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NBC Sports Bay Area Adds 3 For Warriors Coverage

“Less than a month away from their first regular season telecast, NBC Sports Bay Area added Chris Mullin, Jennifer Azzi and Brian Shaw to its roster of studio analysts.”

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As the Golden State Warriors get set to debut a new roster in a new arena, their TV home NBC Sports Bay Area announced new additions for the upcoming season.

Less than a month away from their first regular season telecast, NBC Sports Bay Area added Chris Mullin, Jennifer Azzi and Brian Shaw to its roster of studio analysts.  The trio will split time in the studio, also rotating as fill-ins for the broadcasts color commentator, Kelenna Azubuike.

NBC Sports Bay Area will televise 70 regular season games for the Warriors, along with three preseason contests.  Longtime play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald will be joined by former Warrior, Kelenna Azubuike as the broadcast’s new lead analyst.  Azubuike joins the call after previously serving as a studio analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area, now replacing Fitzgerald’s longtime broadcast partner, Jim Barnett who moves to the Warriors flagship radio station, 95.7 The Game.  Kerith Burke will return to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warrior telecasts as the crew’s sideline reporter.

NBC Sports Bay Area has not announced a schedule for their new studio hosts, but former Warriors great and basketball Hall of Famer, Chris Mullin is expected to work all 41 home games.  Mullin, who resigned as head coach of the St. John’s University men’s basketball team in the spring, has prior broadcast experience with ESPN.

“This will be a little different, I think. Obviously, you know, just really focusing on the Warriors,” Mullin told NBC Sports Bay Area about his previous ESPN experience compared to his new gig.  “I’m kind of looking forward to really just locking in on the Warriors and just one opponent, as opposed to covering the whole league on a nightly basis. I think it’ll be a lot more fun.”

Former WNBA player, Jennifer Azzi brings an extensive resume to the network that includes an Olympic gold-medal, also previously serving as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of San Francisco.  Also joining the NBC Sports Bay Area studio is Brian Shaw, a three-time NBA champion with the Lakers and more recently, the Denver Nuggets head coach from 2013 – 15.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage will tip off on Saturday October 5th in their first preseason game.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

NFL Sees Major Ratings Growth In Local Markets

NFL ratings are up majorly throughout most local markets this year compared to the 2020 season.

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The NFL is over half way through their regular season, so it is a good time to start comparing this season to the previous year. We have already looked at the NFL on a national level. Viewership is up tremendously over last year. So how are individual markets doing so far this season?

Per the Sports Business Journal, NFL ratings are up significantly throughout most local markets this year compared to the 2020 season. 21 out of 32 teams are up in their local markets from last year, with the Los Angeles Chargers leading the way.

The Pacific and Mountain time zones are leading the charge, as the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Arizona Cardinals are among the 6 highest percentage growth from last year.

Only 11 teams in the league have dropped in viewership, with the worst of those being the Houston Texans at a 17 percent decrease. That is not incredibly surprising considering they are 1-8 so far this year.

Most of the teams in the top 10 are among those who are the most successful this year, with the Carolina Panthers as the exception with a 16% increase despite having a 5-5 record.

It seems that the NFL is keeping fans happy this season and eager to come back week after week. While there are some exceptions from struggling markets, there is plenty for the league to celebrate.

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Sports TV News

Amazon Eyeing Troy Aikman For Thursday Night Football

McCarthy’s source describes Michaels and Aikman as Amazon’s “TNF dream team.”

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If Amazon gets its way, Troy Aikman and Al Michaels will be in the booth for Thursday Night Football next season. The digital giant is set to take over exclusive broadcast rights to the property next season. 

Amazon’s interest in Al Michaels has been known for some time. Michael McCarthy first reported that the company wants to hire Aikman on Tuesday.

Troy Aikman has been Joe Buck’s partner on FOX since 2002. They have been heard on FOX’s America’s Game of the Week package as well as Thursday Night Football. They have also called six Super Bowls together.

McCarthy’s source describes Michaels and Aikman as Amazon’s “TNF dream team.” In order to make it happen, Amazon may have to lure Aikman away from FOX. 

A FOX rep told McCarthy that the network does not comment on “the status of talent contracts.”

The New York Post reports that Michaels is a virtual lock to end up at Amazon. Before the news about Troy Aikman came out, the paper speculated that Cris Collinsworth and Drew Brees are possible candidates to join him.

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Sports TV News

ABC Scores Biggest College Football Weekend Since 2016

“The triple-header started with Michigan’s win over Penn State, which is the most-watched noon game of the season for ABC.”

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Executives at ABC and ESPN are loving their networks’ performance with college football fans this season. What they saw on Saturday must have them jumping for joy. ABC didn’t just have its most-watched Saturday of the season, it had attracted more viewers than any college football weekend since 2016.

The triple-header started with Michigan’s win over Penn State, which is the most-watched noon game of the season for ABC. With an average of more than 5.9 million viewers, it was the most-watched game of the day, peaking at 8.7 million.

Ohio State’s demolition of Purdue picked up more than 4.7 million viewers. It is the network’s most-watched game in the 3:30 window since week 1.

With Notre Dame’s win at Virginia averaging over 3.3 million viewers, the entire triple-header averaged 4.7 million viewers. That is double-digit year-over-year growth compared to both 2020 and 2019 and the best viewership for an ABC triple header since rivalry week of 2016.

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