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John Ourand: NBC ‘Played Possum’ With Big Ten Rights

“For the longest time, I didn’t think they were serious. I had heard that their early bids were really tepid.”

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On the latest release of The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand marveled at the job NBC did to secure the Big Ten’s media rights, which is expected to be announced in the coming week.

“NBC played possum,” Ourand said. “For the longest time, I didn’t think they were serious. I had heard that their early bids were really tepid. Didn’t suggest that they were very serious. They already have a Notre Dame game that goes in there, and now they’re going to have the Big Ten. So they’re going to have Notre Dame leading into the Big Ten on Saturday night. They have the most watched primetime telecast going on –what are we at now? 11 years running? — on Sunday Night Football. And they’re gonna have, on the weekends, a really strong lineup.”

Ourand also pointed out the importance of NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, in the deal and what that could mean for its future.

“Peacock is going to have some exclusive games. I can’t imagine — it’s certainly not going to be Ohio State/Michigan — but they’re going to have some exclusive games. And I can tell you, as a Maryland fan, if that exclusive game is Maryland versus Indiana, I’m subscribing to Peacock. That’s the whole point of streaming. It gets you into these really passionate, local fan bases and gets them to stream those games.

“NBC, coming from nowhere, to get what I think is a really good package — because I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal — so NBC was able to do this for this for Peacock, which they need to build.”

Andrew Marchand, sports media columnist for The New York Post, pointed out more games on Peacock could potentially be better for fans than fewer exclusives.

“When you add one game here and one game there, it will annoy people,” Marchand said. “Maybe they get your service, or maybe you’re teaching people not to watch all your games.”

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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NFL Studio

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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