SBD/Issue 21/Sports Media

Getting Air: CBS Sees Slight Jump For Broncos' OT Win Over Pats

CBS' NFL national window telecast yesterday earned a 14.3 overnight Nielsen rating with Patriots-Broncos, up 2.1% from Week Five last year, when CBS featured Bengals-Cowboys in the national window. NBC earned a 10.8 overnight rating for its "SNF" broadcast of Colts-Titans, up 5.9% from the comparable Steelers-Jaguars game from '08. Fox' lone window for the day averaged a 10.6 overnight, up 7.1% from Week Five last year (THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK FIVE OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET '09 GAME
OVERNIGHT
'08 GAME  
% +/-
Fox (single)
10.6
(single)  
7.1%
CBS (regional)
8.6
(regional)  
-3.4%
CBS Patriots-Broncos
14.3
Bengals-Cowboys  
2.1%
NBC Colts-Titans
10.8
Steelers-Jaguars  
5.9%

BOOTH REVIEW: In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes CBS' announcers and production crew yesterday "provided a huge nationwide audience with first-rate coverage" of Patriots-Broncos. CBS' Phil Simms and Jim Nantz "constantly reminded viewers about the teacher-pupil relationship between" Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. The net's cameras also "captured McDaniels on the Broncos' sideline at key times when the Denver coach was uttering phrases that probably made lip readers blush" (DENVER POST, 10/12). Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Fox' broadcast team of Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan "might be even better" than Fox' No. 1 broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Jones ranks Rosen and Ryan third among NFL broadcast teams, behind NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and ESPN's "MNF" crew of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/12).

TOUGH POSITION TO BE IN: In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote if Collinsworth, Gruden or Simms makes a negative comment about Cowboys QB Tony Romo's play, it "usually disappears into thin air." But if Aikman, who played for the Cowboys from '89-'00, "says something that could be construed as negative, it becomes news and often takes on a news-cycle life of its own." Aikman said that he also "hears it from fans and media critics up and down the East Coast if he compliments Romo during a broadcast or compares him favorably to other quarterbacks." Aikman: "I always say I am not a Tony Romo apologist. I know he has special talents, but when I say that, some critics scoff at that" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/10).

 
RATINGS GOLD: SI.com's Peter King writes he believes ESPN's "MNF" has a "good chance to make ratings hay right now, and for the rest of the season." Last Monday's Packers-Vikings game was the highest-rated show in cable television history, and "with the exception of Baltimore-Cleveland and Tennessee-Houston, the Monday night slate in Week 8 and beyond is strong." The net's schedule of games "could turn out to be the deepest schedule ESPN has had" since acquiring "MNF" rights beginning with the '06 season (SI.com, 10/12).

JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH: DAILY VARIETY's Stuart Levine noted not only are ratings "up for every football carrier this fall," but audiences also are "tuning in to the seemingly endless pregame and postgame shows." Production values for the shows have "risen dramatically over the past few years and salaries for both ex-jocks and longtime anchors and analysts have remained high." Yet in "drawing fans to their big games" with pregame shows, networks are "fully cognizant that expensive rights fees paid to the NFL need to be offset by advertiser-friendly high ratings." Fox Sports Chair & CEO David Hill said that a "well-executed pregame show is an essential ingredient to maximize ratings." Hill: "I've always seen the pregame show as a bunch of guys at a bar that you want to eavesdrop on." NFL Net Exec Producer Eric Weinberger: "We're pretty sure there's never enough football at this point. There's so much interest" (DAILY VARIETY, 10/10).



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