SBD/Issue 55/Sports Media

Dog & Turkey Show: NBC Puts Up A Good Fight On Thanksgiving

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 has 1.8 million fantasy players this year, compared to 300,000 two years ago (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/10).

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