SBD/Issue 72/Sports Media

CBS' Earns Net's Second-Highest NFL Late Window Overnight Of '09

CBS earned its second-highest NFL national window overnight rating of the season yesterday, with Broncos-Eagles in the majority of markets and Jets-Colts in about 40% of markets. CBS' 16.4 overnight was up 19% from Fox' 13.8 rating in the Week 16 national window last year, which featured Falcons-Vikings. NBC earned an 11.6 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Cowboys-Redskins "SNF," down 10% from Panthers-Giants in Week 16 last season. The telecast was the top-rated show on all of TV in primetime and won the night for NBC. Dallas-Ft. Worth earned a 34.4 local rating, while DC earned a 24.5 rating (THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK 16 OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET
'09 GAME
RAT.
NET
'08 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
9.4
CBS
(single)
14.3
-34.3%
CBS
(regional)
11.9
Fox
(regional)
8.0
48.8%
CBS
Broncos-Eagles (57%)
16.4
Fox
Falcons-Vikings (64%)
13.8
18.8%
NBC
Cowboys-Redskins
11.6
NBC
Panthers-Giants
12.9
-10.1%

NET GAINS: The NFL Network's Christmas night Chargers-Titans game earned 6.9 million viewers, marking the network's third most-viewed telecast ever and second most-viewed this season. The game pulled a 3.3 U.S. rating (6.9 coverage area rating). Flush with a new carriage deal with Comcast, the NFL Net's eight-game package averaged 5.5 million viewers, up 49% from last season's 3.7 million average viewers and up 20% from the previous high of 4.6 million viewers in '07. In '09, NFL Network also had four of its five most-watched games ever (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

ROOKIE EVALUATIONS: In Houston, David Barron wrote of ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, "Perhaps not since Hank Stram's days as the gleeful, wise-cracking coach of the Kansas City Chiefs has a coach-turned-broadcaster brought such a clearly defined persona from sideline to broadcast booth" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/25). However, in DC, Leonard Shapiro wrote, "Wouldn't it be nice if  [Gruden] toned down the hyperbole and stopped praising every player and coach on the planet during 'Monday Night Football?'" Shapiro added, "Wouldn't it be nicer if I didn't always have to ask myself whether it's Gruden talking, or Ron Jaworski? They really do sound alike." Meanwhile, Shapiro wrote it is time to "sing the praises of NBC broadcast rookies Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison," who have been "outstanding additions" to NBC's "Football Night In America." Dungy and Harrison offer "strong and more than occasionally controversial comments" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/24). In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote NBC "seems to have finally come up a winner with" Dungy and Harrison. Dungy is the "more low-key of the two, more X's and O's analytical," while Harrison has "blossomed in his role as a guy fresh from the field" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/26). 

BOOTH REVIEW: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes while reports yesterday linked CBS studio analyst Bill Cowher with the Buccaneers coaching job, Cowher said "not a thing" about the reports during "The NFL Today." Jones: "One can respect Cowher's policy of not discussing a coaching job that is not open, but CBS dropped the ball. ... The fact that it was one of their own and he was sitting there available for comment made it more imperative for CBS to address it." Meanwhile, Jones writes while Fox play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert is "as solid as they get," he "just can't warm up to" analyst Daryl Johnston and sideline reporter Tony Siragusa. Johnston and Siragusa often "say things we already know" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/28).

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