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AEW Defeats WWE NXT in the Wednesday Night Ratings

“AEW on TNT delivered 1.409 million total viewers, ahead of WWE NXT on USA Network which generated 891,000 total viewers.”

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photo credit to Inside Pulse

The first round of the “Wednesday Night Wrestling Wars” goes to All Elite Wrestling. The new wrestling promotion debuted last night on TNT and bested WWE’s NXT head to head in the ratings. AEW also trended higher than NXT on Twitter throughout the night.

Overall, AEW on TNT delivered 1.409 million total viewers, more than half a million more than WWE NXT on USA Network which generated 891,000 total viewers according to The Wrap. In the key demographic of adults 18-49, AEW’s ‘Dynamite’ doubled up NXT by reeling in 878,000 viewers compared to NXT’s 414,000.

In a statement issued to The Wrap, WWE congratulated their new competitor on their first ratings victory.

“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”

Both programs ranked in the top 10 for Wednesday night shows on cable in the adults 18-49 demographic. By comparison, WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” delivered 2.57 million viewers over three hours in Live+Same Day so there’s room still for AEW and WWE NXT to attract more viewers.

“This is a league that at its core is created by wrestlers for wrestling fans and I am incredibly energized by the enthusiastic embrace the fans have given to the AEW talent and experience,” said Kevin Reilly, president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, and chief content officer, HBO Max. “AEW won the night with a high quality, incredibly engaging, sports-centric show that will continue with a seamless partnership between AEW and TNT.”

During the 1990’s and 2000’s, wrestling fans became accustomed to tuning in on Monday nights to WWE and WCW and following their battle for ratings supremacy. Fans are hoping that the new Wednesday night wars will produce similar excitement even if the numbers don’t match what USA and TNT earned years ago.

For AEW to start off with a ratings win against a brand as powerful as the WWE is a huge win for Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, Nick and Matt Jackson, Kenny Omega, Adam Page and Chris Jericho who took the huge leap to launch the new company. Though it’s just one win, if the first impression from both brands is what fans get treated to regularly on Wednesday night’s, both wrestling groups and television networks will be more than satisfied.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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