1. I know the NFL is king. You know the NFL is king. We all know the NFL is king.
That being said, every now and then I like to point out how dominant the NFL is in this country when it comes to TV ratings.
Two weeks ago, I told you that on a Saturday night, an NFL preseason game between the Seahawks and Steelers on the NFL Network had more viewers than a Yankees–Red Sox on Fox at the same time. And that’s despite the NFL Network being in 40 million fewer homes than Fox.
The Steelers are a huge preseason draw — their game against the Lions on CBS last Sunday drew nearly six million viewers. It was the most-watched preseason game ever and the most-watched NFL preseason game on CBS since 2013.
Some context for Lions-Steelers drawing 5.8 million viewers on a summer Sunday afternoon for a game that doesn’t count:
The MLB All-Star Game drew 7.5 million viewers.
Fox’s Field of Dreams game drew 3.1 million viewers.
Saturday’s Nebraska-Northwestern game on Fox drew 4.4 million viewers.
More context on how absurd the Lions-Steeles score is via Sportico’s Anthony Crupi: The game went Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Why did Lions-Steelers do so well? In my opinion, a combination of things:
Like I said, the Steelers are a big factor here. They are a team with national appeal. There may have been interest in seeing first-round pick Kenny Pickett, too.
The Lions are the featured team Loud knocks this season and their coach Dan Campbell has a cult following.
Plus: gambling has been legalized in more states since the end of last season. New York legalized sports gambling in January and is bringing in more money than any other state.
In May 2021, the NFL signed new television deals with CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Amazon collectively worth an estimated $110 billion over 11 years.
It’s not hard to see why all those companies spent all that money.
2. It was revealed on Monday that of The Pat McAfee Show is no longer airing on SiriusXM. The show is still live on YouTube. McAfee told him New York PostAndrew Marchand that SiriusXM “has never made an offer to continue our partnership” and there is no “bad feeling” between the two. Given McAfee’s massive popularity, I would expect his show to find an audio home soon.
3. At Monday’s Brewers game, a fan named Mark received some terrible news through the stadium’s scoreboard.
In addition to Mark being rejected in front of the entire stadium, the Brewers also lost 5–3 at the time. However, Milwaukee rallied for a 7–5 victory, and Christian Yelich credited Mark.
4. Ever since I started writing a daily column for SI.com a million years ago, I’ve always said that I’m a huge fan of Chris Berman. So I love that Bill Belichick loves Chris Berman.
5. I’d like to know if LeBron ever wears that shirt in public. I hope he does.
6. This week’s SI Media Podcast contains two interviews.
First up is WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Reigns talks about Vince McMahon’s controversial exit from the company, what McMahon’s departure means to him personally, his new part-time schedule and a possible WrestleMania match against The Rock. Reigns also explains the differences between getting a pop from a promo and a move, discusses the challenges of fatherhood and shares his reaction to seeing his “Acknowledge Me” boxer briefs, sold on WWE.com, for the first time.
Behind Reigns, Andy Staples, who covers college football for athletic, joins the podcast to talk about the Big Ten’s recent media deals with CBS and NBC, what it means for college football viewers and how it affects the SEC. Staples also talks about whether USC and UCLA have an impact across the country, the future of the Pac-12 Network, Urban Meyer’s return to Fox’s pregame show, the Manti Te’o Netflix documentary and more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
You can also watch SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date in 1983, the single greatest standup show ever, Eddie Murphy’s delirious, premiered on HBO.
Make sure that catch up with past issues of Traina Thoughts and look Illustrated Sports Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina at Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy at I tweet, Instagram AND TIK Tok.