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Darren Smith: NFL Won’t Change While Networks Get Millions for Super Bowl Ads

“Yeah, no network is turning down $7 million for a 30-second spot.”

Derek Futterman

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XTRA 1360

Just over a week away from Super Bowl LVI, NBCUniversal announced that it has sold out its advertising inventory for the “Big Game” across all platforms, with some 30-second spots selling for $7 million each.

NBC’s audience for National Football League games grew over the season, with the most viewership coming from quarterback Tom Brady’s return to New England to face his old team. During the championship round of the playoffs, CBS announced it had an average of 47.9 million viewers tuned in for the AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs, while Fox disclosed its average of 50.2 million viewers for the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

Despite Super Bowl viewership dropping to the lowest mark in decades last season (96.4 million viewers) when the game was on CBS, the numbers seem poised to bounce back this year. Combined with its Winter Olympics coverage, NBC is calling next Sunday, Feb. 13 “Super Gold Sunday,” a once-in-a-lifetime day of sports programming from which the network anticipates generating $500 million in revenue.

Outside of the game action, it has been a busy week for the NFL. The league has generated both positive and negative publicity due to the retirement announcement by the aforementioned Brady after an illustrious, 22-year career in professional football, along with the class-action lawsuit filed by Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores against the NFL and three of its teams, and the Pro Bowl set to kick off this Sunday from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On Thursday afternoon, Darren Smith and Marty on San Diego’s XTRA 1360 spoke about this year’s growth in Super Bowl advertising revenue, and how television networks seem to be unwilling to take a stand against the NFL in order to promote reform.

“Our opinion yesterday about, ‘Hey, if you’re going to inspire real change in the NFL, you got to hit them in the pocketbook; you got to hit them at the bottom line. These television networks [have to] play an active role…’ Yeah, no network is turning down $7 million for a 30-second spot,” said Smith, who has been a host on San Diego sports talk radio since 2004.

“Not NBC, not CBS, not ABC, not Amazon, none of them. I’m not going to wait for the TV networks to take a moral stand on this one.”

According to the afternoon drive program, Super Bowl commercials have been ruined since they began being posted on YouTube days before the “Big Game.” By seeing commercials early, they say, there is less anticipation and excitement surrounding them during the actual game, and one less thing to talk about the next day if the game ends up being a blowout.

“That segment doesn’t exist anymore in sports talk radio,” said Smith. “‘Hey everybody, let’s talk about the big movers for the commercials.’ They’re all up on YouTube.”

“That used to be the 12:30 segment on Monday, especially when you have a blowout in the Super Bowl,” said Marty Caswell, program co-host. “You [could] go ahead, move on from it and talk about the commercials.”

Looking back on some of the commercials from Super Bowl LV, such as Michael B. Jordan for Amazon Alexa, Jason Alexander for Tide, and Shaggy for Cheetos, the radio hosts had trouble remembering them. While most of the commercials for this year’s Super Bowl LVI are yet to be released, Smith is pretty sure he knows where the rise in 30-second spot revenue, up $1.5 million from last year, is coming from.

“We’re right back; we’re getting $7 million per commercial now,” said Smith. “Probably [from] some stupid crypto company.”

Sports Radio News

670 The Score Hosts Congratulate Mike Mulligan on Award From Loyola Chicago

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

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670 The Score morning host Mike Mulligan is being awarded the Father Finnegan Memorial Award from Loyola University Chicago this weekend, and some of his colleagues congratulated him on the air Friday morning.

The award is given “in recognition of outstanding humanitarianism and service to youth through athletics”. Mulligan — a 1984 graduate of Loyola University Chicago — will receive the award Saturday during the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony during a game against George Mason.

“Tremendous award,” co-host David Haugh said. “Proud moment for the show. Proud moment for you family.”

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

“That is fantastic,” Laurence Holmes said, while his co-host, Dan Bernstein, continued to say “wow”. “Congratulations. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. You should be proud.”

“I’m being celebrated for being old,” Mully joked.

“That’s not what that award says,” countered Holmes. “It says something completely different.”

The Mully & Haugh host eventually admitted he was appreciative of the award bestowed upon him by his alma mater.

“It’s a good thing. I’m very moved by it. Sister Jean will be there,” Mully said. “She has a book coming out with — I think — Seth Davis.”

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Tony Romo Regressing Because He Loves Golf

“I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

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The performance of CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo has been a hot-button topic in sports media circles, especially after a widely-regarded lackluster performance during the AFC Championship Game. Colin Cowherd believes he knows why Romo has regressed.

During an episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast, the sports radio host claimed golf is the reason behind Romo’s regression.

“Romo wants to be on the Tour. He literally wants to be on the Tour,” Cowherd said. “And what’s the first thing Aaron Rodgers does in the off-season? He goes and golfs, he loves it. Both, by the way, great golfers, especially Romo. But I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

“Tony wants to be on the PGA Tour — but he likes the paycheck from CBS.”

Cowherd also added he hasn’t hired potential employees in the past if they told him they loved golf during the interview process, saying he has a theory that as men age they “get addicted to golf”.

“They’re on PGATour.com, they’re putting in the backyard, they’re thinking about it at work, they’re scheduling a trip to Scotland and they lose sight of their other job,” Cowherd said.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio Adds Lakers Games As LeBron James Nears Scoring Record

“As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.”

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The NBA’s all-time scoring record has stood for a long time. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the current record holder, retired in 1989. LeBron James is on the verge of overtaking him though, and ESPN Radio wants to make sure it is part of history when it happens.

ESPN Radio has added two upcoming Lakers games to its schedule. The network will carry the national feeds of games on February 7 and 9. The first game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The second is against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both games will be played in Los Angeles with a 9:30 PM Eastern tip. Marc Kestecher and Vince Carter will be on the call for both games.

As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.

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