SBD/Issue 1/Sports Media

"MNF" Final Ratings Down From '06

Week One NFL Nielsen ratings continue to trend downward with results from ESPN's "MNF" doubleheader now in.   The chart below presents ratings and viewers for Ravens-Bengals, which aired in the 7:00-10:30pm ET window, and Cardinals-49ers (10:30pm-1:45am), with comparisons to last year.

ESPN "MNF" WEEK ONE COMPARISONS
---------- '07 ------------
---------- '06 ------------
   
GAME
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
GAME
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
RAT. % +/-
VIEWERS % +/-
Ravens-Bengals
8.6
11,080
Vikings-Redskins
9.9
12,570
-13.1%
-11.9%
Cardinals-49ers
6.9
8,500
Chargers-Raiders
8.5
10,495
-18.8%
-19.0%

NOTES: In the usual “MNF” broadcast window, 8:30-11:45pm, ESPN earned a 9.7 rating, down 14.2% from a 11.3 last year.   The net averaged a 9.9 rating from 8:00-11:00pm, which translates into an 8.4 national rating, the highest of any net, broadcast or cable, for the night in primetime.  The two games delivered the net’s two highest ratings of the year, as well as the second- and third-largest household audiences on cable this year, behind only Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2”, which averaged 17.2 million viewers on August 17.  From the start of ESPN’s NFL studio programming at 2:00pm through the conclusion of the doubleheader game, ESPN delivered a gross 19.2 rating.  Also, NFL content on ESPN.com generated more than 66 million page views from Monday through Tuesday at 12:00pm, up 27% over the same period last year (ESPN). Cardinals-49ers earned a combined Bay Area household rating of 22.1 -- 14.2 on ESPN and 7.9 on KPIX-CBS. That’s the highest local rating since an ABC “MNF” broadcast of Steelers-49ers did a 27.4 in November ’03 (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/12).

TALENT REVIEWS: In Baltimore, Ray Frager writes of the “MNF” announcing crew, “It was obvious how much better a rapport Tony Kornheiser has with Ron Jaworski than he did with Joe Theismann. Yes, they yukked it up, but it didn’t get in the way of Jaworski’s points about the game" (Baltimore SUN, 9/12). In San Jose, John Ryan writes, “How great was it with Ron Jaworski? He even makes Tony Kornheiser sound less obnoxious.” Ryan also graded the Cardinals-49ers crew of the three Mikes – Greenberg, Golic and Ditka.  Ryan, on Greenberg: “For a guy who had never done play-by play before last March (arena football), I’d give him a C-minus. Seemed to take the radio tack of describing everything he was seeing.” On Golic: “Solid pro. I’d give him a B. Relies too much on the replay instead of having seen the real-time action. … But he set the table OK.” On Ditka: “Awful. Just not prepared. D-minus” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/12).

PACKERS: In Milwaukee Bob Wolfley notes the WITI-Fox Eagles-Packers telecast on Sunday drew 271,964 local HHs, down 21% from last year’s opener against the Bears, but still enough to out-rate a concurrent Brewers-Reds game on FSN Wisconsin, which drew 30,222 HHs. Even Packers preseason games in August out-rated the Brewers, who are still in the NL Central pennant race. Sunday’s final round of the PGA Tour BMW Championship also had more local households than Brewers-Reds, but baseball beat golf in the 1:00-3:00pm CT time slot (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 9/12).

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