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First XFL Game Peaks With 4 Million Viewers

“This year’s debut from the XFL was more successful than 2019’s Alliance of American Football League. The failed AAF had a peak of 2.9 million viewers in its first game, compared to the XFL’s 4 million.”

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After more than two years of promoting the inaugural season of the XFL, the league’s reboot got off to a strong start Saturday. In its first game broadcast by ABC, the network announced an average of 3.3 million viewers, peaking at 4 million between 4:45-5:00pm ET. 

The game saw the DC Defenders defeat the Seattle Dragons 31-19, with Washington DC serving as the home city.

It’s the second straight year a new football league launched the week after the Super Bowl. This year’s debut from the XFL was more successful than 2019’s Alliance of American Football League. The failed AAF had a peak of 2.9 million viewers in its first game, compared to the XFL’s 4 million. 

Still, both leagues fell far short of the XFL’s first attempt at entering the professional football space, debuting Feb. 3, 2001 with a 9.5 rating on NBC. The XFL on NBC quickly declined from 9.5 in Week 1 to 4.6 in Week2, 3.1 in Week 3, bottoming out with a 1.5 by Weeks 9 and 10.

While it’s unrealistic to expect similar ratings nearly two decades later as TV viewing habits have modernized, the XFL still needs to avoid the trend of rapidly deteriorating audience numbers if they want to be more successful this time around. 

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

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.

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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

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.

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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

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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