SBD/Issue 82/Sports Media

CBS Earns 26.6/46 Prelinary Overnight, Fox Gets 25.4/37

DeShaun Foster, Panthers Dominate Eagles,
While Game Notches 25.4/37 Rating

Fox earned a 25.4/37 preliminary overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Panthers-Eagles NFC Championship game at 6:45pm ET. Last year's comparable game, the AFC Championship featuring Titans-Raiders in the similar Sunday night time slot, got a 26.4/38 overnight. CBS earned a 26.6/46 prelininary overnight for yesterday's Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game at 3:00pm ET (THE DAILY).

POKED IN THE EYE: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes CBS yesterday "did not execute its normally first-rate production." The "overuse of the overhead Cable Cam resulted in losing the ball or having poor perspective on a couple of Patriots field goals. Audio for reporter Bonnie Bernstein's second question of Colts coach Tony Dungy was turned down and then cut off in an awkward segue to halftime." the "technical foul-ups took the spotlight away from top-level efforts by" Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, Bernstein and Armen Keteyian (USA TODAY, 1/19). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes during the second quarter, a Patriots field goal "was followed by a commercial break. The ensuing kickoff was followed by a commercial break. Then Peyton Manning, on first down, threw an interception, which was followed by a commercial break. ... And with 2:27 left in regulation, CBS missed the Colts' onside kick" (N.Y. POST, 1/19). In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich notes CBS aired 166 shots of coaches and coordinators. Dungy's face appeared "65 times, seven in the first six minutes of the game." But CBS "did an otherwise good job" (TORONTO STAR, 1/19).

ANALYZE THIS: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes while Fox analyst Troy Aikman "remains too conventional," Fox' Cris Collinsworth "further cemented his position as the bluntest pro football analyst," and "frequently punctuates what Aikman has just said." After Panthers RB DeShaun Foster's touchdown, Aikman "praised his effort," but Collinsworth said, "That's a pathetic effort by the Eagles." Simms' style "is subtler than Collinsworth's. He rarely wields an anvil." More Sandomir, on Simms: "The best analyst makes you say, `I didn't know that.'" Simms noted that Colts WR Marvin Harrison "doesn't read signals" but receives the play "from whoever lines up next to him" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19).

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