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ESPN Adds Ray Ferraro, Brian Boucher For NHL Coverage

There are still plenty of openings ESPN has to fill. One of those includes the marquee play-by-play voice.

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ESPN may be out of the running for Wayne Gretzky, but that doesn’t mean that it is standing still on its NHL crew. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher are headed to Bristol.

TSN’s top game analyst Ferraro will join ESPN. He could be the analyst on ESPN’s top NHL broadcasts according to Marchand and will be part of ESPN’s and ABC’s Stanley Cup Finals coverage.

Ray Ferraro spent time with the Rangers, Islanders and Whalers in his playing career. He was also part of NHL 2Night alongside John Buccigross and Barry Melrose.

Brian Boucher is also headed to ESPN. NBC’s “Inside the Glass” reporter will stay with that network until season’s end.

There are still plenty of openings ESPN has to fill. One of those includes the marquee play-by-play voice. Gary Thorne has expressed interest in returning to the role. Marchand reports that the decision will likely come down to in-house candidates. Steve Levy and Sean McDonough have emerged as the top contenders.

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Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN

“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”

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The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.

The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.

Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.

Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.

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Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game

“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”

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The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.

Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.

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Kentucky Derby Rebounds With 16 Million Viewers

“The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.”

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The Kentucky Derby has now eclipsed 15 million viewers in each of the last eight years that the event was not effected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. An average audience of 16 million tuned in Saturday to see longshot Rich Strike win the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.

During the weekend, the event kept finding new life on social media. According to an NBC Sports press release, the overhead shot of the final call drew big audiences across a number of the network’s digital platforms, having been viewed in total more than 36 million times.

Peacock also cashed in on the event’s success. The streaming platform posted an average minute audience of over 247,000 viewers during the Kentucky Derby.

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