts thanks to their disappointing season.

Viewership on Regional Sports Networks is down 7%, but the bigger problem is with the league’s national broadcasts, which have declined by 22% on TNT and 19% on ESPN. Different reasons have been suggested for the ratings drop-off including load management for players, an over-saturated regular season, West Coast imbalance and cord-cutting. 

For the last five years, the Golden State Warriors represented one of the league’s biggest draws. Influencing a new style of play throughout the league and appearing in five straight NBA Finals, the Warriors generated a polarizing, must-watch mentality from fans.

No longer viewed as a title favorite without Durant, the Warriors were still expected to receive national attention. The last time they played a full season Durant-less, the Warriors won 73 games. This season, they’ve been arguably the worst team in the NBA, winning just four of their first 22 games and sparking a need to adjust their national broadcast schedule.

Golden State was scheduled to play against the Jazz on ESPN Dec. 13 and in Portland Dec. 18. Instead, the league announced the Clippers-Timberwolves game will air Dec. 13 and Boston-Dallas will join the national TV schedule for Dec. 18. 

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 Will Honor Vin Scully By Airing Iconic 1988 World Series Game 1 Tonight

ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series as a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scull

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Vin Scully

ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series as a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. The network will air the game tonight, August 3 at 8pm ET on ESPN2.

The 1988 World Series was between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics. Scully was on the call for the classic game which is notable for an injured Kirk Gibson coming off the bench and hitting a walk-off home run.

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Sports TV News

Matthew Berry Joins NBC Sports

Berry is expected to host a daily podcast and have his own Sunday fantasy football show.

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Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry, the fantasy football expert that helped to elevate the niche to mainstay programming surrounding the football season, is joining NBC Sports.

Berry, who left ESPN less than a month ago, is expected to host a daily podcast and have his own Sunday fantasy football show, sources told The New York Post. The show might go against Fantasy Football Now, his previous show that airs on ESPN2.

The show is also expected to be on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, as well as possibly on some NBC affiliates. Berry could also make appearances on Sunday Night Football.

NBC Sports declined comment.

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Sports TV News

NBC Pushing for Big Ten/NFL Primetime Pairing in Media Rights Deal

“The Big Ten would have exposure in every TV home,” said one source to Front Office Sports. “It would also be a smart idea to follow the model of the most successful sports league in America.” 

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Big Ten media rights negotiations are getting closer to being completed. The results could mean a minimum of $1.25 billion annual distribution for the conference’s soon-to-be sixteen members. One of the bidders in the process, NBC, has an interesting idea to make the Big Ten the “NFL of college football conferences.”

NBC has reportedly pushed the idea of combining Big Ten broadcasts with its existing Notre Dame coverage and would feature the Big Ten in its primetime window. With CBS, ESPN/ABC also bidding on coverage packages, such a series of deals would make the Big Ten the only college football conference that would be seen across all of the American broadcast networks. Something only few entities have done, like the NFL.

NBC is also pushing the allure of having primetime Big Ten football on Saturday night and primetime coverage of Sunday’s only NFL evening game with Sunday Night Football.

“The Big Ten would have exposure in every TV home,” said one source to Front Office Sports. “It would also be a smart idea to follow the model of the most successful sports league in America.” 

The Big Ten’s current media rights deals expire after the 2023 season.

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