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Rising MNF Ratings Hurting Monday Night Raw

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Ratings for the NFL are on a real upswing this season. That is good news for everyone involved with that league, but it isn’t particularly good news for Vince McMahon. You can argue that he was counting on declining NFL ratings to give him the chance to position the return of the XFL as a sort of renaissance for “real football,” and that might still be true. The real concern though is what rising Monday Night Football ratings are doing to ratings for Monday Night Raw on USA Network.

The WWE’s premier broadcast was averaging over 3 million viewers per night in the lead up to Wrestlemania 34. Since that event though, ratings have slipped, and since the start of the football season it has been particularly dire.

Veteran wrestling journalist, Dave Meltzer, wrote that this past Monday saw a significant drop in audience for the WWE. Meltzer says the fall can be traced directly to the success of the Chiefs’ victory over Denver.

The audience fell through all three hours and the third hour was the least-watched hour of the show in more than 20 years, even with spending the episode promising a Shawn Michaels segment.

The big decline was in the over-50 audience, which would coincide with the best Monday rating of the season, as the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos game did 13.21 million viewers.

The actual rating isn’t available but it would be expected to be the second-lowest Monday night rating for wrestling ever on the USA Network.

The football game was ESPN’s highest rated Monday Night Football broadcast in over a year.

The falling ratings on Monday Night Raw might be more of an annoyance than a concern to the McMahon. The WWE has already signed lucrative new broadcast rights deals with USA Network and Fox. Plus, the company remains a force in the live events business both domestically and abroad. The company is set to stage events in Australia and Saudi Arabia in the coming months.

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NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handles Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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