Since arriving in Philadelphia, there’s been some question about whether Jimmy Butler has negatively impacted the game of young Sixers phenom Joel Embiid.
But one thing no one can question is Butler’s impact drawing eyeballs to Sixers games.
Following’s Butler’s move to Philadelphia in a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves in November, Sixers games have averaged a 4.1 household rating on NBC Sports Philadelphia, which equates to roughly 115,500 households. That’s a 70 percent increase compared to the 2.4 household rating the team averaged on NBC Sports Philadelphia last season, which had been the highest since 2011-12.
During the month of November, the Sixers averaged a 3.4 household rating on NBC Sports Philadelphia, up 14 percent compared to this time last year. And so far in December, that number has increased to a 3.6 household rating.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, streaming ratings for the games are also up 68 percent compared to last season, with broadcasts averaging 21,500 unique users. And seven of the top 10 most-streamed Sixers games in the network’s history have come after Butler’s arrival in Philadelphia.
The high ratings come after NBC Sports Philadelphia tinkered with its broadcast during the offseason, replacing longtime Sixers sideline reporter Molly Sullivan with Serena Winters. The network also launched a new Sixers post-game show, Sixers Outsiders, which is hosted by The Mike Missanelli Show producer Tyrone Johnson and former Good Day Sacramento anchor Krystle Rich.
Troy Aikman avoids mentioning beef with Jerry Jones during Eagles game
During Fox’s broadcast of the Cowboys' 29-23 win over the Eagles Sunday, analyst Troy Aikman missed an opportunity to draw attention to a beef he has with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Last week, Aikman revealed on Dallas sports talk radio he’s been frustrated with Jones over the decision not to welcome former Cowboys head coach and current Fox Sports studio analyst Jimmy Johnson into the team’s Ring of Honor (Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback, was added to the Ring of Honor back in 2005). While Johnson’s tenure as Cowboys head coach during the 1990s was short-lived, he is credited with turning around a franchise that won two Super Bowls during his tenure (and a third just two seasons after his departure).
“This is the Cowboys Ring of Honor. It’s not the Jerry Jones Ring of Honor, it’s not the Tex Schramm Ring of Honor, it’s the Cowboys Ring of Honor,” said Aikman, who played for Johnson for five seasons.
Making those comments on Dallas sports talk radio, when thousands of people were listening, is one thing. Making them during a nationally televised broadcast with millions of fans watching would have upped the ante considerably, something Aikman avoided.
Deadspin roasts Jason Witten
On Sunday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Cowboys made “multiple attempts” to convince former tight end Jason Witten to un-retire and leave ESPN to re-join the team in Dallas.
The gaffe-prone Witten has struggled at times in the booth during his first year as an analyst on the network’s highest-rated show, but ESPN said in a statement that “Jason remains committed to ESPN and to his role on Monday Night Football.”
But that didn’t stop Deadspin from roasting Witten with its post on the news, written by former Philadelphia Magazine scribe Dan McQuade.
“Jason Garrett has apparently been watching Monday Night Football, too, and he wanted to make it a little better for everyone,” McQuade wrote. “What a guy.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters Sunday night that ESPN’s reporting was “just not correct, period,” adding that Witten “misses competing but he’s got his head down and hands in the dirt, doing the job on Monday Night Football."
Witten’s replacements had their best games of the season Sunday afternoon against the Eagles. Blake Jarwin had seven catches for 56 yards, while Dalton Schultz had three catches for 37 yards, career highs for both players.
CBS airs nudity during Dolphins-Patriots game
The Dolphins' 34-33 win over the Patriots will go down in history thanks to Kenyan Drake’s touchdown on a wild lateral play to end the game, which left one New England radio crew silent for a full 35 seconds.
“I don’t know what to say,” analyst Scott Zolak finally said to break the awkward silence.
But during a return from a commercial break, CBS showed b-roll footage of a few art installations from a Miami art fair that ended with a focus on several nude pieces of artwork that included a painting of a man bearing all.
It wasn’t the only awkward moment during the broadcast. During the second quarter, play was stopped after a CBS cameraman tripped on the field following Dolphins running back Brandon Bolden.
“It was a trip. That’s what happened,” Ian Eagles coldly announced during the broadcast.
Don’t worry — CBS said the cameraman was fine. As for that crazy 69-yard lateral play, it was the longest play from scrimmage to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since the 1970 merger, according to the NFL.