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NASCAR To Use Pro Bowl To Maximize TV Ratings In 1st Event

“Awful Announcing spoke with NASCAR SVP of Media and Productions Brian Herbst about why the time was right to tackle such a large endeavor.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: NASCAR

NASCAR is making history in February when they hold their Clash event at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. It marks the first time since 1956 that the racing promotion is holding an event at a stadium.

Awful Announcing spoke with NASCAR SVP of Media and Productions Brian Herbst about why the time was right to tackle such a large endeavor.

“We felt like the opportunity to run the week ahead of the Super Bowl… was one that we wanted to take advantage of,” Herbst told Awful Announcing. “When we saw that the Super Bowl was in Los Angeles and that we would have an opportunity to take advantage of that Super Bowl promotional week, obviously we’re not going to compete with the Super Bowl from a TV perspective, but I think all of the stars aligned.”

The Clash is NASCAR‘s first event of the season, and Herbst told AA that the race will likely start after the Pro Bowl concludes to maximize TV ratings. Herbst expanded on NASCAR’s increased ratings in the interview, highlighting the move to Sunday afternoons.

“We know we perform best on Sunday afternoons,” Herbst said. “You’ll see more Sunday afternoon races in 2022 than you did in 2021. You saw more in 2021 than in 2020. When we shift from a Saturday night race to a Sunday afternoon race, viewership will be about 25 percent higher. So finding ways to shift more races to Sunday is just a nice shot in the arm on the viewership average.”

The Clash is an intriguing experiment that holds no real weight in the NASCAR season as a whole. Zero race results count towards the season-long cup chase. NASCAR is strategically positioning itself to get a taste of the ratings pie as an intriguing TV watch between NFL Championship weekend and the Super Bowl.

Sports TV News

ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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Sports TV News

Michael Smith Joining Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football Studio Coverage

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

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Michael Smith is joining Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football coverage, he tells USA Today.

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

He will work as a “news analyst” for the streaming platform’s studio show, a role he similarly held for ESPN‘s NFL Sunday Countdown. Former Countdown producer Amina Hussein is the head of on-air sports talent development for Prime.

Smith becomes the latest of a growing cast Prime Video has assembled for Thursday Night Football coverage. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will work in the broadcast booth, Kaylee Hartung will work the sidelines, Charissa Thompson will anchor the studio show with Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, and Andrew Whitworth, and Taylor Rooks will work as a feature reporter. Dude Perfect, a comedy group famous for social media “trick shot videos”, will reportedly offer a Manningcast-style alternate broadcast.

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