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Karsch & Anderson Use Squid Game To Grow Twitch Audience

“I have a white index card; I’m going to write four words down. As soon as [Karsch] finishes ‘Squid Game,’ he is going to say these four words.”

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Netflix’s new dystopian series “Squid Game” has been captivating and enthralling viewers from all around the world with its high-stakes competition and lethal penalties. The South Korean fictional survival-based competition revamps traditional children’s games, such as “Red Light, Green Light” and “Marbles,” into competitions with a chance to win ₩45.6 billion if they make it to the end. All of the initial 456 contestants are in deep amounts of debt, and trying to make a better life for themselves and their families — with the caveat that if they lose any of the competitions, they will be immediately killed.

Over its first month of streaming worldwide, 142 million Netflix members have watched the series, amounting to approximately two-thirds of the platform’s subscriber base, something the service, in a press release, called “mind-boggling.” Additionally, 89% of those viewers watched at least 75 minutes of the series, and 66% finished the series’ first season in a mere 23 days. Recently, it was the number one streaming program in 94 different countries, including the United States, resulting in the addition of 4.38 million subscribers in the third quarter, nearly double the figure from this time last year. The show has generated nearly $900 million in impact value, and cost $21.4 million to produce, meaning Netflix figures to substantially profit from this series, which has already been renewed for a much-anticipated second season.

So what does this mean for sports media? Well, on Wednesday morning, “Karsch and Anderson” on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit spoke about their experiences watching this global phenomenon. Then, they played a game of their own, transforming show listeners into viewers while emphasizing the impact cross-platform integration has and will continue to have on radio today.

“I did power through another episode of Squid Game,” said Doug Karsch, co-host of the morning-drive show, who is in the midst of watching the series on Netflix. “It’s interesting; I want to know what the hell is going on.”

Show Producer Khang Huynh, who, along with co-host Scott Anderson, has already finished the Netflix hit, proceeded to draw the listening audience to 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch live stream of “Karsch and Anderson” simply by using a standard, white index card.

“I have not met or read one review after [someone has] finished [‘Squid Game’] say something different,” expressed Hunyh. “I have a white index card; I’m going to write four words down. As soon as [Karsch] finishes ‘Squid Game,’ he is going to say these four words.”

In anticipation of Hunyh’s revealing the four-word message, the viewership on 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch stream proliferated from 166 to 472 viewers in the span of about a minute-and-a-half, demonstrating the power a complimentary video live stream can have on a sports radio show.

Without the video live stream, the secret index card message could not have been as easily and instantly disseminated while simultaneously entertaining the audience without it serving as somewhat of a spoiler to Karsch. By utilizing Twitch, “Karsch and Anderson” kept viewers engaged in their conversation, and compelled many of them to switch over to the Twitch platform, some for the first time, expanding their potential audience and future capabilities on that avenue of transmission.

As for Karsch, finishing “Squid Game,” he puts his chances in doing so at over 50%. “I’ll just come back the day that I finish watching, and see if I say that exact thing.” Anderson can’t wait for the day that happens, as his feeling was analogous to that of Hunyh’s regarding the thrilling ending of season one.

“I can’t wait to tell you what I was going to say, because it was so close!”

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Barstool’s Big Cat Recalls Awkward Moment of Aaron Rodgers Interview

“If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to reroute a conversation when a guest is like, ‘Oooh, I don’t like you guys.'”

Jordan Bondurant

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Big Cat, Aaron Rodgers

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently appeared on the Barstool Sports podcast, Pardon My Take, and the interview seemed to go well.

Podcast co-host, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, who is a die-hard Bears fan and well-documented Aaron Rodgers hater, relished in the fact that Rodgers agreed to take trash talk from him.

But there was one moment where things almost derailed.

Big Cat, in his weekly appearance on ESPN Chicago with Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman, talked about asking Rodgers how many grandmothers he had killed (A reference to Rodgers not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and his beliefs on vaccine mandates).

“That was a good lesson that PFT and I sometimes have to learn,” Big Cat said, before saying he saved the interview by finding a way out of the subject. “If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to reroute a conversation when a guest is like, ‘Oooh, I don’t like you guys.'”

Katz said it was a moment where they had to pause and understand what they were actually asking and insinuating with Rodgers.

“That was one of those ones we really don’t live in the real world, so when we go out into the real world and we say something that we’ve been joking about within the confines of our studio on ears that haven’t heard those jokes before, it’s kind of like, ‘Wait what did you guys just say? Are you really joking about grandmothers that died from COVID?'” he said. “And then when you get it repeated back to you, you’re kind of like, ‘Oh, yeah that is kind of messed up. Right, good point.”

Katz mentioned Rodgers went with the whole bit for the interview the entire time. So while there was a brief second where things could’ve gone south, everyone just let it go.

“Score one for Aaron, but he was smiling,” Big Cat said. “It was all in good fun.”

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Fescoe in the Morning: ESPN Has a History of Ignoring Non-Partner Leagues

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

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Fescoe in the Morning

ESPN is out of the running for the Big Ten football and basketball media rights. Those will be awarded to a combination of other networks and likely a streaming service. ESPN appears to be focusing on NCAA Championships next.

Josh Klingler, co-host of Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, took time on their show on Tuesday to break down what that might mean for the Big Ten in terms of coverage.

“You’re (Big Ten) going to network television, which is better; more eyeballs and what have you,” noted Klingler. “But also, let’s not forget ESPN has a history of ignoring you when you’re not on their air. That’s the risk they are going to run.”

Klingler would add, “They are going to take the money. They are going to get network viewers, which is good. I guess the highlight and the hype and all those things that we are accustomed to doing that ESPN provides. We’ve already seen they ignore you if you’re not on their network.”

Bob Fescoe chimed in a reminder about another prominent league that chose not to partner with ESPN.

“Ask the National Hockey League what happened when they took the money from NBC and ran,” said Fescoe.

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

“Right, but I think they are willing to do that for a billion dollars per year,” Fescoe responded.

Fescoe then said that the Big Ten might make up for the perceived shortcomings of not being on ESPN by being on network television.

“If you’re going to be on network TV in all three windows, Josh, quite honestly all your marquee games are going to be free,” said Fescoe.

“That’s exposure,” said Klingler.

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Sports Radio News

NESN’s Dave O’Brien Says National Networks “Blew It” By Not Hiring Dennis Eckersley

“I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley decided to make it known that this season would be his last with NESN in the booth. He mentioned that after 50 years in baseball, it was time to go be with the grandchildren in San Diego.

His broadcast partner for a lot of those years in the NESN booth was Dave O’Brien. On the latest Sports Media Mayhem podcast, O’Brien joined show host Alex Reimer to talk about the retirement of Eckersley. Reimer pointed out that it took awhile before Eckersley became the main color analyst for the team. O’Brien remembered the time well.

“When he started, he was pre- and post- and he did that most of his career at NESN,” said O’Brien. “It was really, only the last six or seven years that he really started to get on as a game analyst.”

O’Brien was named the lead play-by-play announcer for NESN’s Red Sox coverage in 2016 which is about the same time Eckersley slid into the role of game analyst. In the time since, O’Brien has seen the work of Eckersley up close and is floored that he was working for a regional sports network and not somewhere more nationally prominent.

“I think the national people totally blew it on Dennis Eckersley,” blurted O’Brien. “And that includes Turner. They had an opportunity, I can say that because a lot of those people there now didn’t make the decision. He should have been the lead analyst doing national games. He should have been on ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball or FOX. I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”

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