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Rich Eisen Set For Annual 40 Yard Dash Fundraiser

Eisen started doing the fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital six years ago.

Russ Heltman

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Rich Eisen might not blow any scouts away with his 40-yard dash time these days, but he is putting a dent on cancer. Eisen runs the famous football drill every year at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. So when the league canceled this year’s event, the show had to go on at the next stop on the calendar: The 2021 NFL Draft.

The #RunRichRun campaign continues this weekend, with Eisen sprinting another 40-yard dash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is the only time NFL Network’s first host has run the drill around NFL Draft coverage and not the NFL Combine.

Eight NFL players have matched up with eight other entrepreneurs to donate money to the cause. The legends include Jerry Rice, Ray Lewis, Cris Carter, Rod Woodson, Terrell Davis, Michael Vick, Torry Holt, and Eric Metcalf. The entrepreneurs include DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and the most recent bidder for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Marc Lore.

“We have eight awesome donors and benefactors,” Eisen said. “Who have already donated more than $1 million so they can run with eight NFL legends who are taking time out of their April day to come here and raise more money for St. Jude.” 

Since this idea started six years ago, the campaign has raised over $2.5 million for St. Jude. The NFL has also partnered with the research hospital on the “NFL Play 60” campaign since 2012. Fans with some gas left in their athletic tank can support the cause on social media by recording themselves running the forty and posting on Twitter with #RunYour40.

“It’s humbling, and it’s awesome,” Eisen said about the experience.

Eisen is fresh off a 5.98 second time at last year’s Combine. His record 40-yard dash is 5.94 seconds set back in 2016. Fans wanting to donate directly to St. Jude can do so here.

Sports TV News

ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years

“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.

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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.

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