SBD/Issue 51/Sports Media

CBS' NFL National Window Up 4.2% In Overnight Nielsen Ratings

CBS' saw its NFL Week 11 national window telecast jump 4.2% in overnight ratings from last year, and saw regional action up double digits. NBC's Eagles-Bears "SNF" was down double digits from Week 11 year, when the net carried Cowboys-Redskins. "SNF" was the No. 1 Sunday primetime broadcast for the ninth time in 10 weeks, and up against the "American Music Awards" on ABC from 8:30-11:00pm ET, NBC "SNF" was up 22%. Eagles-Bears earned a 29.6 in Chicago and a 27.2 in Philadelphia. Fox also saw its second-best singleheader of the season, trailing only a 12.5 overnight in Week Three (THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK 11 OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET
'09 GAME
OVERNIGHT
'08 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
12.2
(single)
11.2
8.9%
CBS
(regional)
11.1
(regional)
10.0
11.0%
CBS
Jets-Patriots (62%)
14.9
Chargers-Steelers (65%)
14.3
4.2%
NBC
Eagles-Bears
12.1
Cowboys-Redskins
13.5
-10.4%

WORKING AROUND THE BAN: In Chicago, Kyle Koster notes while the Bears "denied NBC's request for access" to QB Jay Cutler, coach Lovie Smith and GM Jerry Angelo prior to last night's game, NBC used comments from members of the Chicago media "to paint a picture of a season of great expectations -- both for Cutler and the Bears -- falling flat on its face during its 'Football Night in America' broadcast." The "only quote from Cutler came from a postgame news conference" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/23). Also in Chicago, Vaughn McClure reported Sports Illustrated also "came to Chicago with hopes of getting a one-on-one interview with Cutler, but the Bears quarterback was off-limits outside of his Wednesday news conference." Smith again stated that he "wanted his players to focus on the game" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 11/22).

NO NEED TO CENSOR? YAHOO SPORTS' Matthew Darnell notes CBS during yesterday's Bills-Jaguars game "refused to show a replay of the injury" to Bills OL Eric Wood, who suffered a "sickening" broken leg. Darnell writes, "I'm philosophically opposed to CBS refusing to replay an injury because they've deemed it too graphic for me. ... The fact of the matter is that an injury to Eric Wood is a major part of the game. Networks are supposed to show major parts of the game" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/23).

Writer Says Fox' Tim Ryan
Is Underrated As Analyst
REVIEW COURSE: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes it is "great that Fox has microphones on the field to pick up all the pad-cracking sounds of the game, but it needs to be careful," as "twice, the granddaddy of all curse words was heard" during the network's coverage of yesterday's Saints-Buccaneers game. Meanwhile, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth, Fox analyst Troy Aikman and CBS analyst Phil Simms "get all the accolades as the best," but Fox analyst Tim Ryan is "underrated and might be as good as any." Jones: "Few are better at immediately dissecting a play on replay, such as Sunday when Ryan pointed out how wide open Kellen Winslow was on a play in which Josh Freeman threw an interception by trying to hit Michael Clayton in triple coverage" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/23).

TRUCK PULL: SPORTINGNEWS.com’s Dan Levy notes seven of the 52 messages ESPN’s Tom Jackson has posted on his Twitter account since opening it in September have been about GMC. Jackson has tweeted “just six times since October 30 and two of them have been ads for GMC.” When asked if ESPN has an “issue with one of their lead analysts using his ESPN-sanctioned Twitter feed to plug sponsors,” ESPN Communications & Media Relations Dir Bill Hofheimer said, “While GMC does work with ESPN overall, it does have some individual deals beyond that with our commentators. I understand TJ does PSAs for GMC. This is probably tied into that.” Levy writes this is “not unlike something similar to what Howie Long does for Chevy with those constant TV spots, but it does open the door to look at ESPN’s Social Networking policy” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 11/23).

GO-TO SITE: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir profiled Pro Football Talk Founder Mike Florio, who "has turned his blog ... into a leading source of information" about the NFL. Florio works "from his house in a quiet subdivision" in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and he said, "I'm a product of the age. I can sit in my basement and be in touch with everyone." Sandomir noted NBCSports.com became ProFootballTalk.com's "home in July in a revenue-sharing deal that preserved Florio's independence and has vastly increased his traffic." Omniture data indicated that Pro Football Talk "had 2.9 million unique users in October, nearly tripling the 979,000 from the same month a year ago, before the NBC deal was made." In that same comparison, the site's "page views swelled to 32.4 million from 13.2 million." ComScore indicated that NBCSports.com, "helped by PFT," has "climbed six spots to be the 11th most popular sports Web site." NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Senior VP/Business Development Kevin Monaghan: "We thought we needed a keystone for the site, and Mike has provided that. He's been a much bigger help than we imagined" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/21).

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