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NBC earned a 7.2/16 overnight Nielsen rating for its coverage of the National Dog Show from 12:00-2:00pm Thursday, 42% less than the 12.5/29 CBS got for Patriots-Lions from 12:30-4:15pm ET. CBS' Thanksgiving Day NFL rating marks a 4% decrease from last year's early game, Packers-Lions on Fox, which earned a 13.0/31. Redskins-Cowboys received a 11.9/31 preliminary overnight on Fox Thursday from 4:00-7:00pm (THE DAILY). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke gives NBC putting the Dog Show opposite Patriots-Lions his "best move" of the weekend (USA TODAY, 12/2). NBC showed "It's a Wonderful Life" last Thanksgiving in the timeslot filled this year by the Dog Show, and NBC Entertainment Senior VP/Program Planning Mitch Metcalf said of the Dog Show before it aired, "Even a modest success is a huge win for us." BLOOMBERG NEWS' Rick Westhead reported that NBC charged about $35,000 per 30-second spot in the Dog Show. Nestle's Ralston Purina paid $30,000 for presenting sponsorship, and the company also "agreed to buy advertising space in the Philadelphia Inquirer to promote the show, cover the cost of lunches for show staff and contribute $20,000 in prize money." Westhead added that "rather than paying a rights fee, NBC agreed to cover the costs of staging the show in addition to the telecast's production costs." The network has the option to broadcast the Dog Show next year (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/27).
THE BAD WITH THE GOOD: The OAKLAND TRIBUNE's Bill Soliday, on the NFL looking at holding more games on Sunday and Monday nights: "Force fans to pay for at least a quarter of their games at nights, and you're threatening a major turnoff for those who plan their falls around Sunday, 1 p.m. games. This is particularly insidious to East Coast fans. Games would end around midnight on a school night. Result: Fans stop buying season tickets" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 12/1).
NFL MEDIA NOTES: The Colts failed to sell out yesterday's game against the Texans by Friday's deadline, "bringing the team's first local TV blackout since the end of the 1998 season." Colts Senior Exec VP Pete Ward: "It's a bit perplexing that it didn't sell out quicker considering we [were] on a three-game winning streak and playing exciting football. We're in first place, and we're in the smallest stadium in the league" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/30) ....In Boston, Bill Griffith reported that NFL.com has 1.8 million fantasy players this year, compared to 300,000 two years ago (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/10).
NATIONAL TV MONITOR: Last night's 11:30pm ET 90-minute edition of ESPN's "SportsCenter" (late due to Bucs-Saints) led with Falcons-Vikings, Broncos-Chargers, Dolphins-Bills, Bucs-Saints, Rams-Eagles and Titans-Giants. The first non-NFL report, at 17:58 into the broadcast, was T'Wolves-Lakers.
ON THE AIR: U.S. Olympian Scott Hamilton appeared on CNN this morning to discuss a new support Website for cancer patients, chemocare.com. MLB HOFer Ernie Banks, OH State Univ. QB Craig Krenzel and actor Kurtwood Smith are scheduled to appear on FSN's "BDSSP."
Have a submission for On The Air? If so, please contact Mark Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a front-page Cover Story, USA TODAY's David Lieberman examines consumers' practice of pirating satellite TV services and writes, "At least 1 million households, possible as many as 3 million, enjoy a TV fan's paradise [for free]." Satellite companies and the channels, movie studios and sports properties "that supply programming lose well over $1[B] a year in uncollected revenue from piracy" (USA TODAY, 12/2)....In, N.Y., Phil Mushnick reported, "We hear that CBS might soon break from its SportsLine partners to establish a new, NCAA-approved CBS Sports site" (N.Y. POST, 11/29)....FSN Northwest earned a 21.0 Nielsen rating for the November 23 Washington-Washington State college football game, marking the net's highest football rating ever. The game was the most-watched telecast in the Seattle market that day (FSN).Charles Barkley Not Gaining Favor
Of Media Members
WHAT'S UP, CHUCK? In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley is "trying too hard. And the harder he tries to be edgy and controversial and just plain bad, the less interesting he becomes" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/1). ABC Radio's Keith Olbermann wondered if Barkley will "retire soon or will he self-destruct first?" After receiving criticism from David Barron of the Houston Chronicle, Barkley called Barron an "idiot" on air. Barkley has "already wasted the good will and respect of those of us, like me, who admired him. He ought to take himself off the air before something disastrous happens" (ABC Radio, 11/27).