In the end, Thom Brennaman did not get fired for his use of a homophobic slur on air. The outcome is still the expected one though. The Cincinnati Reds will be searching for a new play-by-play man for the 2021 season.
The broadcaster officially resigned his role with the Reds on Friday according to Evan Milward of Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate, WPCO-TV. He had been suspended from the broadcast team since August.
“My family and I have decided that I am going to step away from my role as the television voice of the Cincinnati Reds,” Brennaman’s statement to Milward reads. “I would like to thank the Reds, Reds fans and the LGBTQ Community for the incredible support and grace they have shown my family and me.”
How much the LGBTQ community in Cincinnati embraces Brennaman’s efforts to reconcile remains to be seen. Last month, Brennaman reached out to Milward, who is openly gay, to help him better understand the hurt using the slur caused.
Milward and Ryan Messer, one of the co-founders of Cincinnati’s Human Relations Commission have been meeting with Brennaman, and while both say he seems sincere in his desire to understand and make amends with the LGBTQ community, Messer has been clear that he doesn’t believe Brennaman’s claim that a television microphone just happened to catch him using the homophobic slur for the first time.
Since being suspended by the Reds and their television partner Fox Sports Ohio, Brennaman has also lost his role calling NFL games for FOX. He says that he hopes this is not the end of his broadcasting career.
“I have been in this profession that I love for 33 years. It is my hope and intention to return. And if I’m given that opportunity, I will be a better broadcaster and a much better person.”
The Reds issued a statement of their own. The team says Brennaman has its support and applauds his efforts to make amends with Cincinnati’s LGBTQ fans.
ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years
“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”
The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. While the game’s controversial finish left LeBron James and Patrick Beverly upset, executives at the Walt Disney Company had nothing but smiles thanks to the performance of ABC.
The game drew 3.7 million viewers. That means the Celtics’ win is the most-watched game in the ABC Saturday night prime-time window in the last four years. A February 2019 game between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors drew 4.1 million.
Boston also delivered the highest-rated game of the NBA season so far outside of the league’s stacked Christmas Day slate.
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is experiencing a nice uptick in viewership this season. Through the weekend, the Saturday night games are averaging over 3.4 million viewers according to an ESPN press release.
That number represents a 16% jump from last season. The edition of NBA Countdown that airs before the Saturday night game is having a good season as well. It’s average audience is up 3% to just under 1.5 million.
NHL Ratings on ESPN, TNT Down in 2nd Year
So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season.
Viewership totals from ESPN and TNT show NHL ratings have declined heading into the All-Star break, but there are some extenuating circumstances for the nearly 22% drop.
So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season. However, both channels have increased their linear television schedule, doubling from 27 games to 54.
ESPN has aired 18 games with an average of 402,000 viewers. In the same time period last year, the worldwide leader had only aired seven contests, but garnered 622,000 per game. None of ESPN’s games last season had aired on weekends, while the network has broadcast six games on Sunday this year alone. The 12 games ESPN has aired that weren’t on Sunday have averaged 491,000 viewers.
The 2023 NHL All-Star Game will air on ABC Saturday, and the network is hoping for a lift from last season. In 2022, ratings fell 38% from the previous All-Star Game on NBC, and hit the lowest total since 2009. The NHL Skills challenge saw its largest audience in a decade after airing on ESPN in primetime on a Friday evening. Nearly 1.1 million watched the skills challenge, a 30% increase compared to 2020.
At this time last season, TNT had aired 20 games. Through 36 games this season, the network has seen an average of 359,000 viewers. The network is helped by the 2023 Winter Classic, which took place at Fenway Park on Monday, January 2nd. The afternoon contest saw an audience of 1.78 million, up 31% compared to the previous year.
AFC Championship Game Delivers New Viewership High For CBS
53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI.
The AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals drew a massive audience for CBS.
53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs’ controversial victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI. Additionally, the event is the most-watched NFL Conference Championship Game since 2017.
CBS claims the game peaked with 59.3 million viewers and was also the most-streamed live sporting event in the history of Paramount+.
With an audience of 53.1 million, CBS concludes its NFL playoff coverage averaging 40.798 million viewers for each game. That leads all networks thus far. The 2022 NFL season was the most-watched regular season on CBS in the past seven seasons.