1. The NFL is king when it comes to television ratings. This is not a revelation or enlightening in any way. But a recent statistic shows that not only is the NFL king when it comes to ratings, it’s also a survivor.
With cord cutting becoming more and more prevalent, networks are hemorrhaging viewers for their primetime television shows. Nearly four million households cut the cord in 2019 and another four million households are expected to cut the cord in 2020.
The NFL, though, remains a dominant force. And the dominance is increasing. Look at how the gap has widen between the Super Bowl rating and the rating for the No. 1 show in primetime, via Michael Mulvihill, FOX Sports EVP / Head of Strategy.
In just 10 years, the gap went from 192 percent to 414 percent. Streaming services and cord cutting are responsible for that increase, obviously, but the NFL remains teflon.
This is significant for two reasons:
1) No matter what the Super Bowl viewership number is for FOX on Sunday (last year’s Patriots-Rams Super Bowl landed 98.5 million viewers for CBS), it’s going to be nothing but good news for the NFL and FOX. If the rating is down from 2019, it’s irrelevant. If the rating hits an all-time low, it’s irrelevant. It will be the most-watched program of 2020 no matter what.
2) The NFL is expected to negotiate new television deals after this season. The prices they will charge and they prices they will get are going to be astounding. And the networks have no choice but to pay because there is no TV product like the NFL.
So whenever there’s that period of time where people try to create a narrative that “the NFL is in trouble” because of injuries or boycotts or that the games are unwatchable because of incompetent refs or whatever, just know it’s simply not true. Never has been and never will be.
2. If you missed any of TNT’s tribute show to Kobe Bryant last night, featuring Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Jerry West, Dwyane Wade and Reggie Miller, I urge you to check out Inside the NBA’s Twitter feed and watch all of the videos. It was an extremely powerful hour of television and it would be impossible to pull just one video to highlight.
3. I’ve watched this clip of Mike Krzyzewski becoming completely unhinged three times and I still have no idea what his problem is.
I also listened to him explain his wild outburst and still have no idea what he’s talking about.
4. We told you about the cool cover version of Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jessica Carvo that CBS used in its promo video before the AFC title game. Many people asked where they can listen to the song and now it’s on Spotify.
5. Please be extra careful while making your guac on Sunday.
6. This week’s SI Media Podcast features an interview with play-by-play man, Kevin Harlan.
Harlan shared memories of Kobe Bryant and talked about what it was like to call games throughout Kobe’s career.
The second half of the podcast focuses on Harlan calling Super Bowl LIV this Sunday for Westwood One Radio. It will be Harlan’s 10th straight season calling the Super Bowl and he discusses his prep for the game, the audience he’s serving and much more.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: We told you yesterday about Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden and Conan O’Brien all offering tributes to Kobe Bryant on their late-night shows Monday. Stephen Colbert was off Monday, but he spoke about Bryant from a unique perspective Tuesday night, having lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash when he was 10 years old.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.