SBD/January 18, 2011/Media

Jets' Upset Of Patriots The Most-Viewed Divisional Game Since At Least '87

Jets-Pats rating up 20% from comparable Jets-Chargers game last year

CBS earned a 24.2 fast-national Nielsen rating and 43.5 million viewers for Sunday's Jets-Patriots AFC Divisional playoff game, which marks the highest-rated NFL Divisional game on any net since Cowboys-Panthers earned a 27.6 rating on Fox in '97. The audience for Jets-Patriots also projects to be the most-viewed Divisional game on any net dating back to at least '87, which is as far back as CBS records go. Compared to last year's Jets-Chargers matchup on CBS, Jets-Patriots is up 20.4% and 22.1%, respectively. CBS earned a 19.4 rating and 34.0 million viewers for Ravens-Steelers in the early Saturday window, marking the highest-rated Saturday Divisional game since Fox' Packers-49ers earned a 22.2 rating in '96. Ravens-Steelers also marks the best viewership for any Saturday Divisional game since the net earned the same figure for Vikings-49ers in '88. CBS' two games averaged 38.5 million viewers, marking the best Divisional playoff weekend audience ever for any net (THE DAILY). On Long Island, Neil Best notes Boston "led the 56 measured individual markets" for Jets-Patriots with a 47.8 local rating for the game, while N.Y. ranked 11th with a 30.4 rating. Best: "Both extraordinary numbers for football in those baseball-centric cities" (NEWSDAY, 1/18). DAILY VARIETY's Rick Kissell noted the "final portion" of Jets-Patriots was the peak of the broadcast with an average of 52.3 million viewers from 7:30-7:48pm ET. Meanwhile, NBC's telecast of the "Golden Globe Awards" on Sunday was "no match for the Jets-Patriots game," but "excluding the Academy Awards on ABC last March, the Globes matched the best nonsports 18-49 score for any network in the Sunday time period since last year's Golden Globes" (VARIETY.com, 1/17).

SOLDIER ON: Fox earned a 19.1 rating and 32.5 million viewers for Sunday's Seahawks-Bears NFC Divisional game, down 13.2% and 13.7%, respectively, from the comparable Cowboys-Vikings game last year. Saturday's Packers-Falcons primetime game earned Fox a 17.0 rating and 30.8 million viewers, marking the net's most-viewed Divisional game since the '96 Packers-49ers game. The Packers-Falcons telecast is up 5.6% and 10.4%, respectively, from the net's afternoon Cardinals-Saints matchup last year. It is flat in rating compared to CBS' Ravens-Colts primetime Divisional game last year, but up slightly in viewership. Fox through three playoff telecasts is averaging a 19.4 rating (34.1 million viewers), up 1% from a 19.2 rating (33.3 million viewers) through the same point last year (THE DAILY).

'11 NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAMES
DAY
WINDOW
(ET)
NET
MATCHUP
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
Sat.
4:30pm
CBS
Ravens-Steelers
19.4
34,000
Sat.
8:15pm
Fox
Packers-Falcons
17.0
30,800
Sun.
1:00pm
Fox
Seahawks-Bears
19.1
32,500
Sun.
4:30pm
CBS
Jets-Patriots
24.2
43,500
'10 NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAMES
DAY
WINDOW
(ET)
NET
MATCHUP
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
Sat.
4:30pm
Fox
Cardinals-Saints
16.1
27,910
Sat.
8:15pm
CBS
Ravens-Colts
17.0
30,569
Sun.
1:00pm
Fox
Cowboys-Vikings
22.0
37,669
Sun.
4:30pm
CBS
Jets-Chargers
20.1
35,627







NOT COACH KILLERS
: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes it was "too much to expect Phil Simms and Jim Nantz to de-hoodie" Patriots coach Bill Belichick during the Jets-Patriots telecast. Simms and Nantz "could have mashed him for running the ball, killing most of the fourth quarter," or "for a failed fake punt late in the second quarter." They also could not "bring themselves to say" that Belichick was "thoroughly out-coached" by Jets coach Rex Ryan. Raissman writes Simms and Nantz have "never been known to take the sledgehammer approach," as they are "not coach-killers." Raissman: "Not everyone is as direct and pointed as Cris Collinsworth. ... A difference in approach and a high level of respect for Belichick probably makes Simms think twice before trashing the Pats' coach" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/18).

MOTIVATIONAL PLOY: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones noted ESPN analyst Tom Jackson during "Sunday NFL Countdown" picked the Patriots to beat the Jets 30-10 because he was "trying to fire up the Jets." Jackson yesterday on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" said, "I wanted to further fuel them in a little cement -- cement them in that bunker mentality of 'us against the world.'" He added that he was "playing a 'psychological game' and that his prediction was 'premeditated.'" Jones wrote, "Since when [is it] the job of an analyst on an ESPN pregame show to fire up an NFL team? Why should Jackson care if the Jets win, lose, get blown out, or have their bus break down on the way [to] the game?" Jackson is a "seasoned pro and should have known better." Jones: "He crossed a serious line Sunday" (TAMPABAY.com, 1/17).

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