Michael McCarthy

China Fallout? Injuries? What’s Behind NBA’s ‘Shocking’ Drop in TV Numbers?

  • NBA's national TV audiences are down 23% on TNT; 19% on ESPN. Those drops are 'shocking,' says Darren Rovell of Action Network.
  • Clay Travis says NBA's 'far left-wing politics' and LeBron James' move to Los Angeles have alienated some TV viewers.

It was only a few years ago that the sports world was buzzing about the alarming drop in NFL television viewership numbers.  Now it’s the NBA going through a decline in viewership, as the early part of the 2019-2010 season has seen double-digit drops in national TV audiences. Average TV audiences are down 23% on TNT and 19% on ESPN.  The NBA’s falling TV numbers are “shocking,” said Darren Rovell of The Action Network.  However, there is still plenty of […]

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DAZN Scores AutoZone As Sponsor of ‘One Night: Joshua Vs. Ruiz’

  • AutoZone, the $11 billion retailer, has signed up as presenting sponsor of DAZN's new boxing documentary, 'One Night: Joshua vs. Ruiz.'
  • 'Rocky' creator Sylvester Stallone executive produces and co-stars in doc that sets stage for for Ruiz-Joshua II rematch on Dec. 7.

DAZN Originals has landed its first presenting sponsor: AutoZone. The $11 billion auto retailer is sponsoring DAZN’s new boxing documentary, “One Night: Joshua vs. Ruiz,” chronicling Andy Ruiz Jr.’s stunning upset of previously unbeaten heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on June 1. The nation’s largest retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories has slapped its brand right below the title card of the new doc, co-directed by Jamie Horowitz and Deirdre Fenton. AutoZone also plans to advertise […]

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Sports Networks Increasingly Interested in Showing High School Stars

  • ESPN will show 15 high school basketball games this season featuring the sons of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
  • LeBron 'Bronny' James Jr. and Zaire Wade headline next generation of high school stars attracting national media coverage.

Is high school the next growth area for sports networks? With media rights for pro and college sports costing billions of dollars, media companies are increasingly eyeing relatively inexpensive high school sports that could have national appeal. The growth of streaming and OTT platforms is allowing media companies to cover high school games that wouldn’t make it to linear TV. That is perhaps no better exhibited by ESPN electing to show 15 high school basketball games this season highlighting ‘Bronny’ James […]

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‘Let’s Bring Women In:’ Chargers Lean Into Podcast For Female Fans

  • NFL female game viewership rose 6% during the first 10 weeks of the 2019 season. That's better than the 5% boost for male viewers.
  • The league's growing female fan base can listen to a growing number of podcasts by and for women football fans.

The NFL’s female viewership is up 6% this season. That’s more than the league’s 5% growth in male viewers.  Teams like the Los Angeles Chargers are making moves to target the league’s fast-growing female fan base. When the Chargers decided to double the number of its podcasts during the 2019 season, team reporter Hayley Elwood came up with an idea.  Why not have a football podcast for and by women? Elwood got the green light,and she was off and running […]

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FOS Exclusive

XFL Nears Apparel Deal With Starter Athletic Brand

  • The XFL is nearing a deal with Starter, the athletic apparel brand best known for its 'Starter Jackets' in the 80's and 90's.
  • Starter outfitted the Alliance of American Football before it folded earlier this year.

The XFL is finalizing a deal with athletic apparel brand Starter, sources tell Front Office Sports. The sports brand is expected to design and supply the off-the-field apparel for the reborn XFL and its eight new teams. The XFL, meanwhile, is also working on a separate deal for an on-field uniform supplier, said sources. Starter, now owned by Iconix Brand Group, previously outfitted the defunct Alliance of American Football, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17. The XFL […]

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Caron Butler Preaches Gospel Of Saving Money To Current Pro Athletes

  • Ex-NBA All-Star Caron Butler focused and planned financially for his life after sports.
  • Now Butler's talking to guests like Master P on his new 'Tuff Juice' podcast about how they make, and keep, their money.

When Caron Butler was 12 years old, he was dealing drugs on the streets of Racine, Wisconsin and looking up to pimps and drug dealers as his role models. Now at age 39, the former NBA star admires successful athletes who have turned business moguls like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.  As Butler launches his new HiStudios original podcast, “Tuff Juice,” the ex-NBA star wants to spread the word to athletes that the time to become financially literate and plan […]

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Despite Uproar, Charles Barkley Will Appear On Thursday’s ‘Inside the NBA’

  • Barkley's expected TV appearance on Thursday night's 'Inside the NBA' indicates he won't be suspended by Turner Sports.
  • The basketball Hall of Famer apologized for his comments to Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

Despite the furor over his comments about hitting a woman, Charles Barkley will appear on Thursday night’s “Inside the NBA,” sources tell Front Office Sports. Look for Barkley to apologize again for his tasteless joke to Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, said sources.  But his appearance on TNT’s Emmy Award-winning NBA pregame show indicates Barkley will not be suspended, or even fired, as some critics called for on Wednesday.  Barkley apologized to McCammond via a statement by Turner Sports’ public relations […]

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FOS Exclusive

Yahoo’s Chris Haynes In Talks To Join TNT’s NBA Game Coverage

  • NBA insider Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is nearing a deal to become a sideline reporter for TNT's Tuesday Night NBA game coverage.
  • The former ESPNer succeeded Adrian Wojnarowski as Yahoo's chief NBA news-breaker and helped rebuild Yahoo's NBA coverage team.

Chris Haynes continues to be a growth stock among NBA insiders. The senior NBA insider for Yahoo Sports is nearing a deal to become TNT’s sideline reporter for its Tuesday Night NBA game schedule that tips off in late January, sources tell Front Office Sports. TNT’s Tuesday Night coverage will feature an all-new look during the 2019-2020 season. After a two-year experiment, TNT is dumping the “Players Only” telecasts that featured former stars like Grant Hill, Derek Fisher, Kevin McHale, […]

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A Big Reunion? ESPN Wants Dan Patrick Back

  • ESPN is interested in bringing back prodigal son Dan Patrick. But is Patrick interested in rejoining ESPN?
  • Ex-ESPN President John Skipper tried to lure Patrick back in December, 2017.

ESPN has been getting the old band back together, bringing back veterans like Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, and Keith Olbermann. Now ESPN is interested in bringing back another blast from the past: Dan Patrick.  Ideally, ESPN would love to hire Patrick to host a weekday afternoon edition of “SportsCenter,” said sources. He could also possibly do radio.  At the very least, ESPN would like Patrick to make regular appearances on the network, sources said. Patrick is still plugged into the […]

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Overtime Aims To Be Next ESPN For Generation Z

  • Due to its success reaching GenZ, media giants are interested in young sports network Overtime.
  • Overtime videos are now drawing a record 1 billion views per month.

One billion with a capital B. That’s the number of videos now viewed monthly by fans of Overtime, the digital startup that’s aiming to become ESPN for Generation Z. It’s a milestone that’s been three years in the making. The Brooklyn-based Overtime turns the normal sports TV network model on its head. Rather than building its coverage around the over-covered worlds of pro or college sports, it focuses on the under-covered world of high school/amateur athletics. Instead of linear TV, […]

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