As fans scoff at the importance and quality of preseason games, viewers continue to tune in.
Take the Eagles’ first preseason game last week, which aired on NBC10. More than 325,000 households in the Philadelphia television market tuned in to watch the meaningless exhibition game, easily making it the most-watched program of the evening, according to an NBC spokesman. In fact, during the game NBC10 tripled the audience of 6abc, Fox 29, CBS3, PHL17 and CW Philly combined.
The Eagles’ second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns will air at 1:00 PM Sunday on NBC10, with Scott Graham and Ross Tucker in the booth and Dave Spadaro on the sidelines. The game will also be televised live nationally on the NFL Network.
The Birds will conclude the preseason on the road against the Miami Dolphins on NBC10 on Saturday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Of course, the Eagles aren’t the only team drawing big reviews. On Saturday, the NFL Network aired four preseason games nationally, and none drew fewer than 1 million viewers. The 7pm game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers drew 2.15 million viewers. By comparison, Saturday night’s baseball game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox that aired on Fox — which is available in about 40 million other homes — drew 2.08 million viewers.
As The Athletic’s Bill Shea points out, only a handful of live sporting events over the past week averaged close to those NFL preseason numbers, including the “Field of Dreams” game on Fox (3.1 million viewers), the FedEx St . Jude of the PGA Tour on NBC (2.96 million viewers), and the NASCAR race at Richmond on USA Network (2.39 million viewers).
All about the games that don’t count.
So far in 2022, 14 of the 15 most-watched sporting events were NFL postseason games, led by the Super Bowl, according to Sports Media Watch. And the eight live preseason games that aired on the NFL Network last week averaged 1.59 million viewers, up 10% from last year. according to Sportico’s Anthony Crupi.
Here are the live games the NFL Network will air in Week 2 of the preseason (all times are Eastern):
7 p.m.: Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots
10 p.m.: Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams
1 p.m.: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills
4 p.m.: Washington Commanders at Kansas City Chiefs
7 p.m.: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans
10 p.m.: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers
1 p.m.: Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns
7 p.m.: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants
» READ MORE: Eagles-Browns joint practices: Can Jalen Hurts continue? Top matches to watch.
Last season, TNT decided to experiment with moving its Thursday evening NBA doubleheaders to Tuesdays through December so it wouldn’t have to compete with NFL games on Fox.
Despite that Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on Amazon Prime TV this season, TNT is sticking to the strategy of airing its NBA doubleheaders on Tuesdays to avoid an unnecessary ratings battle with the NFL. While viewership will undoubtedly be down as the game will be paid for by Amazon, domestically Thursday Night Football games will still be televised in their home markets (the Eagles will play the Houston Texans on Thursday, Nov. 3).
TNT’s first Thursday outing outside of opening night will be Jan. 5.
TNT will air three Sixers games before Christmas, including the team’s Tuesday, Nov. 22 game against the Brooklyn Nets, which will (probably) feature a Ben Simmons return to the Wells Fargo Center. They will also host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, October 20.
TNT has yet to announce its broadcast teams for this season, but everyone Inside the NBA The crew is expected to return for the 11th year – including Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and NBA Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.
Barkley flirted with joining the LIV Golf Tour as an announcer before an event at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., last month, but decided against it, in part because he didn’t want to jeopardize his status with TNT, where he reportedly he has three years left on his contract.
» READ MORE: Ben Simmons and Carson Wentz to return to Philadelphia 8 days apart
Speaking of the 2022-23 NBA schedule, ESPN will air a rare Saturday tripleheader on ABC on Jan. 28 starting with the Sixers hosting the Denver Nuggets at 3 p.m. As noted Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch ABC is airing 18 games this season, on par with previous years, but none will air in the final month of the season, the network’s earliest exit from the NBA in at least years 1970.
Audacy, the national radio company that owns 94.1 WIP and a handful of other stations in Philadelphia, is conducting layoffs across the country. We haven’t heard of any high-profile Philly personalities leaving, but if you were affected by the layoffs here or know someone who was, our inbox is always open.
Former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III is joining ESPN Monday night countdown pregame show as one of its lead analysts, alongside Booger McFarland and Hall of Famer Steve Young. Griffin is taking over the spot formerly held by Randy Moss, who signed a new deal with ESPN in the offseason, and will focus on Sunday NFL Countdown. Montgomery County native Suzy Kolber is returning as the show’s host.
Former Phillies manager Joe Girardi is returning to TV, where he will call a handful of Chicago Cubs games this season for the Marquee Sports Network. Before being hired by the Phillies in 2019, Girardi called games for Fox Sports and worked as an analyst for the MLB Network.