SBD/Issue 37/Sports Media

ESPN's "MNF" Overnight Up From '09, But Below World Series Clincher

Texans-Colts "MNF" Up Slightly From
Falcons-Saints In Week Eight Last Year

ESPN earned an 8.6 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Texans-Colts "MNF" telecast from 8:30-11:45pm ET, up slightly from an 8.5 overnight for Falcons-Saints on "MNF" in Week Eight last year. The game aired up against the World Series Game Four last night, which earned a 10.6 overnight on Fox for the Giants clincher against the Rangers. In Houston, "MNF" earned a 15.7 local rating on ESPN and a 6.4 rating on KIAH-CW, while in Indianapolis, the game earned a 25.5 rating on ESPN and an 18.1 rating on WNDY-MYT (THE DAILY).

ALL-SAINTS DAY: NBC earned a 10.7 rating and 18.1 million viewers for the Steelers-Saints "SNF" matchup from 8:31-11:21pm ET, ranking as Sunday's most-watched primetime program for the eighth straight week. "SNF" went head-to-head with Fox' coverage of Giants-Rangers World Series Game Four, which drew 15.5 million viewers. There is no year-over-year comparison for Steelers-Saints, as the previous four years of "SNF" had no game scheduled up against the World Series. Through eight weeks, NBC is averaging a 13.0 rating and 21.527 million viewers, up 12.1% and 12.6%, respectively, from a 11.6 rating and 19.117 million viewers through seven weeks last season (THE DAILY). In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Fox won in just 12 of the 56 Nielsen metered markets (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/2). YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Chase wrote the "easy explanation for the numbers is that which has been clear for the better part of a quarter-century: Football is much more popular than baseball" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/1). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote the numbers were "close, but a slight victory for the NFL, which sort of puts things in perspective." Jones: "Think about it: a regular-season NFL game outdrew a World Series game" (TAMPABAY.com, 11/1).

TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED PROGRAMS FROM SUNDAY IN PRIMETIME
RK
NET
PROGRAM
START (ET)
VIEWERS (000)
1
NBC
"SNF": Steelers-Saints
8:31pm
18,106
2
Fox
World Series: Giants-Rangers: Game Four
8:18pm
15,537
3
ABC
"Desperate Housewives"
9:00pm
11,096
4
CBS
"60 Minutes"
7:00pm
10,672
5
CBS
"Undercover Boss"
9:00pm
10,736

I LOVE COLLEGE: In Jacksonville, Jeff Elliott reports WTEV-CBS earned a "season-best" 31.5 local rating for Saturday's Florida-Georgia football game, which was played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The rating is the "highest local rating for a Georgia-Florida game dating to 2003." The mark equates to 235,000 HHs in the Jacksonville market. Comparatively, Sunday's Jaguars-Cowboys game on WTEV drew just a 23.7 local rating, the "second-lowest rating for a Jaguars game this year" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 11/2).

NO HOLDS BARRED: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes NBC's "Football Night in America" Sunday focused on Jets P Steve Weatherford's decision to "fake a punt on fourth-and-18 from the Jets' 20" during their game against the Packers. NBC studio analyst Tony Dungy "not only questioned the decision, he accused" Jets coach Rex Ryan, "a player's coach, of scapegoating Weatherford." NBC host Dan Patrick said, "I don't know if Rex Ryan threw his punter under the bus completely -- maybe an arm or leg or two." Dungy: "Well, he did. And he should have gone under the bus with him because that's the coach's fault and the punter's fault. You got to punt the ball on fourth-and-18." Raissman notes Dungy "has a history with Ryan, having criticized the coach for daring to cuss" on HBO's "Hard Knocks." But this "probably was more about Dungy's evolution as a TV personality" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/2).

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