NEW YORK — We have officially entered Super Bowl week in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a ton of headlines surfacing across sports media outlets hour on hour. Obviously, that’s expected for a game of this magnitude, however, what is currently trending as the number one story? You guessed it, the Travis and Taylor storyline…
The romance of America’s most famous dating couple, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and glamorous pop music star Taylor Swift, has been a national topic of conversation for months. Their relationship has obviously been a boon for gossip magazines and tabloid television shows. The biggest beneficiary, however, may very well be the CBS television network.
The American Football Conference Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, which was broadcast on CBS, drew around 55 million viewers, which established a record audience for any AFC game.
CBS was not shy about having its cameras pan to Swift’s suite at Baltimore’s M&T Stadium to catch her reactions to a Chiefs score. Play-by-play voice Jim Nantz wisely pointed out Swift would be present at the 2024 Grammy Awards, which were televised Sunday night on, of course, CBS.
While no one at the Tiffany Network will ever admit this, there had to be massive celebrations at the company’s New York headquarters when the Chiefs prevailed over the Ravens.
CBS has the broadcasting rights to Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The Super Bowl is always the most-watched television event of the year. The Travis & Taylor storyline has given extra hype to the runup to the game, and it could very well make this the highest-rated Super Bowl of all-time. That would be very satisfying to CBS Sports CEO, and one of my favorite television executives, Sean McManus, who will be retiring this April after the Masters.
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2024
It is safe to say these same CBS executives will be rooting for the Chiefs again on Sunday. That has nothing to do with bizarre right-wing conspiracies, nor is it meant as a sign of disrespect to the 49ers. The reason is strictly business.
If the Chiefs were to win the game, then millions of Taylor Swift fans, and an equal amount of curiosity seekers, will tune into CBS’s postgame show for no other reason to see Travis and Taylor kissing in front of the Vince Lombardi Trophy. There is speculation a proposal may be in the offing.
A big audience for the Super Bowl postgame show will serve as a tremendous lead-in for a new action show, “Tracker,” whose protagonist finds missing people for reward money. Justin Hartley stars. A few hours later, CBS will preview “After Midnight,” a talk and entertainment show starring comedienne Taylor Tomlinson, which will be inheriting the time slot formerly occupied by “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
CBS’s The NFL Today celebrates its 50th birthday
CBS’s pro football studio show, “The NFL Today,” is celebrating its 50th birthday. This Sunday at 1PM CBS will pay tribute with a one-hour documentary. Baby boomers should enjoy seeing the clips of the original show crew of Brent Musburger, Jayne Kennedy, Irv Cross, Phyllis George, and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder.
LIV Golf this weekend in Vegas – TV coverage on CW
The Super Bowl will not be the only big sporting event taking place in Las Vegas this weekend. The Saudi-backed LIV Golf, which has poached several well-known PGA Tour stalwarts, with the most recent being Jon Rahm, will be holding its annual event there. The Saturday and Sunday rounds will be televised on the CW.
Justin Turner signs one-year deal with Blue Jays
The Mets will not be having a reunion with infielder Justin Turner this season. On Thursday, the 39-year-old Turner signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
This was a big miss for Mets baseball operations president David Stearns. The Mets’ current lineup does not scare any teams, and the designated hitter position has long been a liability. Turner would have provided some much-needed pop.
Turner can play third base and provide necessary insurance in case both Brett Baty and Mark Vientos struggle as they did in 2023. Ronny Mauricio, who the Mets were counting on to be in their third base mix, will miss the 2024 season as he recovers from right knee ACL surgery.
Justin also would have provided leadership which has been sorely missing for years in the home team clubhouse at Citi Field. When he was with the Mets a decade ago, he was always available to speak with reporters. I remember him needling me in a good-natured way.
Curling: Shuffleboard on Ice?
Curling, which many think of as shuffleboard on ice, is a longstanding Winter Olympics sport. That fact has always generated chuckles from sportscasters. Curling has been receiving more respect in recent years, however.
Former NFL defensive end Jared Allen is trying to make the 2026 US Olympic curling team. He was one of the competitors taking part in the 2024 USA Curling Championships which were held this past week at American Dream, the huge sports, entertainment, dining, and retail complex located adjacent to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Legalweek held by ALM at New York Hilton
ALM, the largest publisher for the legal profession, held its annual technology trade show, Legalweek, at the New York Hilton last week. Given the massive amount of money spent on both professional and college sports, it is not surprising many of the exhibitors were displaying their applications for that industry.
LexisNexis has long been the leading research database for attorneys. A company representative was able to retrieve all the legal briefs and judicial decisions relating to when the late St. Louis Cardinals outfielder, Curt Flood, sued Major League Baseball after being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the fall of 1969. Baseball players had no say in which teams they could play for because of an anti-trust exemption granted by Congress in the 19th century. Even though the Supreme Court ruled against Flood in 1972, it was a short-term win for Major League Baseball team owners, as free agency was established in 1975.
Artificial intelligence was, as expected, a big topic at Legalweek. A rep from Reveal discussed how AI could instantly translate Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani’s contract from English to Japanese, while a technician from eDiscovery showed me how AI can estimate Ohtani’s tax liabilities to states and municipalities when his big annuity payments begin in a decade.
More from Legelweek at New York Hilton
Bryan Cranston, the star of “Breaking Bad,” was the Legalweek keynote speaker. He spoke about the contentious AI issues which were key factors in the five-month Screen Actors Guild strike against the major film studios. While the actors were concerned about the AI use of their voices and likenesses on film, they were also worried about AI-generated photos which would approximate their likenesses, as well as those of other celebrities as pro athletes, for commercial purposes, Think of that as the equivalent of those baseball caps with an “NY” insignia which try to imitate those of the Mets or Yankees. They go as close to the copyrighted logo as possible before crossing into infringement territory.
Remembering and Paying Tribute to Carl Weathers
Actor Carl Weathers, whose most famous role was portraying boxer Apollo Creed in many of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” films, passed away this past Friday at the age of 76.
It is not hyperbole to say both the fictional characters of Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed helped stoke interest in boxing for many years. The popularity of mixed martial arts has eclipsed that of boxing in recent years, however.
“Kings from Queens” – three-part documentary about Run-D.M.C. available now on Peacock
Comcast’s streaming service, Peacock, has just debuted a three-part documentary on the legendary hip-hop trio from Hollis, Run-D.M.C, titled “Kings from Queens.” The mini-series name is a clever play on the classic CBS comedy “The King of Queens” which starred Kevin James.
“Too Funny to Fail” on Hulu – Television, Streaming and Entertainment
There is so much content on streamers and cable that it is easy to miss good programs and films. I recently watched the excellent 2017’s “Too Funny to Fail” on Hulu which detailed how one of the most beloved “Saturday Night Live” players, Dana Carvey, suffered a major career stumble when he launched “The Dana Carvey Show,” on ABC in the spring of 1996.
Despite having a cast which included the then unknown Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell, and a writing staff which was led by SNL veteran Robert Smigel, the show lasted for only seven episodes because its humor, while wickedly funny, was not designed for a mass primetime broadcast network television audience. All the principals of “The Dana Carvey Show” offer commentary, including a few mea culpas, in this documentary. Former ABC Entertainment president Ted Harbert, who was constantly battling with Carvey and his staff to make the show more accessible, and was responsible for axing the show, proves to be a good sport by giving his side of things.
You can read more of Lloyd Carroll’s columns posted weekly on The Queens Chronicle.
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