1. I know the NFL is king. You know the NFL is king. We all know the NFL is king.
Having said that, every now and then I still like to point out how dominant the NFL is in this country when it comes to TV ratings.
I told you two weeks ago that a Saturday night NFL preseason game between the Seahawks and Steelers on NFL Network had more viewers than Yankees–Red Sox on Fox in the same timeslot. And that’s despite the NFL Network being in 40 million fewer homes than Fox.
The Steelers are a big 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.
A little 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 drew 3.1 million viewers.
Saturday’s Nebraska-Northwestern game on Fox drew 4.4 million viewers.
More context on how absurd the Lions-Steels score is, via Sportico’s Anthony Cruppi: The game surpassed Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Why did Lions-Steelers do so well? I think a combination of things:
Like I said, the Steelers are a big factor here. They are a team with national appeal. There was probably interest in seeing first round pick Kenny Pickett as well.
The Lions are the featured team Hard hits 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 brings in more money than any other state.
In May 2021, the NFL signed new television deals with CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Amazon worth a total of about $110 billion over 11 years.
It’s not hard to see why all these companies have shelled out all this money.
2. It was revealed on Monday that The The Pat McAfee Show no longer airs on SiriusXM. The show is still live on YouTube. McAfee told the New York PostSiriusXM’s Andrew Marchand “never made an offer to continue our partnership” and that 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 the Brewers game on Monday, a fan named Mark got some terrible news from the ballpark scoreboard.
In addition to Mark being ejected in front of the entire stadium, the Brewers were also losing 5–3 at the time. However, Milwaukee rallied for a 7-5 victory and Christian Yelich gave Mark his due.
4. Ever since I started writing a daily column for SI.com a million years ago, I’ve always said that I’m a big fan of Chris Berman. So I love that Bill Belichick loves Chris Berman.
5. I would like to know if LeBron ever wears this shirt in public. I hope he does.
6. This week SI Media Podcast includes two interviews.
The first is WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Reigns talks about Vince McMahon’s controversial retirement from the company, what McMahon’s departure means to him personally, his new part-time schedule and a possible Wrestling mania 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” boxers sold on WWE.com for the first time.
After 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 are making an impact across the country, the future of the Pac-12 Network, Urban Meyer’s return to Fox’s pregame show, Netflix’s Manti Te’o documentary and more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it from 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 greatest stand-up show in history, Eddie Murphy’s delirium, premiered on HBO.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on An apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.