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Game 5 is a Ratings Winner for NHL on NBC

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Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals was obviously big for the Washington Capitals, as the team was able to close out the Vegas Golden Knights and claim its first ever Stanley Cup. Washington wasn’t the only big winner of the night. The celebration may have been just as raucousat NBC Sports headquarters.

That’s because Game 5 set some pretty impressive ratings records since the NBC and NHL first started working together. First, Game 5 delivered a 5.0 rating in metered-market households. That is up significantly from the 3.8 average of all four previous games. That number also makes it the most watched Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 ever.

Throughout the country, NBC reports that Game 5 drew a 1.9 rating and was seen on television in over 6 million households. Both of those numbers are up from 2017, when Game 5 between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins scored a 1.5 rating and was seen in 3.8 million homes. The game did huge numbers in the home towns of the teams involved. In Las Vegas, the broadcast drew 27.6 rating, while in DC it drew a 25.4.

The network says the game also delivered its largest ever streaming audience with an estimated 318,000 viewers, which would be up 117% over 2017’s digital audience for Game 5.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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Michael Smith Joining Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football Studio Coverage

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

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Michael Smith is joining Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football coverage, he tells USA Today.

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

He will work as a “news analyst” for the streaming platform’s studio show, a role he similarly held for ESPN‘s NFL Sunday Countdown. Former Countdown producer Amina Hussein is the head of on-air sports talent development for Prime.

Smith becomes the latest of a growing cast Prime Video has assembled for Thursday Night Football coverage. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will work in the broadcast booth, Kaylee Hartung will work the sidelines, Charissa Thompson will anchor the studio show with Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, and Andrew Whitworth, and Taylor Rooks will work as a feature reporter. Dude Perfect, a comedy group famous for social media “trick shot videos”, will reportedly offer a Manningcast-style alternate broadcast.

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Report: ESPN Declines Final Offer From Big Ten

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference.

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What came as speculation Monday night is now being reported as fact: ESPN is out of the Big Ten media rights negotiations.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference. ESPN has owned, at least a portion, of Big Ten football and basketball rights for 40 years.

The Big Ten is expected to announce a partnership with Fox, CBS, and NBC that will see three conference games air on network television each Saturday. Fox will air the Big Ten during their Big Noon Kickoff timeslot, CBS will replace the SEC with the Big Ten at 3:30 eastern, and NBC will feature a Big Ten game in primetime.

Several reports put the Big Ten’s latest television rights deal at or exceeding $1 billion per year. CBS is expected to pay roughly $350 million for the Big Ten package.

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