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Volume 26 No. 201

Media

Morgan flew to her shoot a day after the USWNT revealed its lawsuit against the USSF
Photo: SI
Morgan flew to her shoot a day after the USWNT revealed its lawsuit against the USSF
Photo: SI
Morgan flew to her shoot a day after the USWNT revealed its lawsuit against the USSF
Photo: SI

USWNT F Alex Morgan is "one of three cover models" for SI's '19 swimsuit issue, joining Tyra Banks and model Camille Kostek, who also "have their own covers for this year’s issue," according to Xandria James of SI.com. Morgan "made her debut in the magazine" in '12, and "returned two years later." She is "one of four USWNT players to be featured" in the '19 issue, joining MF Megan Rapinoe, F Crystal Dunn and D Abby Dahlkemper (SI.com, 5/8). PEOPLE's Brittany Talarico notes Morgan for the cover was "photographed in St. Lucia by Ben Watts wearing a blue bikini by swimwear brand Fae." SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day said, "Morgan stands for feminine strength and power, using her voice to fight for gender discrimination and equal pay" (PEOPLE.com, 5/8). ABC’s Lara Spencer said this year’s swimsuit issue is “pushing boundaries like never before.” Day said, “This year’s issue has one of the biggest and broadest samplings of beauty that we’ve ever featured” (“GMA,” ABC, 5/8).

TURNING A NEW PAGE: WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY's Kali Hays notes Morgan “flew from Paris for her SI shoot the day after” the USWNT “revealed its gender discrimination lawsuit” against the USSF. Day said Morgan can make the swimsuit issue a “place to show off not only changes in female sport, but also ideals of female beauty.” She said, “I’ve worked with athletes for so long, and in the past, they’d often be like, ‘Oh, make sure my arm doesn’t look too big,’ or ‘I don’t want to look too ripped or too masculine.’ ... What I noticed this year, which is so incredible, (Morgan and two teammates she posed with inside) were like, ‘I want you to see my abs!’ ‘Look at my leg definition!’ They were so proud of themselves. It was a very rewarding moment” (WWD.com, 5/8).

NBC averaged 16.5 million viewers (total audience delivery) for the race segment of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday from 6:23-7:27pm ET, which saw Country House get the victory after Maximum Security was disqualified. That figure is up from 15 million last year for Justify’s win, and even with '17, when Always Dreaming won the race. The TV-only figure for NBC was 16.3 million viewers, while streaming delivered an average minute audience of 130,400 viewers. That record streaming audience is up from 123,100 last year. NBC carries the Preakness Stakes on May 18, but may have trouble attracting a strong audience, as both Country House and Maximum Security are out.

KING JAMES: Viewership figures for syndicated shows have a little bit of a lag, but the most recent figures for April 22-28 show that sports bettor James Holzhauer continues to draw big numbers for “Jeopardy!” The show averaged 11.97 million viewers that week, easily topping 9.75 million for “Judge Judy” and 9.24 million for “Wheel of Fortune.” The “Jeopardy” numbers have risen every week since Holzhauer’s streak began on April 4. The show led all syndicated programs with an average of 10.67 million viewers for the week of April 15-21, and led the week of April 8-14 with 10.01 million viewers. During Holzhauer’s first week, “Jeopardy!” was second to “Wheel of Fortune” with 9.58 million viewers, and the week prior to Holzhauer, “Jeopardy!” was tied for third at 8.8 million viewers. There is another set of “Jeopardy!” numbers with Holzhauer that will be reported next week, as the show has its Teachers Tournament from May 6-17 before coming back to a regular format.

NOTES: Each of ESPN’s weekday morning shows had audience gains in April. “SportsCenter: AM” from 7:00-8:00am averaged 321,000 viewers last month, up 17% from the same period in '18. From 8:00-10:00am last month, “Get Up” averaged 348,000 viewers, up 30%. From 10:00am-12:00pm, “First Take” averaged 413,000 viewers, up 2%....NHRA races on Fox and FS1 are averaging 562,000 viewers after seven races, down 13% from the same point last season.

The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
Kentucky Derby (race segment)
5/4
NBC
6:23-7:27pm
9.4
16,341
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Warriors-Rockets: Game 3
5/4
ABC
8:30-11:19pm
4.4
7,227
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Rockets-Warriors: Game 2
4/30
TNT
10:35pm-1:10am
3.8
6,155
NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Raptors-76ers: Game 4
5/5
ABC
3:30-6:15pm
3.0
4,627
NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Bruins-Blue Jackets: Game 5
5/4
NBC
7:27-10:10pm
2.6
4,555
NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Celtics-Bucks: Game 2
4/30
TNT
8:00-10:35pm
2.8
4,451
NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Bucks-Celtics: Game 3
5/3
ESPN
8:10-10:51pm
2.6
4,057
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Nuggets-Trail Blazers: Game 4
5/5
TNT
7:00-9:43pm
2.5
4,055
NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Raptors-76ers: Game 3
5/2
ESPN
8:12-10:42pm
2.5
4,010
NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
76ers-Raptors: Game 2
4/29
TNT
8:00-10:35pm
2.4
3,870
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Trail Blazers-Nuggets: Game 1
4/29
TNT
10:35pm-1:08am
2.3
3,679
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Nuggets-Trail Blazers: Game 3
5/3
ESPN
10:51pm-2:17am
2.3
3,651
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Trail Blazers-Nuggets: Game 2
5/1
TNT
9:09-11:47pm
2.2
3,552
"NBA Countdown"
5/4
ABC
8:00-8:30pm
1.8
2,691
PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship: Final Round
5/5
CBS
3:00-7:15pm
1.6
2,464
NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Bruins-Blue Jackets: Game: 4
5/2
NBCSN
7:26-10:18pm
1.2
1,987
NHL Western Conference Semifinals:
Blues-Stars: Game 6
5/5
NBC
3:12-6:00pm
0.9
1,553
PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship: Third Round*
5/4
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
0.8
1,115
Concacaf Champions League Final:
Tigres UANL-Monterrey: Leg 2
5/1
UniMas
9:30pm-12:21am
0.5
920
Liga MX: Chivas-Tigres UANL
5/4
Univision
7:55-10:04pm
0.5
862
EPL: Crystal Palace-Cardiff City
5/4
NBC
12:30-2:30pm
0.6
764
Monster Energy Supercross (taped)
5/5
NBC
1:30-3:00pm
0.4
625
Liga MX: Club America-Veracruz
5/3
UniMas
9:30pm-12:03am
0.3
563
"SportsCenter Special: NFL Draft grades"
5/4
ABC
3:00-4:00pm
0.3
453

NOTE: * = Affected by rain.

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Audience Analysis

NFL Network has hired former Browns OT Joe Thomas to appear on the channel’s pre- and postgame “TNF” shows this season. Thomas also will appear on studio shows “NFL Total Access” and “NFL GameDay Morning” and will be part of NFL Network’s coverage of big events like the Super Bowl, Scouting Combine and NFL Draft. The NFL’s media group is increasing the money it is investing into programming as the league heads into its 100th season. For example, NFL Network this summer will announce a slate of NFL Films-produced programming around the 100th season (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

THE INSIDE SCOOP: In N.Y., Andrew Marchand reports CBS Sports "looked around to replace its 'NFL Today' insider Jason La Canfora, but it looks as if it will stay with him." Sources said that while nothing is "official yet, the two sides are negotiating a new deal." One of the insiders CBS spoke with was NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, but on Instagram he announced he had "signed back with NFLN." Sources said that Garafolo's is a "four-year deal" (N.Y. POST, 5/8).

RADIO GAGA: In Charlotte, Scott Fowler cited a source as saying that former NFLer Jake Delhomme is "close to being named" the Panthers' primary radio analyst for '19, replacing former NFLer Eugene Robinson. Delhomme "might do most but not all" of the team's games. Delhomme would not confirm the deal, but he said, "Let's just say we're having some good discussions" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/7).