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Tokyo 2020 Is Least-Watched Olympics Ever

The 2021 Summer Olympics were the least-watched Olympic Games officially on record, including both summer and winter games.

MIchael Quirk

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Many storylines surrounded the 2021 Olympic Games. There were the Covid protests and subsequent regulations, Simone Biles bringing mental fatigue to the forefront of national conversation, and various athletes reaching athletic greatness previously unseen. One other storyline that has accompanied the games is severely lacking TV ratings.

The numbers are in and the 2021 Olympics are the least-watched Olympics — summer or winter — on record. Across NBC’s traditional and streaming options, an average of 15.6 million viewers watched per night, a full 4.2 million behind the previous low of 19.8 million for the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018.

According to Sports Media Watch, the primetime average from Tokyo was a 42 percent decline from the previous Summer Games in Rio and a 50 percent drop from the London Olympics on NBC alone in 2012. Viewership dropped 27 percent from the previous Summer low of 21.5 million in 2000, the last Summer Olympics to take place in the fall.

Some fans have complained of the erratic schedules due to the time difference, which also resulted in spoiled winners and losers. Others have commented on the navigational aspects of Peacock as a drawback. Whatever the case, the games are in the rearview now and the fact they got off at all may be the most surprising piece to date.

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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Barrett Media Writers

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