SBD/September 21, 2010/Media

ESPN's Saints-49ers "MNF" Overnight Up 5% From Week Two Last Year

ESPN Earns 10.6 Overnight Rating For Coverage Of Saints-49ers "MNF" Game

ESPN earned a 10.6 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Saints-49ers "MNF" telecast from 8:30pm-12:00am ET. The 10.6 overnight is up 5% from a 10.1 rating for Colts-Dolphins in Week Two last season. The game earned a 19.5 local rating on ESPN and a 45.7 rating on WDSU-NBC in New Orleans, while it drew a 15.2 local rating on ESPN and a 7.0 rating on KBCW-CW in the S.F./Oakland/San Jose market. ESPN finished second last night in primetime among all nets behind ABC, which aired the season premiere of "Dancing With The Stars" (THE DAILY).

SUNDAY NIGHT SPECIAL: NBC earned a 13.8 final rating and 23.1 million viewers for the Giants-Colts "SNF", down 9% and 8%, respectively, from a 15.1 rating and 24.8 million viewers for Giants-Cowboys in Week Two last year, which featured the first regular-season game at Cowboys Stadium. Compared to the first "Manning Bowl" on NBC in Week One of the '06 season, the rating is down 3.5%, but viewership was up 1.6% from 22.7 million viewers. The Giants-Colts telecast also helped NBC to a win in primetime among all nets on Sunday night. The game earned a 44.9 local rating in Indianapolis and a 17.7 rating in N.Y. Through three NFL game telecasts, NBC is averaging a 15.1 rating, which marks the best two-week NFL primetime average in 11 years, when ABC averaged a 15.7 rating. In terms of viewers for the same telecasts, NBC's 25.3 million viewers marks the best two-week average since '94, when ABC was averaging 25.5 million viewers. Compared to last year at the same point, NBC is up 12% and 13%, respectively, from a 13.5 rating and 22.3 million viewers (NBC). DAILY VARIETY's Rick Kissell noted it is a "testament to just how popular the NFL is today" that Sunday's 38-14 Colts victory over the Giants -- "a game whose 24-0 halftime score invited early tune-out -- delivered the fifth best overnight score since 'SNF' began on NBC" in '06. Kissell noted there "wasn't much else happening on the night, although this coming Sunday will see the season premieres of the night's top shows" (VARIETY.com, 9/20).

LOCAL NUMBERS: In Dallas, Barry Horn noted KDFW-Fox averaged a 33.1 local rating and 860,000 HHs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market for Sunday's Bears-Cowboys game. The final 15 minutes of the game drew 978,000 HHs (DALLASNEWS.com, 9/20)....The Rams drew a 23.4 local rating on KTVI-Fox for their 16-14 loss to the Raiders, the club's highest-rated Week Two game since '06 (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/21).

TICKET REDUCTION? DirecTV Exec VP & CFO Patrick Doyle last week indicated that the company next fall "may cut the price" of its nonsubscriber "NFL Sunday Ticket To-Go" offering, which provides an "opportunity for people who can't get DirecTV to still access 'Sunday Ticket' online and on-mobile." MEDIA DAILY NEWS' David Goetzl noted the version "was tested last fall in Manhattan, an area with thousands of apartments and other dwellings, but where DirecTV signals are blocked." Doyle said despite some marketing the offering "didn't resonate very well." He did say however, "In my mind, it was more of the price that we charged." The cost was "about on par with what a DirecTV customer was paying for the traditional 'Sunday Ticket' on their TV sets." Doyle indicated that "other priorities got in the way of DirecTV launching a major marketing effort behind the 'nonsubscriber' opportunity this fall," but the company "expects to next year, and perhaps cut the price" (MEDIA DAILY NEWS, 9/21 issue). Meanwhile, in S.F., Bruce Jenkins writes the NFL's "treatment of blacked-out fans borders on criminal behavior." Fans who "subscribe to DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package -- paying good money for every game on the NFL menu" -- still cannot watch local teams' games "if they're blacked out." But the RedZone Channel is "almost too good to be true -- and it doesn't discriminate against blacked-out markets." Jenkins writes the channel is "simply a must for any fan of the league" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/21).

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