ESPN

Increased viewership ups the stakes for the NFL's broadcast rights

Illustration of a football player with an NFL tag
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Viewership of televised NFL games was up 5% to 16.5 million for the 2019 regular season, its second consecutive annual increase of 5%.

Why it matters: The rebound in viewership from previous two years will give the NFL higher leverage when negotiating new distribution deals with media partners.

ESPN college football reporter dies at 34

Edward Aschoff, a dapper, gregarious ESPN college football reporter, died Tuesday on his 34th birthday, "after a brief illness" signaled by a tweet from 20 days ago.

The big picture: The native of Oxford, Miss., tweeted: "Anyone ever had multifocal (bilateral) pneumonia in their early 30s as some[one] who never gets sick and has a very good immune system? Asking for two friends … my lungs."