SBD/Issue 31/Sports Media

NFL Week Seven Overnights: NBC "SNF" Up; CBS Late Window Down

NBC earned a 16.0 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Vikings-Packers "SNF," marking the net's third-best "SNF" overnight ever, behind a 16.5 overnight for last year's Giants-Cowboys (first game at new Cowboys Stadium) and Cowboys-Redskins from Week One this year. Including the Vikings-Saints NFL Kickoff this season, Vikings-Packers ranks as the net's fourth-best regular-season overnight since it regained NFL rights prior to the '06 season. NBC won the night for the seventh consecutive week, peaking at a 17.0 rating during two windows (9:30-10:00pm ET and 11:00-11:30pm). Vikings-Packers also earned a 53.1 local rating in Milwaukee and a 51.5 rating in Minneapolis-St. Paul. CBS saw a drop for its national window in Week Seven compared to Fox' coverage in the national window last year. The net also saw regional action in the early window decline year-over-year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK SEVEN: SUNDAY OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'10 GAME
RAT.
'09 GAME
NET
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
10.7
(single)
CBS
7.5
42.7%
CBS
(regional)
11.3
(regional)
Fox
13.0
-13.1%
CBS
Patriots-Chargers (85%)
15.1
Falcons-Cowboys (56%)
Fox
16.4
-7.9%
NBC
Packers-Vikings
16.0
Cardinals-Giants
NBC
10.4
53.8%


FOCUSING ON ILLEGAL HITS
: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote the Sunday pregame shows were "must-see TV as they offered a compelling debate on the NFL's latest crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits." The morning "might have been won by Fox, which smartly brought in analyst and former Bucs safety John Lynch, a player known for delivering heavy and sometimes borderline hits." Fox' hiring of former NFL VP/Officiating Mike Pereira as a rules analyst also has "turned out to be a brilliant move, and he lent his perspective as well" yesterday (TAMPABAY.com, 10/24). In N.Y., Ken Belson writes many analysts yesterday "perhaps predictably ... sided with the league's decision to enforce its rules against helmet-to-helmet hits," as the NFL and its TV partners have "worked hand in hand to promote football and make money for the broadcasters and their advertisers" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/25). Meanwhile, in Denver, Dusty Saunders writes under the header, "Schlereth A Voice Of Reason In NFL Debate." ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth "regularly combines his football background with a bit of sensible commentary about happenings on and off the field." Saunders: "You might not agree with Schlereth. But he can make you think." Schlereth's "major point" about the NFL's enforcement of illegal hits is that the move is "simplistic." He is "anything but a mouthpiece for the league, referring to it last week as the NHL -- the National Hypocrite League" -- and his "future comments on the controversy should be worth noting" (DENVER POST, 10/25).

SOME BAD, SOME GOOD: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote CBS analyst Steve Beuerlein "could not have been more annoying with his wrongheaded and pompous pronouncements" during Bills-Ravens yesterday. The Ravens "came out throwing" when they trailed 17-3 in the first half, and Beuerlein said, "I don't get what the Ravens are thinking at this point." But the "next play was a big pass play down the field that got the Ravens going." Beuerlein "had another blowhard moment late in the third quarter" when he said he did not believe Ravens TE Todd Heap "should be playing for medical reasons" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 10/24). Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley wrote there "aren't any NFL game analysts more alert and nimble than" NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth, and "none is smoother." Collinsworth replaced John Madden in the NBC booth beginning last season, and he has "excelled in all the roles given him." Wolfley: "In time his voice will come to be associated with big games, just as Madden's was" (JSONLINE.com, 10/24).

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