SBD/Issue 46/Sports Media

NFL Week 10: Fox Earns Season-Best Overnight With Cowboys-Giants

Fox earned a 17.6 overnight Nielsen rating for its NFL national window yesterday, which featured Cowboys interim coach Jason Garrett making his debut with the team against Giants. The rating is the net's best NFL overnight for the '10 season and highest since the same matchup in Week 13 last year. The 17.6 figure is up 4.1% from a 16.9 overnight for the Fox' national window in Week 10 last year, which featured Cowboys-Packers. The 50-minute runover into primetime for the late window also helped Fox to a second-place finish among all nets last night. The net earned an 8.9 overnight for its early window, down 2.2% from '09. NBC earned a 14.2 overnight rating for its Patriots-Steelers "SNF" telecast last night from 8:30-11:30pm ET, down 6% from a 15.1 overnight for Patriots-Colts in Week 10 last year. "SNF" was the No. 1 program on Sunday night for the 10th straight week, and marked the fourth-best "SNF" overnight of the season. The rating peaked at a 15.5 from 9:30-10:00pm just before halftime. The telecast earned a 49.2 local rating in Pittsburgh and a 37.0 rating in Boston. CBS saw year-over-year gains for coverage in the singleheader window, up 4.5% from '09 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

% +/-
Cowboys-Giants (83%)
Cowboys-Packers (85%)

HIGH PRAISE: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes "almost every word" CBS analyst Phil Simms spoke during yesterday's Jets-Browns game was "applicable to the next play, especially about how the Browns were trying to use the Jets' aggressive defense to their advantage early in the game." Mushnick: "Simms made us wiser, had us watch things off the ball, out of the corners of both eyes." Fox' Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, who called Cowboys-Giants, "should do what Simms does: Wait for replays; don't present guesses as facts" (N.Y. POST, 11/15).

NO CONFLICT: In Dallas, Barry Horn noted Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg is friends with interim coach Jason Garrett, and now Laufenberg "will have to analyze" Garrett's work. But Laufenberg said that he will not "give the coach any breaks." Laufenberg: "If the Cowboys are bad, he is as cognizant of it as anyone. And he knows my job is to report. We've never discussed it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/13).

NFL Network Draws 5 Million Viewers For
Thursday Night's Ravens-Falcons Game

THURSDAY NIGHT RECORD: NFL Network drew 5.0 million viewers for Ravens-Falcons "Thursday Night Football," not including over-the-air networks in Baltimore and Atlanta, topping last year's Bears-49ers Thursday night opener by 28%. Ravens-Falcons ranked as the most-watched season-opener in five seasons of "Thursday Night Football" (NFL Network). In Baltimore, David Zurawik reported the game drew 429,000 HHs in the market. Of that total, 330,000 were tuned to WBAL-NBC, while the remainder watched on NFL Network (, 11/12). In Albany, Pete Dougherty wrote the "bigger question" is, "How big an audience would the game attract if NFL Network were more widely distributed? It still isn't part of Time Warner" (, 11/12).

TALKING IN CIRCLES: Syndicated columnist Norman Chad writes, "NFL Network does many things I love. Tragically, its presentation of NFL games is not one of them. And this year, NFL Network has undertaken a social experiment of potentially apocalyptic consequences: It has created a three-man booth, two of the men being Matt Millen and Joe Theismann, which means, in effect, a 4 1/2-man booth. Putting Millen and Theismann in the same booth is like putting sugar and honey in your green tea." Millen and Theismann "talk in so many circles, they ought to be broadcasting from a Ferris wheel." They "say too much to say too little" (Mult., 11/15). 

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