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Donald Trump Pardons Boxing Great Jack Johnson, Punches Barack Obama As Sly Stallone Watches

Donald Trump Sylvester Stallone

President Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone standing by his side, today gave a full pardon, posthumously, to Jack Johnson, the country’s first black heavyweight boxing champion,  In 1913, at the height of the Jim Crow era, an all-white jury convicted Johnson under the Mann Act of transporting a white woman with whom he was involved in a relationship across state lines. Stallone, as well as Sen. John McCain, and Ken Burns were among those who had advocated for a pardon for… Read


Celtics Win Scores Top Ratings Spot For ESPN, ‘Empire’ Season Finale Aces Big 4 Battle

Boston Celtics

With twists and flourishes that would constitute a whole season for most shows, Fox’s Empire (1.6/7) concluded its fourth season Wednesday on a night that also saw ends for Survivor (1.4/6), Law & Order: SVU (1.2/5) and Star (1.2/5). Yet the real slam-dunk ratings victory was on cable with ESPN's airing of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, a solid victory for the surging Boston Celtics. Now leading the series 3-2, Boston beat LeBron James and the Cleveland… Read


Donald Trump Suggests Deporting Kneeling NFL Players After New Policy Revealed

Donald Trump took time away from his busy schedule unearthing witch hunts and catching phantom spies to weigh in on another story he believe has national security implications. Talking to Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade, The President of the United States discussed the NFL’s new policy of fining players who refuse to stand for the national anthem on the field. If they want to kneel, they have to do so in the locker room, the NFL has decreed. “I don't think people should be… Read


Donald Trump To Talk NFL, FBI Plots, And MS-13 With Brian Kilmeade On Thursday’s ‘Fox & Friends’

If you are wondering why President Donald Trump has yet to weigh in on Twitter about the NFL’s announcement it will fine any player on field who does not stand during the National Anthem during games, it may be because Trump wants to save his reaction for his pals at Fox & Friends. The Fox News Channel show announced this afternoon it will air an interview with Trump on tomorrow morning’s show in which he “reacts” to the new NFL ruling on national anthem protests. In the… Read


Mike Pence Tweets Charlie Sheen-ily After NFL Unveils New No-Kneeling National Anthem Rule

Mike Pence

President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in today’s newly announced NFL’s policy of fining players who refuse to stand on the field during the national anthem. But his NFL Game Walker Outer In Chief, Veep Mike Pence has. “#Winning,” Pence tweeted in a victory lap: #Winning 🇺🇸 — Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 23, 2018 Pence… Read


ESPN Confirms Expanded Deal For UFC Rights, Elbowing Out Fox – Update

Updated with official confirmation and additional details. ESPN, which last month set a streaming deal with the UFC, confirmed it has added linear TV rights to that package, with a major five-year pact that ends the circuit’s seven-year run on Fox Sports. The official announcement did not specify terms, but sources confirmed to Deadline earlier today that the UFC would get $300 million a year in a five-year deal starting in January — double what Fox paid on an average… Read


2017-18 TV Series Ratings Rankings: NFL Football, ‘Big Bang’ Top Charts

NFL Football Big Bang Theory

CBS’ The Big Bang Theory will finish the 2017-2018 TV season as the country's most watched series with an average of 18.634 million viewers. NBC's NFL Sunday Night Football is the season's highest-rated series in the key 18-49 demographic, with a 6.2 rating; it also takes the No. 2 spot in overall audience (18.285M). In the demo, NBC’s sophomore series This is Us (5.4) follows football, while Big Bang ranks No. 5 (4.4). In a TV season that re-defined “new” and “canceled,”  Read


Billboard Music Awards Ratings Hit Low, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Finale Rises, NBA Up With Warriors’ Win

Billboard Music Awards

An absent Ed Sheeran was the big winner at the Billboard Music Awards (2.1/8) last night, when Janet Jackson took home the Icon Award and Texas-born host Kelly Clarkson railed the lack of action on gun violence in America after the latest school shooting. In another year of falls among adults 18-49, the three-hour NBC awards show topped Sunday's primetime but hit an all-time low in fast affiliates, with a 9% dip from last year’s previous low on ABC. Now facing American Ido… Read


LeBron James-Led Rout By Cleveland Draws ESPN’s Second-Best NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 Rating Ever

The NBA Playoffs are heating up, an auspicious sign for advertisers, movie studios and basketball stakeholders alike. The Eastern Conference Finals, which tilted toward Boston after the first two games, rode a decisive LeBron James-led comeback win by Cleveland on Saturday to tally the second-highest rating in ESPN’s years of airing conference finals series. The 30-point shellacking of the Celtics by the Cavaliers drew a 5.1 metered market rating, up 11% from the… Read


ESPYs To Give Courage Award To Women Who Spoke Out About Sexual Abuse By USA Gymnastics Doctor

ESPN’s annual sports awards show will the ESPYs give its 2018 Arthur Ashe Courage Award to female athletes who came forward with their horror stories of sexual abuse at the hands of disgraced USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar. "For 25 years, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage has been given to those who change the world in important ways, and the future will undoubtedly be different because of the actions of these heroic women," said Maura Mandt… Read


ESPN Anchor Kenny Mayne Riffs On Ad Reduction, Skinny Bundles, Zings NBCU — Upfronts

Veteran ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne brought back his long-running, crowd-pleasing act during today’s upfronts presentation: a 5-minute standup bit where the Washington state native dryly roasts the TV ad racket. While not quite as well-known as upfronts appearances by broadcast late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel (at ABC), Seth Meyers (at NBCUniversal) or Stephen Colbert (at CBS) the Mayne musings are often just as entertaining. Here are some highlights from the 2018 edition. “We… Read


New ESPN Boss Jimmy Pitaro: “Morale Is Incredibly High” – Upfronts

Jimmy Pitaro, the former Disney and Yahoo exec who took over earlier this year as ESPN president after the abrupt departure of John Skipper, borrowed at least one page from Skipper’s playbook, meeting with the media after the network’s upfront event. The press briefing in the Minskoff Theatre went longer than Skipper’s annual scrums with reporters, and it also featured the full senior management team standing in the back and weighing in on some topics. The discussion… Read