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College Football Playoff Ratings Fall By 25%

“The ratings for this year’s Orange and Cotton Bowls rank seventh and ninth respectively amongst all ten College Football Playoff semifinals in history.”

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The College Football Playoff experienced a big ratings drop over the weekend. 16.8 million people tuned in for Clemson’s demolition of Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, while just over 19 million tuned in for Alabama’s win in primetime over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Both games were played on Saturday night, December 29.

The numbers represent a 25% drop from the total audience of 48 million that watched the semifinals last year. Those games, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, were played on New Year’s Day. The ratings for this year’s Orange and Cotton Bowls rank seventh and ninth respectively amongst all ten College Football Playoff semifinals in history.

ESPN pays $600 million per year to televise the New Year’s Six bowls, including the two that are part of the College Football Playoff, and the National Championship Game. That contract stipulates that no matter which two bowls are the national semifinals, the Rose and Sugar Bowls will always be played on New Year’s Day. The six semifinal games that were not played on New Year’s Day all experienced ratings drops from the semifinal games most recently played in that time slot.

It is unfair to say that the games not being on New Year’s Day is the sole reason viewership slipped from last year. However, it’s worth noting that one of New Year’s Day’s games, the Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Washington, did beat the Cotton Bowl in viewership.

Other factors that could have contributed to the falloff in ratings include viewer fatigue, as Alabama has been in every College Football Playoff, Clemson has been in all but one, and Oklahoma has been in three of the last four. There is also the lack of suspense in either game. The Cotton Bowl was a blowout, and although Oklahoma had a very good second half in the Orange Bowl, Alabama was up 28-0 before the Sooners scored a single point.

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ESPN+ Tops 22 Million Subscribers

“Disney generates an average of $4.73 from each ESPN+ subscriber in monthly revenue.”

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ESPN has to be happy with the performance of ESPN+ thus far. During Disney’s latest quarterly earnings report, the company revealed that the streaming platform added another 1 million subscribers during the second quarter of 2022. That brings the total to around 22.3 million.

Disney generates an average of $4.73 from each ESPN+ subscriber in monthly revenue. It is part of the cash cow that streaming has been for the entire Walt Disney Company. Disney+, the company’s flagship OTT streamer, added 7.9 million subscribers during the same time period.

Don’t expect this to mean that Disney and ESPN are ready to abandon traditional cable. Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, described linear networks as still being “cash generators”. He added that “the hesitancy to move too fast away from those is really a cashflow situation.”

“At some point, when it is going to be good for our shareholders, we will be able to fully go,” Chapek said. “It will be the ultimate fan offering that appeals to super-fans of sports, and it is really only ESPN that could pull that off.”

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FOX Sports Disputes Figures Reported In Tom Brady Contract

“Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that a FOX spokesperson reached out to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post saying there were inaccuracies in his report.”

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FOX Sports has its future number one NFL analyst in Tom Brady, but the network has taken issue with the figures reported on the deal.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that a FOX spokesperson reached out to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post saying there were inaccuracies in his report.

“What has been reported isn’t an accurate description of the deal and we have not released details beyond what was disclosed on our quarterly earnings call,” spokesman Brian Nick told Marchand, who broke the story of Brady’s next career.

Marchand said Nick didn’t specifically say what was inaccurate. The reporter is standing by his reporting.

Although FOX hasn’t formally announced Brady’s deal, the terms are believed to be 10 years, $375 million.

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Golden State Warriors Most-Watched Team In NBA Playoffs

“Golden State has been in nearly all of the league’s most-watched playoff games.”

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It’s been a little bit since the Golden State Warriors were last in the NBA championship mix, but they are in 2022, and audiences are taking notice.

Sports Media Watch reported Wednesday that the Warriors’ second round game 3 against the Memphis Grizzlies averaged 6.1 million viewers on ABC. Golden State has been in nearly all of the league’s most-watched playoff games.

When compared to the Utah Jazz/L.A. Clippers playoff game played in the same window in 2021, Golden State’s 142-112 Game 3 win saw a 46% increase in viewership.

Numbers for Game 4 of the Warriors/Grizzlies series were unavailable. The Grizzlies cruised to a 134-95 win in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

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