SBD/September 19, 2011/Media

Eagles-Falcons "SNF" Up 3.3% From '10, Tops Primetime Emmy Awards




NBC led all NFL Week Two game windows yesterday with a 15.7 overnight Nielsen rating for the Eagles-Falcons “SNF” matchup, up 3.3% from a 15.2 rating for Giants-Colts last year. NBC won the night among all nets, with “SNF” topping the Primetime Emmy Awards on Fox (9.4 overnight). The Emmys were down 7% from a 10.1 on NBC last year, when the telecast aired during the NFL preseason. Last night’s game peaked at a 17.0 rating from 9:30-10:00pm ET, despite the game coming down to the final play. Atlanta led all markets with a 33.6 local rating, while Philadelphia ranked second with a 33.5 rating. CBS earned a 15.1 overnight for its first national window of the season, which featured Chargers-Patriots in 74% of markets. That figure is down 9.6% from the window featuring Patriots-Jets last year. CBS also saw its regional window overnight down 10.7%. Fox' singleheader earned a 13.6 overnight, up 10.6% (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). SI's Peter King writes the NFL is "already four-for-five on ridiculously compelling national TV games," and Eagles-Falcons last night "was at least interesting" (, 9/19).

'11 GAME
'10 GAME
% +/-
Chargers-Patriots (74%)
Patriots-Jets (81%)

PARDON THE INTERRUPTION: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes San Diego "kicked Oakland to the curb in the" L.A. TV market Sunday. Raiders' viewers "who already invested three hours into watching their team take a 35-31 lead at Buffalo with 27 seconds left" saw a scroll come across the screen on the KCBS coverage that said the game was switching over to the Chargers-Patriots contest due to "contractual obligations." Hoffarth writes the "NFL-less Los Angeles is a secondary TV market to the neighbors to the south, the San Diego Chargers -- meaning, we are force-fed Chargers games under league guidelines." NFL Dir of Corporate Communications Dan Masonson said, "Los Angeles is a secondary market for the Chargers. All secondary markets must carry in their entirety all road games of their local team" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/19). Although "KCBS aired a warning," the move "caused widespread anger and frustration among local viewers" (, 9/18).

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote Fox NFL analyst Brian Billick "has made a smooth transition into broadcasting, where he has learned that quality of analysis trumps quantity." Horn noted Billick "doubles as a studio analyst for NFL Network, where, like all ex-coaches, he could go on and on and on talking X's and O's." Billick said, "You can be very technical as an analyst or you can keep it succinct and hopefully make the game a more enjoyable experience for viewers. That's my goal" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/17). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones asked former Buccaneers S John Lynch if his transition to being a Fox NFL analyst was harder than he thought it would be. Lynch: "Much harder. My first time up in the booth, I wasn't sure what to look at. Do I look at the field? Do I look at the monitor? ... You have 14, 15 seconds to make a strong point, talk about what just happened or what is about to happen. You have to be concise because the next play is starting." Lynch said, "On Monday, I get the game film from the teams I'm going to call the next week, and I study those. ... Then we arrive in the town of the game we're calling on Friday, go to practice, talk to people there." He added, "I probably look at more game film now than when I was a player" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/18).

DRINK AND BE MERRY: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote about Patriots QB Tom Brady's call for fans to start drinking early and noted there is a better chance of NFL Properties "selling T-shirts emblazoned" with Brady's words instead of the network pregame shows "taking Brady to task for his brilliant commentary." The extra hour on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" allows more time "for one of its cast of thousands to blast Brady and comment on the league's laissez-faire attitude when it comes to fans boozing." But Raissman wrote, "That won't happen. Every precious second is needed for over-analysis and contrived debate" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/18). ESPN's Mike Reiss yesterday on "Countdown" made reference to Brady's comments while reporting from Foxboro in advance of Chargers-Patriots, but the none of the pregame shows dedicated any time to the issue (THE DAILY). Brady this morning said, "I hope there was nobody that was drinking irresponsibly. I tried to make a very subtle joke, but for a guy who doesn’t drink, it gets a lot of attention. I think that I won’t joke like that anymore. That wasn’t the best thing for me to say and I won’t ever say that again” (, 9/19).

TONE IT DOWN: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote CBS analysts used to spend most of the hour of the net's "The NFL Today" pregame show "laughing hysterically over things that weren't funny." Now it is the "Fox NFL Sunday" pregame show that "has turned into a bad Dean Martin roast." The first 10 minutes of Sunday's show "were unwatchable because of all the horsing around." And "opening with the Simon Cowell voice-over talking about NFL players having the 'X Factor' was the type of shameless self-promotion that would get ESPN killed" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/18). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote several "readers have noted that NBC's Sunday NFL telecast used to open with a lot of noise, color and a full-screen graphic carrying Ebersol's name, as if he were the star of the show, followed by production credits that only seemed to excuse/justify the appearance of Ebersol's name." Mushnick noted, "Last Sunday's NBC NFL opener, sans Ebersol? No opening credits at all" (N.Y. POST, 9/18). Syndicated columnist Norman Chad writes, "What I don't understand, I guess, is why ESPN needs to employ 26 -- 26! -- ex-NFL players and coaches to chatter." Chad: "Uh, 26? If it were up to me, I'd just bring in Artie Donovan and call it a day. ... ESPN's table of NFL analysts is so large, it could fill an NFL roster. In fact, it strikes me that ESPN is the NFL's de facto 33rd franchise, except it never loses and there are no luxury boxes in Bristol" (Mult., 9/19).

HANDHELD FOOTBALL: USA TODAY's Marc Saltzman gives the official NFL iPad app a 2.5 rating out of 4 rating. Saltzman notes, "While there's room for a lot more content, and interactivity, this lean app should serve as a handy companion for the 2011 football season -- and benefits from a real-time play-by-play summary for every game." Saltzman adds, "The best part of the app is the play-by-play summaries -- for live or completed games. ... The app could use more video and photos, live radio streaming, detailed player profiles and perhaps a fantasy football game. The app developer says to 'stay tuned for updates'" (USA TODAY, 9/19).

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