SBD/Issue 36/Sports Media

NFL Week Eight: NBC's "SNF" Beats World Series Head-To-Head

NBC earned an 11.8 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Steelers-Saints "SNF" matchup, which beat out the 10.4 overnight last night for Fox' Giants-Rangers World Series Game Four. NBC did not air "SNF" up against the World Series in previous years. Steelers-Saints marks the second-lowest "SNF" overnight of the season, behind only Eagles-49ers from Week Six. The game earned a 48.7 local rating in New Orleans and a 52.2 rating in Pittsburgh, while peaking at a 13.1 rating from 9:30-10:00pm ET. Despite the head-to-head win against the World Series, NBC finished second for the night in primetime, as Fox used a 45-minute overrun from its NFL national window, which featured Vikings-Patriots, to earn the win among all nets. The national window itself earned a 17.0 overnight, down 7.1% from an 18.3 overnight last year, when Fox featured Vikings-Packers. That game marked Vikings QB Brett Favre's first time back at Lambeau Field since he left the Packers prior to the '08 season. The telecast also led into Yankees-Phillies Game Four last year. Each of the other NFL game windows yesterday also saw declines, as Fox' regional coverage was off 11.1% and CBS' singleheader was down 5% (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK EIGHT: SUNDAY OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET
'10 TELECAST
RAT.
'09 TELECAST
RAT.
% +/-
CBS
(single)
9.5
(single)
10.0
-5.0%
Fox
(regional)
10.4
(regional)
11.7
-11.1%
Fox
Vikings-Patriots (89%)
17.0
Vikings-Packers (91%)
18.3
-7.1%
NBC
Steelers-Saints
11.8
n/a
n/a
n/a


SETTING THE STAGE FROM THE SET
: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote NBC's "Football Night in America" is "in an awkward spot" with its 7:00pm ET start time. It "seems like every week" the beginning of the show is "up against an exciting conclusion of a 'late' tilt on Fox or CBS." Still, viewers should "attempt to watch the first 10 minutes of the show, each and every Sunday," as in that period, Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels "bring some original perspective to the party." The "sincere give-and-take" between Costas and Collinsworth is "what these types of shows should be more about" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/31). In Denver, Dusty Saunders notes CBS' "The NFL Today" yesterday featured a segment in which analyst Shannon Sharpe "invited youngsters, dressed as NFL personnel, to his Halloween house." Sharpe "provided a few funny bits" (DENVER POST, 11/1). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted the same ESPN NFL analysts who previously "swapped belly laughs during the remorseless, colossally ill-advised 'He Got Jacked Up!' feature" now "soberly address the concussion epidemic" (N.Y. POST, 10/31).

Fox Continues To Be Praised
For Hiring Of Pereira

EARNING GOOD GRADES: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley wrote Fox' decision to hire former NFL VP/Officiating Mike Pereira as a rules analyst "qualifies not only as a good one, but a great one ... given Pereira's contribution" to yesterday's Packers-Jets broadcast. Pereira was "brought into the Packers-Jets telecast twice to explain challenge situations, each time making the issues clear to viewers, and each time correctly predicting the outcome of the challenge." Pereira "has been doing this kind of work all season long in other games" (JSONLINE.com, 10/31). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Fox' Brian Billick's "know-it-all attitude helps make him a good broadcaster." Billick "knows his football, relays it well to the viewer, seems relaxed and has a quick, dry sense of humor as well" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/1).

HAPPY IN THE BOOTH: ESPN "MNF" analyst Jon Gruden said the role has been "fun" for him. Gruden: "It's still football. I love football, man. ... It's 'Monday Night Football.' The venues are always great and the crowds are intense. We always seem to have good matchups. ... Plus I get to work with some good people. Mike Tirico is a great guy and Ron (Jaworski) is a pleasure to work with" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/31).

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy notes NFL Network's "Sound FX" captured the moment when Giants LB Michael Boley last week "drove a miked-up" Cowboys QB Tony Romo "into the turf, breaking his collarbone." Romo "screams in pain." As a trainer examines him, viewers hear Romo ask, "Did he catch the pass?" (USA TODAY, 11/1).

AMERICAN MADE: USA TODAY's McCarthy also notes NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen "took offense" to Fox touting Vikings-Patriots as "America's Game of the Week." Eisen tweeted Sunday: "Does that mean all other games are un-American?" (USA TODAY, 11/1).

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