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NBC Averages 11.7 Million Viewers for Winter Olympics Across All Platforms

For the “nobody watched the Winter Olympics” crowd, NBC can still boast that the Beijing Games drew the highest primetime audience since last September besides NFL telecasts.



The consensus expectation among sports media and TV observers was that ratings for the 2022 Winter Olympics would be lower than its predecessors for NBC. Perhaps even the lowest ever.

One day after the closing ceremony in Beijing, the numbers are in and met those lowered expectations. According to NBC, the network averaged 10.7 million viewers per night during the Winter Games. Across all platforms, including USA Network and streaming numbers on Peacock, that number increased to 11.4 million.

The previous Winter Games in PyeongChang averaged 17.5 million live and same day primetime viewers and increased to 18.2 million when one week of delayed viewing was counted. (Streaming wasn’t as much of an option for viewers in 2018.) So the Beijing Games suffered a 39 percent drop in audience by comparison.

Last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics averaged 15.6 million viewers across television and digital platforms. At the time, those were the lowest numbers ever for an Olympic Games. (And the PyeongChang numbers were the lowest before that, so you can see the downward trend.)

A number of factors will surely be cited for the decline in viewership. There was a lack of interest in the Winter Games just six months after the COVID-19 delayed Summer Games were held. Concern and protest over China’s human rights violations were certainly a consideration. And the 13-hour time difference between Beijing and the U.S. Eastern time zone meant results were known long before they could be shown in primetime.

TV viewership in general has decreased during the pandemic, while viewers have many more options to consider with streaming platforms with shows and movies that are in the cultural conversation more than the Winter Olympics.

But for the “nobody watched the Winter Olympics” naysayers, NBC can still boast that the Beijing Games drew the highest primetime audience since last September for anything besides NFL telecasts (Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights).

And some media observers, such as Sports Business Journal‘s John Ourand, believe future Olympics telecast will be on the upswing with less of a time difference in Paris and Italy, followed by the 2028 Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles.

Sports TV News

Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”



TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Sports TV News

Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”



Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Sports TV News

Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’



First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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