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Blue Jackets Gain on TV, Lose at The Gate

Jason Barrett

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Columbus Blue Jackets fans apparently haven’t wanted to leave their couches amid the team’s woeful start.

Television ratings on Fox Sports Ohio climbed in October from a year earlier, but smaller crowds turned out at Nationwide Arena during the first five home games.

From opening night through Oct. 31, a 23-day stretch in which the Jackets posted a 2-10 record, an average 10,500 households tuned in to watch games on Fox Sports Ohio, according to Nielsen ratings.

The 1.16 household rating over that span was up 54 percent from the first 12 games of the prior season, an increase that the regional sports network attributes to several factors outweighing the team’s poor performance.

“Generally, yes, ratings tend to correlate with team performance,” General Manager François McGillicuddy said in an email. “However, the increase we’ve seen in Blue Jackets ratings are a result of several things – the Jackets’ strong finish last season, the anticipation coming into this season, the great matchups early in the season, and the dedicated fans that remain engaged, passionate and committed to this team.”

The Blue Jackets’ woeful play led to the firing of head coach Todd Richards, and though the team has improved under the leadership of John Tortorella, it remains in last place with a 3-10 record.

Despite the upswing in TV viewers, attendance at Nationwide Arena through five home games hasn’t kept pace.

The Blue Jackets ranked 25th of 30 NHL teams with 14,774 fans per game, down 5 percent from last year’s full-season average 15,511 in 41 home contests, according to ESPN.com.

President Mike Priest said last year that an average of 16,000 fans – of an 18,500 capacity – is one ingredient needed to make the team profitable.

Credit to the Columbus Business Journal who originally published this article

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

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

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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