The ratings aren’t out yet for last night’s game between the Steelers and Bears. That doesn’t matter though. ESPN already has plenty to celebrate when it comes to Monday Night Football in 2021.
With eight weeks of the season in the books, more than 78 million people have tuned in. That is total audience growth over both 2020 and 2019. Each game is averaging more than 13.7 million viewers.
Monday Night Football is up double digits over each of the last five seasons. That is what happens when you have year-over-year growth in seven of your eight games.
One of the biggest success stories of the season has been the ESPN2 telecast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning. The Manningcast has accompanied ESPN’s traditional Monday Night Football broadcast in five of the first eight weeks of the season. The last four editions have been ESPN’s four most-watched alternate broadcasts ever.
Rece Davis: College GameDay Needed Someone Like Pete Thamel for Years
“It’s like because of this podcast and that, people have started to think of us as two guys who might someday star in a buddy movie.”
ESPN’s College GameDay has a formula to it that has made the show work for so long. It’s not scripted at all, but it’s organized in a way that gives the show structure.
And sometimes time constraints force producers and the hosts to have to make adjustments on the fly, like eliminating segments or elements within segments.
GameDay host Rece Davis talked about it on Monday’s edition of the College GameDay podcast with ESPN senior college football writer Pete Thamel. Davis praised Thamel for his contributions to the show but acknowledged that often Thamel whose hits on the show end up struck because of time.
“All of us sacrifice some, but you’re one of the ones who take heavy hits in terms of things getting cut,” Davis said. Thamel’s tweets are often featured throughout the show, and Davis makes it a point to recognize Thamel on the air. “That’s why I try to give you a shoutout when I see the tweets pop up on the screen, which are amazing by the way.”
Davis said Thamel’s ability to provide up to the second information on relevant and timely stories in college football has been a welcomed change to the show.
“You’ve brought something to GameDay that GameDay’s desperately needed for years,” he said. “It’s like because of this podcast and that, people have started to think of us as two guys who might someday star in a buddy movie.”
GameDay will be on location this weekend for the showdown between Michigan and Ohio State. This past weekend the show was live from Montana State.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Miami Marlins Continue Broadcast Changes, Drop J.P. Arencibia
The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida.
After announcing last week that Miami Marlins play-by-play announcer Glenn Geffner wouldn’t return to the booth next year, the club continues to make changes. J.P. Arencibia won’t return as an analyst for the club in 2023.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Arencibia was informed he will no longer work on either the team’s television or radio broadcasts next season. The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida. It was his first season as a television analyst. According to Jackson, the reason for Arencibia’s departure is “unclear”, adding a reason “was not offered”.
The club will continue to use a rotation of analysts in 2023, with Jeff Nelson, Gaby Sanchez, Rod Allen, and Tommy Hutton working in the booth.
Arencibia was brought on for the 2022 season after the Marlins dropped former Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth from the clubs televisions broadcasts after the previous season concluded.
Rebecca Lobo Signs Extension With ESPN
She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.
ESPN and Rebecca Lobo have signed an extension to keep the women’s basketball legend with the network.
Lobo joined ESPN in 2004 as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst. She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.
“I am thrilled to continue doing what I love, calling women’s basketball games,” said Lobo. “It is an honor to be a part of the soundtrack for the games played by these incredible female athletes.”
Lobo had a storied career at UConn before winning an Olympic Gold Medal. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.
“Rebecca is one of the best in the business. She excels on both game coverage and studio coverage,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN Vice President, Production. “Her knowledge, history, and passion for the game and its growth continue to make us better. She is a true asset and a highly valued member of our team.”