Netflix’s new dystopian series “Squid Game” has been captivating and enthralling viewers from all around the world with its high-stakes competition and lethal penalties. The South Korean fictional survival-based competition revamps traditional children’s games, such as “Red Light, Green Light” and “Marbles,” into competitions with a chance to win ₩45.6 billion if they make it to the end. All of the initial 456 contestants are in deep amounts of debt, and trying to make a better life for themselves and their families — with the caveat that if they lose any of the competitions, they will be immediately killed.
Over its first month of streaming worldwide, 142 million Netflix members have watched the series, amounting to approximately two-thirds of the platform’s subscriber base, something the service, in a press release, called “mind-boggling.” Additionally, 89% of those viewers watched at least 75 minutes of the series, and 66% finished the series’ first season in a mere 23 days. Recently, it was the number one streaming program in 94 different countries, including the United States, resulting in the addition of 4.38 million subscribers in the third quarter, nearly double the figure from this time last year. The show has generated nearly $900 million in impact value, and cost $21.4 million to produce, meaning Netflix figures to substantially profit from this series, which has already been renewed for a much-anticipated second season.
So what does this mean for sports media? Well, on Wednesday morning, “Karsch and Anderson” on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit spoke about their experiences watching this global phenomenon. Then, they played a game of their own, transforming show listeners into viewers while emphasizing the impact cross-platform integration has and will continue to have on radio today.
“I did power through another episode of Squid Game,” said Doug Karsch, co-host of the morning-drive show, who is in the midst of watching the series on Netflix. “It’s interesting; I want to know what the hell is going on.”
Show Producer Khang Huynh, who, along with co-host Scott Anderson, has already finished the Netflix hit, proceeded to draw the listening audience to 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch live stream of “Karsch and Anderson” simply by using a standard, white index card.
“I have not met or read one review after [someone has] finished [‘Squid Game’] say something different,” expressed Hunyh. “I have a white index card; I’m going to write four words down. As soon as [Karsch] finishes ‘Squid Game,’ he is going to say these four words.”
In anticipation of Hunyh’s revealing the four-word message, the viewership on 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch stream proliferated from 166 to 472 viewers in the span of about a minute-and-a-half, demonstrating the power a complimentary video live stream can have on a sports radio show.
Without the video live stream, the secret index card message could not have been as easily and instantly disseminated while simultaneously entertaining the audience without it serving as somewhat of a spoiler to Karsch. By utilizing Twitch, “Karsch and Anderson” kept viewers engaged in their conversation, and compelled many of them to switch over to the Twitch platform, some for the first time, expanding their potential audience and future capabilities on that avenue of transmission.
As for Karsch, finishing “Squid Game,” he puts his chances in doing so at over 50%. “I’ll just come back the day that I finish watching, and see if I say that exact thing.” Anderson can’t wait for the day that happens, as his feeling was analogous to that of Hunyh’s regarding the thrilling ending of season one.
“I can’t wait to tell you what I was going to say, because it was so close!”
Colin Cowherd: Lincoln Riley At USC Is Good For Networks
“Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches.”
Colin Cowherd is a self-professed college football fan. When the sport is interesting, he talks about it. The sport may never be more interesting than when the coaching carousel is spinning.
On Mondy’s edition of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio, Cowherd dove in on USC’s hire of Lincoln Riley. He says that it is good for college football that Riley left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.
“My phone blew up yesterday, not only because people know I’m kind of a USC honk, but network people,” Cowherd said. “They’re like ‘do you understand how big this is for networks?’”.
Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches. He noted that when USC lost to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, ABC scored a 22.5 rating in the city.
“The networks want USC to be good. You know why? Because New York, DC, and Boston have never watched college football. Chicago does and LA does. So the Big Ten being good is good for college football TV ratings. But LA doesn’t watch college football anymore. They will now.”
As for the hard times USC has fallen on and been stuck in mostly since Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL, Cowherd is not particularly worried. He pointed out that Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were all down before they hired the right coach. Programs at the blue blood level in the sport have a way of bouncing back quickly.
Network executives are hoping Cowherd’s assessment is correct. USC is the only brand on the West Coast capable of resonating on a national level.
The Los Angeles sports landscape has changed though. When USC was a celebrity program under Pete Carroll, the city did not have an NFL team. Now it has two. The Dodgers were not annual contenders in Major League Baseball. The Lakers had stars, but the Clippers didn’t. Now both do.
Does LA love college football enough for the Trojans to turn some heads in the city with the most stars in the sports world?
Pat McAfee’s Wife Shares Couple’s Pregnancy Struggles
“Saying that now the couple is no longer able to conceive naturally, Samantha went on to tell her followers that she and Pat will be pursuing in vitro fertilization when they are ready.”
As hard as it can be as a celebrity, or as the spouse of a celebrity or popular media figure, to keep your personal life private and out of the limelight, sometimes it can be uplifting to put your personal struggles out there for all to see.
Enter Samantha McAfee, the wife of popular sports radio host Pat McAfee. Samantha took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to share a heartbreaking update on the couple’s journey to conceiving a child.
“On Tuesday, I had what we thought was a ‘normal’ miscarriage, it was painful and miserable,” Samantha wrote in part. “However, Saturday morning I woke up in extreme pain so Patrick took me to the ER. They found that I had internal bleeding again due to the pregnancy being in my (fallopian) tube and it had burst. I needed emergency surgery to remove my remaining tube.”
Samantha shared that this was not the first time she had experienced complications in the beginning weeks of a pregnancy. She said she had her right fallopian tube removed in 2020 due to an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy where a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus.
Saying that now the couple is no longer able to conceive naturally, Samantha went on to tell her followers that she and Pat will be pursuing in vitro fertilization when they are ready.
Additionally, McAfee noted that the point of her sharing the update was to give others who may be going through similar difficulties hope, but to also shed a light on the reality of fertility issues and emphasize that she will have a child someday.
“I KNOW I WILL BE A MOTHER somehow some way, I know Patrick and I will be the best parents we can be whenever the universe thinks it’s the right time,” she said.
AJ Hawk: You Don’t Need To Hear Me When Aaron Rodgers Is On
“I am not someone who jumps out there and has an opinion on a lot of things. That’s why we just let him talk.”
One of the more memorable interviews this year on sports radio was Pat McAfee and AJ Hawk’s conversation with Aaron Rodgers on The Pat McAfee Show shortly after Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19.
Hawk was a guest on the latest episode of The Ariel Helwani Show. He talked about how awkward it was to talk to his former teammate because he’s not into the politics of everything.
“A lot of people were super pissed we didn’t press him on certain things. It was a little awkward. I’m definitely not a political guy. I am not someone who jumps out there and has an opinion on a lot of things. That’s why we just let him talk,” AJ Hawk explained.
He realized that people didn’t tune in to hear him talk. Instead, the audience wanted to hear what Rodgers had to say so he felt he only needed to say a few words during the interview and only ask questions he felt people wanted answers to.
“If we have Aaron Rodgers on, I need no time with me on the mic. I need to say how you feeling Aaron? That should be my only thing. Trying to figure out follow-ups, I was trying to think of questions that other people would have. When Aaron came on the first day to address the situation. I said like 3 words. I wanted to hear what he had to say.”
Early on in his career with the Packers, Hawk didn’t really try to join the media. It wasn’t until he attended the NFL’s broadcast boot camp that he realized he wanted to be in the field after his playing days were over.
“It was great. They gave us homework every night. You were there 12-15 hours doing every single thing from writing scripts for prompters, calling fake games. Doing every aspect of what you can do in sports. I came away and said this is awesome. I want to dive in. I want to do this.”
AJ Hawk has been a game analyst in the past. Certainly working with Pat McAfee elevates him to a more visible place in the broadcasting world. He is certainly more of a recognizable name in the field than ever before. Being part of an interview that has been analyzed and dissected over and over again didn’t hurt either.
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