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Big Ratings Continue During Euro 2020 Knockout Rounds

Belgium-Portugal set a new high-ratings mark in the process.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: UEFA

The banner year for ESPN’s broadcast of Euro 2020 doesn’t seem to be slowing down as quarterfinal matches get underway. ESPN announced that Round of 16 matches delivered an average audience of 1,816,000 viewers. That marks a 38 percent increase compared to 1,317,000 viewers for the same matches in 2016.

The matches took place from last Saturday through Tuesday and featured the most-watched event of the whole tournament thus far. Belgium-Portugal featuring the world’s most prolific international scorer in Christiano Ronaldo notched 2,653,000 viewers on ABC. 

Zooming out from this year’s tournament alone, the match was the fifth most-watched European Championship event since the network began airing the games in 2008. The three top matches were championship finals, while the fourth spot belongs to an Italy-England quarterfinal match from EURO 2012. The 1-0 Belgium victory continued a strong overall tournament showing.

Through 44 EURO 2020 matches (Group Stage and Round of 16), the average audience across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 is 1,063,000 viewers. That number represents a 29% increase over 822,400 viewers for comparable matches in 2016. 

European club soccer has steadily grown in popularity over the last decade in the United States, plus, this is a prime event to wager on. The tournament owns all of the daytime sports real estate right now, save for a few MLB day games here and there. Succinct matches played three times each day throughout the group stage made it a routine event to open daily gambling.

Across the pond, the beautiful game is still as popular as ever, with 20.6 million viewers tuning in to BBC One’s coverage of England-Germany this week. It’ll be a long time (if ever) before soccer reaches numbers like that in the states, but the tides are rising. ESPN invested over 140 hours of live coverage into this event as the U.S. distributor, and that decision is paying big dividends.

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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