SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Media

CBS' Jets-Pats Earns Best NFL Divisional Overnight Since '97

Jets-Pats tops weekend NFL Divisional games with 26.2 overnight

CBS earned a 26.2 overnight Nielsen rating for yesterday's Jets-Patriots AFC Divisional game, marking the best NFL Divisional Playoff overnight since Cowboys-Panthers earned a 28.5 overnight on Fox in '97. Jets-Patriots is also up 13.4% from the comparable Jets-Chargers game last year. The net also earned a 20.9 overnight on Saturday for the Ravens-Steelers AFC Divisional game, marking the best Saturday AFC Divisional game in 17 years, dating back to Raiders-Bills on NBC in '94 (23.9 overnight). Compared to the net's primetime Ravens-Colts AFC Saturday Divisional game last year, Ravens-Steelers is up 11.8%. The game is up 16.8% from Cardinals-Saints on Fox in the same time slot last year. Ravens-Steelers earned a 54.0 local rating in Pittsburgh and a 48.7 rating in Baltimore. Fox earned a 20.7 overnight for yesterday's Seahawks-Bears NFC Divisonal game, down 13.4% from a 23.9 overnight for Cowboys-Vikings last year. The telecast earned a 43.2 local rating in Chicago and a 38.2 rating in Seattle-Tacoma. The net also earned an 18.1 for the Packers' blowout of the Falcons on Saturday night, marking Fox' best overnight ever for a primetime NFC Divisional Game and best Saturday Divisional game in either window in three years. The telecast also gave Fox a win among all nets in primetime. The Packers-Falcons game is up 1.1% from the net's Cardinals-Saints telecast in the afternoon slot last year, but down 3.2% from the comparable Ravens-Colts telecast in primetime a year ago. The game earned a 51.0 local rating in Milwaukee and a 35.8 rating in Atlanta (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Philiana Ng wrote TV on Saturday was "dominated, once again, by playoff football" (, 1/16). In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes a "crystal ball isn't needed to predict what will happen" ratings-wise for Fox' coverage of Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6. The game "will produce the largest audience in the history of the hyped event" (DENVER POST, 1/17).

'11 GAME
'10 GAME

HYPE IT UP: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes under the header, "AFC Matchup Might Bring Smiles At CBS." With the Jets-Steelers AFC Championship "in Sunday's marquee late-game time slot, getting a lead-in from Fox's Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears game, CBS has a shot at producing its best AFC title-game rating ... since it reacquired the NFL in 1998." CBS' current record is a 26.6 rating for Jets-Broncos in '99 (USA TODAY, 1/17). Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Don Walker wrote, "Whenever the Green Bay Packers are in the playoffs, the suits in the National Football League and their TV partners smile. ... It's because the Packers, one of the most storied franchises in sports, are a story line that never gets old." Fox Sports Media Group co-President & COO Eric Shanks: "I think there are really special stories about it. How many offices do you walk into around the country that have a framed share of the Green Bay Packers? That is a real special story. That's a connection. Then there are the spectacular pictures of Lambeau Field on television that piques people's interest." Walker noted "three times this season, the Packers played a game in which more than 25 million viewers nationwide tuned in" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/15).

ROUGH OUTING: In Baltimore, David Zurawik reviewed CBS' coverage of Saturday's Ravens-Steelers game under the header, "Dierdorf + Gumbel = Viewing Misery." He wrote of announcer Greg Gumbel and analyst Dan Dierdorf's interview with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger after the game, "On bended knee barely starts to describe how worshipful they were." Zurawik: "As angry as I am about the whole telecast, in fairness, I can't slam Gumbel too hard. He is a better than average network play-by-play guy. Because Dierdorf is such a gasbag, Gumbel has to be the one in the booth noting trends and patterns and constantly reminding Dierdorf of facts he forgot" (, 1/15). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Dierdorf "blew hard after every play, often making sure to say at least twice what wasn't needed once, and just as often speaking useless 'Make no mistake about it' declaratives that often ended with useless superlatives" (N.Y. POST, 1/17). Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes viewers "should not be subjected to out-and-out rooting from analysts." CBS analyst and former Ravens TE Shannon Sharpe at the end of the network's halftime show during Ravens-Steelers "yelled out for the Ravens to hang in there and that they had only 30 minutes to go to beat the Steelers." It "got worse after the game when Sharpe not once, but twice griped about the officiating" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/17).

WELL PLAYED: The ST. PETE TIMES' Jones wrote it was a "good move by Fox to put NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira in the booth for both of the network's weekend games and yet not force him into the broadcast." Pereira "correctly anticipated that a call in the Packers-Falcons game would be reversed and it was" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/17).'s Peter King writes, "I like TV guys who say what they really feel. Like Terry Bradshaw on Rex Ryan: 'I wouldn't want to play for Rex Ryan. I don't like guys like that.'" King also writes ESPN's Trent Dilfer "was on fire Saturday night." King: "I mean, very good. On the vet Ravens wideouts not catching easy balls to catch: 'This is about guys with big mouths, big contracts, big expectations not making the plays'" (, 1/17).

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote former Browns coach Eric Mangini was "stunning" in his guest appearance on ESPN's "NFL Live" on Friday. His analysis was "not over-the-top with jargon," and the "fact he's fresh off the field left the impression viewers were getting relevant insight, not warmed over stuff from another over-the-hill mouth." Mangini "didn't smile much but had plenty to say." He also was "smart enough to hold back and not interrupt his partners" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16). In St. Pete, Jones writes of Mangini, "Anyone else surprised at just how good he was? ... You wouldn't guess that Mangini would make a good TV analyst because he doesn't seem to have a dynamic or charismatic personality. But Mangini was really good." He "isn't prone to hyperbole," and he "makes quick, thought-provoking points and speaks with confidence." Jones: "Keep an eye on him because he could turn into one heck of a broadcaster" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/17).

TELL IT LIKE IT IS:'s King writes he has "one quibble with the FOX-NFL marketing campaign for the Jan. 30 Pro Bowl, with the 'Super Bowl week kicks off with the Pro Bowl' marketing thing." King: "I know FOX has to do it because of the broadcast contract with the NFL, but we're not buying it, FOX. Nobody cares about the Pro Bowl. It might get some ratings, because of general week-before-the-Super-Bowl boredom, but the game ... meaningless" (, 1/17).

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