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NBC Picks Up IRacing’s IndyCar Series

“Last October, NBC Sports Network aired the 2019 iRACING eNASCAR championship as a two-hour event.”

Brandon Contes

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Without live sports, iRACING continues to represent a source of filling the void for fans. Already partnered with FOX Sports to carry their eNASCAR series, iRACING will now bring its IndyCar simulation to NBC Sports Network this Saturday.  

A week after the collaboration between NASCAR and iRACING made its surprisingly successful debut on FS1, IndyCar’s iRACING series premiered on only digital platforms, receiving similar interest.

903,000 viewers tuned in to watch the inaugural eNASCAR event Sunday, Mar. 22 on FS1 and 1.3 million watched during its second week, signaling staying power for their audience. IndyCar’s streaming-only broadcast on Saturday Mar. 28, drew more than 400,000 live viewers. 

Available on multiple platforms, 433,000 viewers tuned in through Saturday night on IndyCar.com, IndyCar’s Facebook and YouTube pages, along with iRacing’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch channels. When counting content viewed on specific driver’s social media accounts, the audience number surpassed 600,000. In comparison, IndyCar averaged 1.105 million viewers per race during their 2019 season on NBC and all of their platforms.

This Saturday, more than two dozen IndyCar drivers are expected to compete in the iRACING challenge which will feature a broadcast team of play-by-play voice Leigh Duffy, alongside analysts Paul Tracy and  Townsend Bell. It’s not the first time NBC Sports and iRACING have partnered. Last October, NBC Sports Network aired the 2019 iRACING eNASCAR championship as a two-hour event.

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Getty Images

Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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