The Los Angeles Lakers were crowned champions of the NBA on Sunday night, but the NFL was still champion of sports television. NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings had more than double the audience of what turned out to be the last game of the 2020 NBA Finals.
An audience of 11.4 million people tuned in to watch football. They were rewarded with a game that came down to a touchdown pass thrown with just 15 seconds left on the clock. By contrast, LeBron James’s fourth NBA title (the Lakers’ 17th) drew just 5.6 million viewers.
Liam McKeone of The Big Lead writes that this isn’t that big of a deal and certainly shouldn’t be a surprise. Ratings are a fun talking point for some, but in reality this isn’t a reason to panic.
“The NFL should not be used as a baseline for any ratings discussion for anything on television, much less the NBA, because it regularly posts outlandishly high numbers,” he says.
McKeone says that the reality is that the NBA has never been the NFL in terms of ratings. Football is engrained as a part of American culture on Sundays. Sure, the NBA game had higher stakes, but even in June, when the Finals are usually played, the numbers do not compete with primetime NFL broadcasts.
Adam Silver and the rest of the League Office is certainly concerned about the decline in ratings, but there are explanations. The NBA was playing during a time of year it usually does not. There is more competition not only from the sports world, but also from other types of broadcasts and streaming services. There is probably at least some people that were turned off by the league’s social justice messaging as the White House and right wing media outlets have suggested. Plus a presidential election and a worldwide pandemic is effecting viewers’ habits.
“So, in summary, yes, SNF blew a championship-clinching NBA Finals game out of the water in terms of viewership,” McKeone concludes. “The NBA is undoubtedly not pleased about that. But that does not mean the ship is sinking and the league may as well disband. It simply means the NFL is still king, and the NBA was negatively affected by COVID-19. Like literally everyone else. It’s as simple as that.”
Sports Media React to FOX’s Hologram Harry Caray
FOX’s use of a hologram Harry Caray for the 7th Inning Stretch of the Field of Dreams Game received mixed reviews.
The annual Field of Dreams game took center stage on Thursday night, and FOX incorporated legendary Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray into their coverage.
Earlier in the evening, news surfaced that FOX was going to use a hologram version of Caray during the 7th inning stretch, playing a recording of Caray singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Darren Rovell had an inside scoop and tweeted that the display could be deemed offensive.
The segment happened, and the reaction by those in sports media, including those in Cincinnati and Chicago, was about what you’d expect.
There were a couple who didn’t take issue with the gesture.
Others couldn’t help but come with jokes.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
UNLV To Air Games on New TV Network
UNLV sports will begin to appear on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network beginning this season.
In the world of expanding television rights and continued attempts to get collegiate sports broadcast on television, UNLV sports has a new way to get their athletics to viewers in the Las Vegas area.
UNLV sports will begin to appear on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network beginning this season. The network is a creation of KVVU-TV, Leas Vegas‘ FOX affiliate.
The network will concentrate on sports other than football and men’s basketball, but will air select football and men’s basketball games that are not picked up by network TV. The network plans to air more than 100 UNLV home contests.
“I think it’s great for our exposure, especially for many of our Olympic sports that haven’t had a broadcast avenue outside of streaming,” women’s basketball coach Lindy La Rocque said. “The UNLV fans who live in Vegas now have an easy way to follow along when they can’t physically make it to a game. And I think we’ll pick up some new fans, who may have only seen football or men’s hoops before, to be proud of what our teams accomplish.”
“So we’re giving air time to sports that usually don’t get it,” KVVU vice president and general manager Michael Korr said.
The network, which launched in mid-June, will also air 12 games involving historically Black colleges and universities.
Mike Uva Joins WBZ-TV in Boston, Will Still Cover South Carolina Sports
“Boston, I’m home. I’ve accepted a freelance sports reporter position at WBZ-TV, CBS Boston, to cover the New England Patriots this season.”
Mike Uva has accepted a position with WBZ-TV in Boston. There he will freelance as a sports reporter to cover the New England Patriots this season.
Uva is the Director of Digital Content with GamecockCentral.com in Columbia, South Carolina. He addressed the issue of trying to do both in a tweet saying that the nature of his position at WBZ will allow him to remain with both outlets.
“Boston, I’m home. I’ve accepted a freelance sports reporter position at WBZ-TV, CBS Boston, to cover the New England Patriots this season. Since this is a freelance gig, with the blessing of both WBZ & Gamecock Central, I’ll remain covering the Gamecocks remotely this fall.”
Uva is from Boston and played college football at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts.