The Browns’ nightmare of a season, in addition to the usual round of firings, resulted in fewer people buying tickets, more no-shows from those who purchased seats and a sizable hit to the local television ratings for the team’s broadcasts.
According to an industry source, the average rating in the Cleveland designated market for the Browns’ 16 regular-season games dropped 11.7% in 2015. Also telling is the ratings drop was most significant for the younger demographic — adults 18-49.
For all adults 18-49, the average rating for Browns broadcasts on WOIO, WJW and WKYC slipped 10.1%. For men 18-49, the drop was 8.4%.
Before we dive into more numbers, a quick caveat: The ratings are still monstrous — a 30.2 average. By comparison, a typical regular-season Cavs broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio generates a 9.3 rating this season. (The ratings norm for the Cavs’ six NBA Finals broadcasts on WEWS last year was 43.7.)
A few more Browns 2015 ratings tidbits:
• The ratings average for 2014, when the Browns were 7-9, was 34.2.
• In the 18-49 demo, the rating dropped from 20.7 in 2014 to 18.6 this season. For men 18-49, the ratings norm decreased from 27.4 to 25.1.
• Ratings in the older demographic — a group that has more vivid memories of good Browns teams — were also down, but the margin wasn’t nearly as steep. The average rating for adults in the 25-54 demo was 23, down 3.8% from a 23.9 norm in 2014. For men 25-54, the average rating slipped only 2%, from 30.6 to 30.
• The most impressive Browns rating numbers: The games that were broadcast on WOIO actually drew more eyeballs in the 25-54 demo. The average WOIO rating for all adults 25-54 increased from 23.2 to 23.9. For men 25-54, the WOIO ratings norm jumped from 29.7 in 2014 to 31.1 in ’15.
Attendance at FirstEnergy Stadium was down 1.8% in 2015. The average crowd of 66,186 was a drop of 1,239 per game from 2014.
The two-year renovation of FES, which was completed prior to the 2015 campaign, decreased capacity at the stadium to about 68,000.
Several games didn’t sell out, and a sizable number of young people chose not to watch the games on TV.
Finally, fiercely loyal Browns fans seem to be getting tired of all the losing.
To read the rest of the article visit Crain’s Cleveland Business where it was originally published
XFL Signs Exclusive Deal With ESPN
“Games will return in 2023. The season opening slate will be played February 18.”
All 43 games in the 2023 XFL season will air on Disney’s sports networks. The entire schedule will be seen on ABC, ESPN, and FX. Dwayne Johnson and Dani Garcia made the announcement at the 2022 Disney Upfront presentation.
This will be the third iteration of the XFL. The first attempt in 2001 ended after a single season. The 2020 revival was shut down due to Covid. Johnson and Garcia and their partners purchased the brand two years ago for $15 million.
“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content said in a press release. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”
Games will return in 2023. The season opening slate will be played February 18.
“The XFL is going to be a league of passion, a league of pride, and a league of culture,” Johnson said at the event, promising that those three principles will drive every decision for the league.
NBA Playoff Ratings Hit 8-Year Highs
“At 3.71 million, the average audience for games this postseason is up 14% from last year. It is up 4% from 2019, the last time the playoffs started on time.”
More people are watching the NBA Playoffs than have done so in a long time. Through the first two rounds in 2022, the league is enjoying its best postseason ratings in eight years.
The average audience across TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV is 3.71 million people per game. If you take the less widely available NBA TV out of the mix, the NBA is averaging 4.08 million viewers per game.
At 3.71 million, the average audience for games this postseason is up 14% from last year. It is up 4% from 2019, the last time the playoffs started on time.
The Boston Celtics have been one of the most reliable performers this postseason. They have been involved in two of the three most-watched games. Sunday’s Game 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks is one of two games this postseason that now rank as the most-watched early round games in a decade. The other was Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Golden State has also been a hot draw. The Warriors have been involved in four of the seven most-watched playoff games.
With both teams still alive and plenty of star power left in the playoffs, the NBA is poised to deliver one of its most-watched postseasons in years.
Domonique Foxworth: Tom Brady Contract Is About Impressing NFL
“I think that’s why the booths look the way they look. It’s because the league wants their games to feel big, and it’s worth it to them.”
The shake-up of NFL TV broadcast booths has been one of the top storylines in the league this offseason.
Part of the reasoning is because of the massive sums of money involved. Whether it’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman or Tom Brady, NFL broadcasters have been getting paid. And it doesn’t seem like the spending is going to slow down anytime soon.
Speaking to Bomani Jones on The Right Time, Domonique Foxworth said the NFL just wants to continue to get bigger and bigger even with its broadcast crews.
“These TV partners want to be in good with the league. And I think that’s what this Tom Brady contract comes down to,” Foxworth said. “I think that’s why the booths look the way they look. It’s because the league wants their games to feel big, and it’s worth it to them.”
Even with some feeling like Brady is uninteresting and likely won’t move the needle as an analyst, it’s the name recognition factor that will set the table for Brady in the booth.
“I do believe that if you turn on an NFL game, and Tom Brady’s talking about it, it feels bigger no matter what he’s saying,” Foxworth said.