There Are Many Ways to Spin the NBA All-Star Game vs. Oprah Ratings Duel: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. We told you in Monday’s Traina Thoughts that 17.1 million people watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Sunday night.

Well, the NBA All-Star Game, which went head-to-head with the much-talked-about CBS special drew 5.9 million viewers for TNT. It was the lowest-rated All-Star Game in league history and down 18% in viewership from a year ago.

While this isn’t shocking considering the sports world, viewership-wise, is still being affected by the pandemic. You’re probably thinking, “What a disaster for the NBA!” But as the great Lee Corso would say, not so fast.

The All-Star Game actually beat Oprah, Harry and Meghan in the very important 18–34 demographic, with a 1.9 rating to the CBS special’s 1.6. And the NBA finished second to the interview special in the 18–49 demo.

What does this mean? A few things.

For starters, people in the 18–34 age range don’t care nearly as much about the Royal Family as older folks. Two, many people in the 18–34 range don’t watch network TV at all. Three, the NBA held up better than anyone would’ve expected against a hugely publicized television special.

The bottom line, though, is that ratings can almost always be spun in any direction.

2. This is going to become a bigger and bigger story in the days and weeks to come. LeBron James has said he will keep his decision about getting (not getting) the COVID-19 vaccine private. 

Stephen A. Smith thoughtfully and fairly explained why he thought it was important James get the vaccine and encourage other people to get the vaccine on Tuesday's First Take.

And Smith is not backing down from his take.

3. I still have no idea what NFTs are, but Gronk is now involved with them.

4. Justin Thomas dropped a solid quote today.

5. I can't say I ever expected to get a wrestling clip from The Kelly Clarkson Show, but Stone Cold recently revealed to the American Idol winner what The Rock said to him during his final WWE match.

6. The guest on the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast is Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio explains why gambling is a major factor in the NFL's going to a 17-game regular season and why he expects the league to eventually go to an 18-game regular season. Does the 17th regular-season game mean we're going to finally get a Super Bowl during Presidents' Day weekend? Florio shares his thoughts on that topic and talks about other scheduling changes we could see. Other topics discussed on this episode include the TV-rights deals the NFL is about to close with its broadcast partners, why the league was able to get such a huge rights fee increase and what's going on with Sunday Ticket. We also talk about how the offseason has become bigger than the regular season when it comes to people's interest in the league, clickbait stories and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Stitcher.

You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Bagels have been a big topic on Twitter over the past 24 hours, so we now turn to Seinfeld.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.