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SBD/September 11, 2012/Media
ESPN Sees Mixed Bag For "MNF" Openers; Berman's Debut In Booth Draws Criticism
Published September 11, 2012
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BOOMER OR BUST: ESPN's Chris Berman made his NFL regular-season play-by-play debut during Chargers-Raiders last night alongside analyst Trent Dilfer, and the reaction on Twitter was less than complimentary. Yahoo Sports Radio's Steve Czaban wrote, "A league happy to use scab refs, a network happy to throw Berman in the booth. Perfect." The K.C. Star's Kent Babb wrote, "Listening to this game with Chris Berman doing play-by-play ought to be fun. Good, clean fun, like driving nails into my nostrils." Rotowire's Jeff Erickson wrote, "This is hardly a new revelation, but Chris Berman cares more about his schtick than doing a competent job covering this game." The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant wrote, "Holy moly, the Raiders are a disaster. They are not, however, as much of a disaster as Berman on the stick." Sirius XM Radio's Eddie Borsilli wrote, "There are no words for what's happening in this game. But I could do without Berman and his stupid comments. Go circle the wagons." The Louisville Courier-Journal's Tim Sullivan wrote, "First Chris Berman, then Stuart Scott, and me without a mute button. Oh, the price we pay to watch pro football." CBSSports.com's Will Brinson wrote, "Not often watching football feels like a chore. 1AM + Boomer + … this is one of those times." However, USA Today's Nate Davis wrote, "The ancient Raider references aside, I actually thought Berman was pretty good and fairly understated tonight. But big props to Dilfer."
NBC TIES A RECORD: NBC earned a 16.5 final Nielsen rating for its telecast of Steelers-Broncos Sunday night, making it the highest-rated "SNF" ever and tying the Vikings-Saints NFL Kickoff in '10 as the highest-rated regular-season NFL game on the net. Sunday night's game drew 27.57 million viewers, less than 1% below NBC's record of 27.62 million viewers for last year's Cowboys-Giants game in Week 17 (NBC).
TUNING IN: In Houston, David Barron noted the Dolphins-Texans game Sunday “generated a 22.2 Nielsen rating with a 44 share” on KHOU-CBS, and that number “equates to an average audience of 485,127 households.” Barron: “In the old days, a 22.2 rating would be cause for celebration. Now, it’s below average. It’s lower than all but four regular-season ratings last year.” Last season’s Colts-Texans home opener earned a 24.4 rating. Barron wrote he would “expect better numbers as the season wears on.” Meanwhile, the Astros’ win over the Reds “generated the lowest rating, as far as can be determined, in the history of the team’s presence on Fox Sports Houston and its predecessor networks.” It generated a 0.05 rating, which “means it was viewed by an average audience of 1,092 households” (CHRON.com, 9/10). Nielsen reported 19.3% of HHs in the St. Louis market tuned into the Rams-Lions game Sunday. In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes that marks the “lowest-rated Rams opener in three seasons, after they drew a 22.5 figure last year and a 26.0 number in 2010” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/11).
TEBOW TIME: SPORTS ON EARTH’s Will Leitch wrote he “couldn’t find a single human being” who thought ESPN’s coverage of Jets QB Tim Tebow “wasn’t profoundly embarrassing for everyone involved.” But to “blame this entirely on ESPN is to miss the point.” The Tebow media coverage during the Bills-Jets game Sunday “was another example of ESPN’s chicken-or-egg influence on the sports media world.” Leitch: “Were we there because Tebow on the Jets was such a big story? Or were we there because ESPN told us it was such a big story? Or did ESPN not think it was a big story, but felt obliged to treat it as one because they thought we all did?” (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 9/10).