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670 The Score, ESPN 1000 Take Hits In Chicago’s Spring Ratings Book

“The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7.”

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The spring ratings period from March 26 through June 17 was overall less than impressive for Chicago’s two sports stations. Still, the total drop-off was minimal considering COVID-19 forced a sports shutdown, with some shows even outperforming their winter numbers. 

According to Nielsen Audio, the stations were in a tight race for weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p). The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7. In comparison, both stations did a 3.3 in the winter book, which largely took place before the sports hiatus.

In morning drive, The Score’s Mully and Haugh finished the book in 13th place with a 2.8, down from their 4.5 winter number. Year-over-year, Mully and Haugh dropped nearly five points from the 2019 spring book which occurred while the Cubs were in action. ESPN 1000’s simulcast of Golic and Wingo placed ninth in their final book as morning co-hosts. Surprisingly, the show saw a ratings increase in the spring with a 4.3 share, up a half point from the winter book. 

For a national host, Golic developed a solid connection with the Chicago audience, in-part thanks to his 18 years with Mike Greenberg, who launched his radio career at The Score in the early ‘90s. But with Greeny having left ESPN Radio’s morning show in 2017, and Golic on his way out next month, a new trio of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti are set to take over the national airwaves. 

Will they get the chance to compete in Chicago? With Good Karma Brands now in control of ESPN 1000, it will be interesting to see if the company elects to go local in mornings or continue featuring network programming courtesy of their partnership with the worldwide leader.

From 9a – noon, both stations were again in a tight ratings battle. ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan finished 12th with a 2.9, while Dan Bernstein was right behind with a 2.8 for The Score. Kap & Company dropped from a 3.5 share in the winter, while Bernstein was up almost a half point from what was his final book with co-host Connor McKnight. 

The noon – 2p timeslot went to The Score, as Laurence Holmes fared well during the sports hiatus, tied for 11th with a 3.1 share which was up from his 2.9 in the winter book. For ESPN 1000, Carmen & Jurko dipped from a 3.2 share during the winter, to a 19th place finish and a 2.4 rating in the spring book.

Rounding out the weekday lineup, The Score finished 13th from 2 – 6p as their afternoon show with Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins earned a 3.1 share, a slight drop from their 3.4 over the winter. ESPN 1000’s afternoon duo of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman finished tied for 18th with a 2 share. But more importantly, it was great to hear Silvy has been able to continue co-hosting the afternoon show on ESPN 1000 while battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a diagnosis he revealed in late April.

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Peyton Manning Swears Into Hot Mic On Manningcast

“Late in the first quarter, Eli tried to throw it to his older brother to breakdown the play that resulted in the Rams’ first score of the night. It didn’t go as planned.”

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Why do people love the Manningcast on ESPN2? It has a lot to do with Peyton and Eli being their authentic selves on screen. The same goes for their guests. That authenticity has included a few NSFW moments this season and we got another during the first ever Monday night playoff game.

Late in the first quarter, Eli tried to throw it to his older brother to breakdown the play that resulted in the Rams’ first score of the night. It didn’t go as planned.

Kudos to Eli for the simple, but truly funny response of “never mind”!

The Manningcast has made a few headlines for these moments this season. Marshawn Lynch swore multiple times during his Week 7 appearance. More famously, Eli shot the camera the double bird in Week 2.

It is a memorable way to close an undeniably successful first season for ESPN2’s alternate coverage of Monday Night Football. Certainly everyone at the network would love to bring the Manningcast back for 2022. Whether or not Omaha Productions can make that happen will likely depend on just how serious rumors of Peyton Manning’s interest in being a part of owning the Denver Broncos are.

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Charles Davis Tells Jim Rome Titans Will Use Him As Motivation

“CBS will send its top team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to Kansas City for the Bills and Chiefs. Davis told Rome that is a fact that will not be lost on Titans coach Mike Vrabel.”

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It’s kind of hard not to feel bad for Charles Davis. He was a guest on Monday’s edition of The Jim Rome Show. It was an interview that opened with The Pimp in the Box asking Davis about just how cold he was in Buffalo over the weekend.

Temperatures reached the single digits with wind chill in the negative numbers during the Bills’ blowout of the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round.

Davis said that there was no way not to think about his discomfort. He gave credit to the stage crew in the booth that helped to keep him an Ian Eagle warm.

Later in the interview, Rome asked Charles Davis if the Tennessee Titans were being unfairly overlooked. They are the top seed in the AFC afterall.

Davis said that was very likely. The team is getting both Derek Henry and Julio Jones back in time to face the Bengals in the divisional round.

That is the game assigned to Davis and Eagle. CBS will send its top team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to Kansas City for the Bills and Chiefs. Davis told Rome that is a fact that will not be lost on Titans coach Mike Vrabel.

“He’ll use this one. Jim and Tony are going to Kansas City/Buffalo. He’s getting Ian Eagle and myself,” Davis told Rome. “He may not disrespect us, but he’ll let his team know the number one team is not getting the number one broadcast team.”

Teams shouldn’t need extra motivation. Every game in the playoffs is your last if you don’t find a way to win. Charles Davis says that doesn’t mean Vrabel isn’t looking to add a little extra juice to his locker room and he and his partner’s presence may be the perfect catalyst.

“He’ll use that. Coaches use all of that stuff. He’ll use it to the Nth degree.”

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Damon Amendolara: The NFL Is Giving Us Quantity, Not Quality

“Amendolara asked on Monday at what cost did the expanded playoffs and extra regular season game this season serve as a success for the league?”

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The NFL’s first “Super Wild Card Weekend” provided for more blowouts than competitive games. The Bengals/Raiders game Saturday afternoon, and the Cowboys/49ers contest came down to the wire and provided the drama playoff football usually delivers. But the rest of the games turned out to be duds according to CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara.

He pointed to the Bucs/Eagles game and the Chiefs/Steelers game during his show on Monday as two of the biggest flops of the weekend.

“They weren’t competitive,” he said. “Those were the two worst games of the weekend.”

You could throw in the Bills/Patriots game in the mix as well.

Amendolara asked on Monday at what cost did the expanded playoffs and extra regular season game this season serve as a success for the league? 

“The same way the NFL went to the 17th game for ‘More football’ and the same way they expanded the playoffs for ‘More playoff football’ was about more not quality,” he said. “Quantity not quality.”

One thinks about the NCAA basketball tournament where usually the opening round games are cake walks for teams seeded 1-4. That first weekend is awesome because there’s so many games on from noon to past midnight. But with the obvious exception of UMBC a few years ago, the top seeds in each region aren’t going to captivate audiences those first couple games because things will get out of hand quickly.

In the NFL’s case, Amendolara said opening up the playoffs to teams that probably shouldn’t have been there made for less entertaining contests at the expense of having an entire weekend of games to watch.

“The football wasn’t better,” he said. “It was just more.”

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