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ESPN Reviving ‘Thursday Night Thunder’ With Tony Stewart-Owned SRX

“We look forward to bringing live racing back to summertime Thursday nights on ESPN with SRX.”

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SRX — the Superstar Racing Experience — is departing CBS and moving to ESPN.

The summer racing series owned by racing legend Tony Stewart was launched in 2021 in conjunction with CBS to air in primetime on Saturdays, featuring former racing stars of NASCAR, IndyCar, and other series on short-tracks around the country. The series is tailor-made for TV, working within a two-hour television window with breaks in the action covered by feature segments on the competitors.

On ESPN, the series will be used to revive the Thursday Night Thunder branding the network used for previous motorsports programming.

Thursday Night Thunder is where guys like me, who were just starting our careers in USAC, got the chance to make a name for ourselves because of its presence on ESPN,” Stewart said. “It’s great to see Thursday Night Thunder return, but to also be a part of it all over again with SRX.”

The addition of SRX is an expansion of motorsports programming for the worldwide leader. ESPN currently airs the entire F1 schedule, and has previously aired NASCAR, CART, IndyCar, and USAC events.

“SRX has been an impressive property in its first two seasons and has produced competitive and exciting action,” said ESPN President of Programming and Original Content Burke Magnus. “We look forward to bringing live racing back to summertime Thursday nights on ESPN with SRX.”

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

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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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