SBD/January 3, 2011/Media

Fox Nat'l Window Earns 16.3 Overnight; "SNF" Finale Best Since '02

Fox led all NFL Week 17 overnights with a 16.3 overnight Nielsen rating for the net's national window yesterday, which featured the Packers' defeat of the Bears to clinch the final NFC Wild Card spot. That rating is up slightly from the net's national window last year in Week 17, which featured Eagles-Cowboys. The net also saw a 6.8% jump in the overnights for its regional coverage. For the '10 season to date, Fox averaged a 13.2 overnight rating, marking the net's best metered-market average since '97. When final ratings are released tomorrow, Fox will likely have its most-viewed NFL season in the net's history, passing the mark set last season. NBC earned a 12.6 overnight for its Rams-Seahawks "SNF" regular-season finale last night, marking the NFL's best season-ending game overnight since Vikings-Ravens on ABC in '02 earned a 13.4 rating. The Seahawks' win, which clinched the NFC West championship, is up 10.5% from an 11.4 overnight for Bengals-Jets in Week 17 last year. "SNF" was the top-rated show for the night, giving NBC a 17th straight week in which its primetime NFL game beat out the competition. The game earned a 38.7 local rating in St. Louis and a 35.4 rating in Seattle-Tacoma. CBS' broadcast of Titans-Colts in the national window was down 8.9% from the same window last year, which featured Steelers-Dolphins (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK 17 SUNDAY OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET
'10 GAME
RAT.
'09 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(regional)
12.5
(regional)
11.7
6.8%
CBS
(regional)
9.5
(regional)
9.5
0.0%
Fox
Packers-Bears (56%)
16.5
Eagles-Cowboys (79%)
16.3
1.2%
CBS
Titans-Colts (71%)
11.2
Steelers-Dolphins (70%)
12.3
-8.9%
NBC
Rams-Seahawks
12.6
Bengals-Jets
11.4
10.5%
 
 
 
 
 
 

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL: In Baltimore, David Zurawik reported CBS yesterday "missed at least two plays" during the Bengals-Ravens game because it was "running promotional messages for sitcoms and dramas instead of covering the game." For a network "charging the kind of money CBS is for ad time not to deliver on the rock-bottom, hard-core, basic end of its contract, which is to show viewers the game, is outrageous." Each time CBS missed a play, announcer Kevin Harlan "downplayed the network transgression -- as if it didn't matter that viewers missed the play." Zurawik: "Really, there is no discussion and no excuse: You tune into a game, you should be at the very least able to see every play, no?" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 1/2).

SEIZE THE DAY: FANHOUSE.com's Milton Kent wrote the rating for the Vikings-Eagles game last Tuesday suggests that the "groundwork could be laid for even more football." The game, postponed from its scheduled "SNF" time frame due to inclement weather in Philadelphia, "scored higher than any program to air on a Tuesday all season," including the season finale of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" in November. The league "could create a Tuesday night deal that would have interest for broadcast or cable entities," though "adjustments would have to be made to make a regular Tuesday series work, since it would cut into the existing work week" (FANHOUSE.com, 12/30). In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote after Tuesday's game, Versus may be "salivating to spend billions of dollars" to air NFL games. NBC could keep its "SNF" package, while ESPN could keep "MNF" and "add half a season of 'Thursday Night Football' to complement the NFL Network's schedule." That might "satisfy contractual obligations between the league and the network," and thus allow Versus to "add a Tuesday night game." Horn: "Oversaturation? Maybe. But there appears no end to America's hunger for NFL football" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/1). In New Jersey, Vinny DiTrani noted NFL owners "need to find new ways to create revenue if there is to be no lockout," and more primetime games "certainly would be a way of doing that." DiTrani: "Let's face it, right now an NFL game played at 1 o'clock on a Wednesday morning will draw a good rating" (Bergen RECORD, 1/2).

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