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Monday Night Football Crew Promises Improvement In Year 2

“ESPN is offering more options than ever for fans with ESPN and ESPN+ to watch Monday Night Football.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

A new season of Monday Night Football kicks off this week, and the main ESPN broadcast crew is ready to carry momentum into their second year together.

ESPN’s Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese, fielded questions on a media conference call about their upcoming season, things they can work on to make the best possible broadcast, and much more.

The crew answered questions about the good and bad from their performance in 2020.

“What worked? I think, first of all, we did have the benefit of having the Monday Night Football game even prior to last season,” Levy said on the conference call. “That second game of the double-header. That allowed us to get a feel. Obviously, Griese and I have done four years of college together, and Louis and I had done a lot of SportsCenter stuff both in Bristol and on the road, SportsCenter at the Super Bowl, but actually getting a game under our belt, that first game, the last home opener in Oakland for the Raiders, I think that really helped get us going and helped us understand what this booth could be like.”

Griese piggybacked off of the answer and revealed that the crew met in the offseason to assess their performance and highlight places to get better in 2021.

“You know,” Griese began. “We’re not under any false pretenses in understanding there’s three voices up there, and that’s different. I think one of the things that we took away, and I know that I took away from a year ago in watching those tapes is we can talk less but say more.

“That’s not an easy thing to do,” Griese continued. “I think with three people up there, nobody wants to hear wall-to-wall talking, especially now that fans are going to be back in the stands, and we’re going to want to capture that emotion from the fans after a big play or after a touchdown.”

Riddick expanded on the “less is more” mantra and admitted the crew needs to be more conversational at times.

“What we’re going to get better at I think is just being more conversational and hearing us play off of one another and really talking the game through,” Riddick answered. “Whether that be in the open or as the game is happening coming out of halftime. I think you’ll see that it will be something that you’ll enjoy listening to, and it’ll be very informative, it’ll be educational, and we want to entertain people along the way, and I think we’re very much so dead set on making sure that happens.”

ESPN is offering more options than ever for fans with ESPN and ESPN+ to watch Monday Night Football. Yet, the main crew still has the most eyes tracking their analysis of all the action.

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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NFL Studio

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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ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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