ESPN gets good marks for Chiefs-Broncos, Cowboys-Eagles


1. Only a sports media nerd with nothing in his life would be obsessed with what I’m about to point out, but I can’t help myself.

Odds are available for both of Saturday’s Week 18 games that aired last weekend on ABC / ESPN.

Unsurprisingly, the numbers were very good. Chiefs-Broncos generated 19.1 million viewers in the 4:30 p.m. window, while 20.3 million people watched Cowboys-Eagles at 8 p.m.

The Cowboys will always shoot a lot no matter where or when they play, and the Chiefs are in a draw today thanks to their fun offense. But that’s still an exceptional audience for a Saturday, which is a dead night for ratings.

ESPN, however, puts an extra twist on those numbers that is just plain laughable. The network broadcast the games under its Monday night football umbrella. If you watched the games, broadcasters kept calling it the ‘Saturday edition of Monday night football. “

Thanks to this distinction, ESPN now ranks in the standings of Saturday’s two games with its FMN Numbers.

In a press release touting the audience success of both contests, ESPN dropped ridiculous nuggets such as:

  • Cowboys-Eagles: most viewed FMN Game since 2009; Third best of the ESPN era.
  • Chiefs-Broncos: ESPN’s fifth best most watched MNF game.
  • Monday night football: Doubleheader Saturday elevated MNF’s regular season audience to an average of 14,182,000 viewers per game (19 games), the best regular season audience for ESPN since 2010 and the third best since 2006.

THESE GAMES WERE NOT PLAYED MONDAY NIGHT !!! This is a total comparison of apples and oranges.

Again, in the grand scheme of life, ESPN using fun business and chicanery to rig the ratings is hardly important or relevant. But it shows that anyone can change the notes to fit any story they want.

2. Georgian quarterback Stetson Bennett IV appeared on Hello america Tuesday and it certainly looked like he had celebrated his victory in the national title game in a big way.

3. ESPN’s David Pollack avoided the X’s and O’s analysis for last night’s Alabama-Georgia game and gave us a different kind of breakdown.

4. Alabama’s radio call of intercepting Georgia and running back for a touchdown to end the game was hysterical.

5. For my fellow degenerate gamers, this is a must-read story about some shade that took place with prop bets from Draymond Green a few nights ago.

6. This week SI media podcast, which dropped Thursday afternoon, is a panel discussion featuring Al Michaels and Tom Rinaldi on John Madden’s career.

Michaels, who worked with Madden for seven seasons, and Rinaldi, who was the director of Fox Sports’ recent documentary on Madden, share behind-the-scenes stories, give us insight into Madden’s personality, and discuss some of the memorable relationships that Madden has had her throughout her career.

Everything from Madden’s fear of flying the Madden Cruiser to his partnership with Pat Summerall and more is covered.

After Michaels and Rinaldi, there’s the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment with Sal Licata of WFAN and SNY TV in New York. This week, Sal and I talk about his battle with COVID-19, the reaction of a Wizards broadcaster making an innocent mistake, recent controversial comments from Kirk Herbstreit, and the best things we’ve watched over the holidays.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher.

You can also watch the SI media podcast on Youtube.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date, January 11, 2004, the episode “Ben’s Birthday Party” of Calm your enthusiasm aired, and we learned Larry’s true feelings about the kebabs and the song “Happy Birthday”.

Make sure you catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts and consult the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina the Apple, Spotify Where Stapler. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.


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