• Heat-Nuggets finals ratings, Big Ten drama, TNF flex and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner discuss the abrupt end to the dream NBA ratings scenario and talk about how the likely Nuggets-Heat final will measure up historically. Jon puts into context how a strong first two rounds will allow the NBA to meet or exceed viewership year over year, despite two abbreviated Conference Finals. The crew also discusses the NBA's issues when it comes to marketing stars that aren't LeBron James or Steph Curry, and if the NBA is in trouble once they retire. Other topics include: the Big Ten deals hitting some bumps in the road and how that looks for the conference and former commissioner Kevin Warren, the PGA Championship hits a 15-year low, how the WNBA fared in Brittney Griner's return, and poor Preakness viewership.

    48m | May 24, 2023
  • Peacock-NFL deal, Pat McAfee to ESPN, NBA ratings and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner discuss the implications of Peacock's exclusive NFL Wild Card game: why it happened, if this is the new normal for the NFL, the $110m price tag, who NBC's broadcast teams will be, and more. Next, Jon and Drew talk about Pat McAfee's new deal with ESPN, whether it will be beneficial for either side, and if this signals Norby Williamson's waning influence on ESPN programming. Also discussed: NBA ratings, how viewership will look for the Conference Finals, and why a lack of broadcast presence leaves viewership on the table. NHL ratings through the second round, and what to expect for the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. XFL Championship ratings. WNBA season tips off and Brittney Griner returns. And will Doc Rivers return to broadcasting?

    52m | May 17, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: NBA ratings surge, Kentucky Derby, F1, USFL and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner discuss the monster ratings for the NBA's second round matchups, particularly the Warriors-Lakers series, and how even if that marquee series ends early, the NBA is still in great shape from a viewership perspective. They also discuss whether off-the-court stories like the drama surrounding Mat Ishbia and Nikola Jokic can move the needle. Then, the crew reviews Kentucky Derby ratings, if the decline from last year means anything, and why the proliferation of gambling hasn't resulted in viewership growth for the sport. Other topics include: Formula 1 and the Miami Grand Prix, USFL getting a big rating from the Derby lead-in and the Glen Kuiper situation.

    34m | May 10, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: Record NBA ratings, Warriors-Lakers preview, NHL and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner discuss a wide range of ratings stories in sports media starting with the NBA's strong round one numbers. Warriors/Kings Game 7 set a 24-year high and capped off a successful round one overall. The NBA gets the high profile matchups they want for the second round, headlined by Warriors/Lakers. The NHL playoffs also got off to a hot start in round one, but may cool down with large market teams knocked out. Also, NFL Draft ratings were strong, and the league wants you to know it. The crew previews the Kentucky Derby and the rest of the Triple Crown from a viewership perspective. Finally, Jon and Drew touch on spring football, Formula 1, and NASCAR ratings.

    33m | May 3, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: NBA and NHL playoff ratings, XFL, Soltys, Barkley and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner discuss a busy week in sports media starting with another positive ratings week for the NBA. Kings/Warriors set a viewership mark that has not been matched since 2002, the conference semifinals are lining up to be solid viewership draws, and the Knicks continue to underwhelm in the ratings. The crew also takes a look at the first week of NHL playoff numbers, and discusses why the league's deal with Turner gives them a higher floor but lower ceiling. They then get into a little spring football talk with XFL and USFL ratings. Finally, Jon and Drew take on some industry news including the first round of layoffs at ESPN (with Jon providing some anecdotes about long time ESPN PR head Mike Soltys), the WNBA's new TV deal with Scripps Sports, and the most important cable news story of the week -- Charles Barkley's new CNN show.

    49m | Apr 26, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: NBA playoff ratings start, USFL vs. XFL and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner dive into the weekend's ratings starting with great viewership numbers for the NBA. The crew covers how these opening weekend numbers stack up historically, what potential matchups would be ratings boons for the league, and why TNT kept airing that disgusting advertisement. Then Jon and Drew discuss the XFL/USFL competition and how the USFL decided to spin their opening weekend ratings, along with some quick discussions on good viewership weeks for the PGA Tour and NASCAR.

    33m | Apr 18, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: Masters ratings + Danny Corrales interview

    On today's episode, we are joined by Danny Corrales formerly of ESPN's "The Jump" and now Head of Video Podcast Production for The Ringer. Danny discusses podcasting as a medium and the blurring of lines between podcasting and linear television when adding a video component. Then, Danny provides some insightful commentary about the culture at ESPN when he was there, the divide between LA and Bristol, and Norby and Skipper. He also discusses his view on how the media covered the Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor drama, and how that played out behind the scenes at ESPN. Finally, Danny touches on his time at FuboTV, and why working at The Ringer is great.

    Also in this episode, Dr. Jon Lewis give his usual ratings roundup with a focus on the Masters.

    1h 2m | Apr 12, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: Women's Final Four record, Angel Reese controversy and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner break down the record-setting weekend for women's college basketball, what this means for women's basketball more broadly, the media circus surrounding Angel Reese, and which networks would be possible suitors for women's NCAA Tournament rights. The crew also discusses men's Final Four ratings and what to expect from the men's Championship number. Then, Jon and Drew talk about what to expect from The Masters this weekend, and which storylines could draw the biggest audience. Finally, Jon runs through the rest of the weekend in sports ratings including MLB opening day, NHL on ABC, XFL on ESPN, NASCAR on FS1, and even some Pickleball!

    41m | Apr 4, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: Taylor Twellman interview + NCAA & XFL ratings

    On today's episode of the SMW Podcast, Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner discuss the latest NCAA and XFL ratings news, plus (alongside contributor Adam Gostomelsky) host Apple TV lead MLS analyst Taylor Twellman joins the show for an impassioned and wide ranging interview.

    Twellman discusses what the MLS deal with Apple TV means for the state of the league, how MLS can grow its audience despite a limited linear reach, dispels some misconceptions about the new deal, and gets into how coverage of the league has changed in its first few weeks on Apple. Then Twellman discusses soccer more broadly, and why the notion of the "big 4" leagues in American sports does not give soccer its due. Twellman also dives into topics surrounding the National Team, the state of the USSF, and the importance of the 2026 World Cup for soccer in the United States. Finally, Twellman gets into how he feels about social media, and talks about some scary instances he's had with social media in the past.

    54m | Mar 28, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: NCAA Tournament ratings, World Baseball Classic and more

    On today's episode of the Sports Media Watch Podcast, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner recap the past weekend of March Madness on both the men's and women's side. Then, the crew hits on the excitement around this year's World Baseball Classic and how that could become a tentpole event for baseball in the future. Lastly, Jon takes on some quick hitters including the upcoming ESPN layoffs, NBA media rights, and our favorite topic -- XFL ratings.

    32m | Mar 21, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: Special guest Bill Pidto + weekend ratings

    On today's episode of the Sports Media Watch Podcast, special guest Bill Pidto of MSG Network joins the show to discuss the state of the New York Knicks, what it's like working in the New York City market compared to a national market, and the Golden Age of Sportscenter in the 1990s. Pidto also talks about the launch of ESPN2 and ESPNews, and how those channels changed the landscape for talent at ESPN. Then, Pidto closes out the show matching famous Sportscenter catchphrases to the anchor that coined them, and gives the origin story for his own catchphrase.

    36m | Mar 14, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: NCAA Tournament talk, NBA ratings and more

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis is joined by Drew Lerner to discuss the upcoming NCAA Tournaments, including Stan Van Gundy making his collegiate debut replacing Reggie Miller, the last hurrah for Jim Nantz, and the women's championship game airing on ABC for the first time. Then, the crew gets into NBA and motorsports ratings, the rumors that Adam Silver could be tapped as Bob Iger's successor, and acknowledges the passing of Tampa Bay Rays broadcaster Dave Wills.

    33m | Mar 8, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: LeBron injury + XFL and LIV ratings

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis is joined by Drew Lerner to discuss the week's sports media news including how LeBron's injury impacts the end of the NBA regular season, whether or not the league has an injury problem, and Charles Barkley's comments on load management. Then they get into how the XFL's ratings fared in week 2, LIV Golf's opening weekend on The CW, and some more wonky ratings discussion on Nielsen's undercount of Super Bowl viewership.

    35m | Mar 1, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: NBA All-Star Game, Daytona and more

    On today's episode of the Sports Media Watch Podcast, Dr. Jon Lewis and Drew Lerner dive into a surprisingly jam-packed weekend in sports. Topics include what the NBA should do with the All Star Game to make it watchable, how the XFL fared in its third iteration debut and what success would look like for the league, rumblings that Daytona ratings are down and what the current landscape is for motorsports on TV, the impending Diamond Sports bankruptcy and what it means for the future of RSNs, and the PGA gets its Tiger bump at Riviera but LIV is set for its moment in the spotlight (or at least weekend afternoons on the CW).

    37m | Feb 22, 2023
  • SMW Podcast: Analyzing Super Bowl ratings + guest Bill Shea

    On today's episode, Dr. Jon Lewis is joined by Bill Shea of The Athletic to dive into Super Bowl ratings, Terry Bradshaw's not-so-friendly words for Andy Reid during the Lombardi Trophy ceremony, and Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen's performance. Then, Jon takes on some quick hits about NBC kicking the tires on NBA rights, Derek Jeter to FOX, the Michael Irvin fiasco, LSU/South Carolina's ratings record, LIV Golf on the CW, and the New York Times' handling of the shooting at Michigan State.

    Bill Shea on measuring Super Bowl ratings:

    "It's kind of like sports gambling ... as we know Nielsen is highly educated guesswork based on extrapolations from their panels. At the end of the day we actually have no idea how many people watched the Super Bowl but we know it was a lot." 

    Bill Shea on Terry Bradshaw:

    "I think he's probably earned the right to decide when he walks away. If gaffes and things keep mounting, maybe there's a nudge out the door."

    41m | Feb 15, 2023
  • SMW Podcast 2/10: Super Bowl preview
    A new iteration of the Sports Media Watch Podcast premieres with Dr. Jon Lewis and host Drew Lerner discussing ratings for the upcoming Super Bowl. Topics discussed include Jon's Super Bowl ratings predictions, a dive into ratings data in the out-of-home era and the inexact science behind Nielsen's measurements, whether Super Bowl ratings deterioration is something for the NFL and networks to worry about, and why Nielsen has chosen to conduct their fast nationals a bit differently this year. Then, Jon takes on some quick hitters and discusses ratings for LeBron's record breaking night, Charles Barkley to CNN rumors, and the drama between FOX and the Biden administration regarding the "traditional" presidential Super Bowl interview.
    31m | Feb 11, 2023
  • Best of SMW Podcast: Rachel Bachman

    From the archives: Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Bachman talks the rise of women's volleyball and more (from 2022).

    26m | Feb 8, 2023
  • Best of SMW Podcast: Patrick Crakes

    From the archives: media consultant Patrick Crakes in an in-depth discussion about sports TV ratings and more on the SMW Podcast earlier this year (2022).

    43m | Feb 8, 2023
  • Best of SMW Podcast: Tiki Barber

    From the archives: listen to NFL analyst Tiki Barber on the Sports Media Watch Podcast last year (2022).

    32m | Feb 8, 2023
  • Best of SMW Podcast: Mike Hall

    From the archives: listen to Big Ten Network's Mike Hall on the Sports Media Watch Podcast last year (2022).

    25m | Feb 8, 2023
Sports Media Watch podcast