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NFL Network earned a 6.3 overnight for the Bears-Packers “Thursday Night Football” opener, marking the net’s best overnight to date. The previous record was a 6.0 overnight for 49ers-Ravens on Thanksgiving night last season. The net’s other previous top telecasts were Cowboys-Saints in ’09 (5.9 overnight) and Packers-Cowboys in ’07 (5.5 overnight). Milwaukee topped all markets with a 54.3 local rating for the Bears-Packers matchup, while Chicago finished second with a 32.6. The top five was rounded out by Richmond (10.8), New Orleans (9.9) and Denver (9.8). The telecast peaked at a 7.2 rating from 9:45-10:00pm ET (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
WEEK ONE ROUNDUP: In Miami, Barry Jackson writes “never in at least the past decade -- probably much longer -- has a season-opening Dolphins game generated a local television rating nearly as small as the shockingly low” 13.5 local rating in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market for the team’s matchup against the Texans. The Dolphins averaged a 17.7 local rating last season, and the 13.5 rating marked “by far the worst rating for any NFL market’s home team on opening weekend.” The Dolphins had “averaged a 20.2 rating for their previous 10 openers” (MIAMI HERALD, 9/14)....In DC, Dan Steinberg noted WTTG-Fox earned a 24.5 local rating in the DC market for the Redskins-Saints game in its early NFL window last Sunday, “down significantly” from a 30.8 rating for the team’s opener against the Giants last year, which aired in the national window (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/12).
TCU Thursday became the latest Big 12 school to sign a multiyear deal with Fox Sports for the school's third-tier TV rights. FS Southwest and other Fox RSNs will air TCU-related content, including one football game, all available men's basketball games and agreed upon Olympic sports. The partnership officially began last week with TCU's football game against Grambling State. Fox Sports has signed similar deals with Oklahoma and Texas Tech (THE DAILY). In Ft. Worth, Stefan Stevenson cites reports as stating that Oklahoma State and West Virginia are "also working on deals" with FS Southwest, which would make it "potentially the de facto Big 12 network of sorts." FS Southwest Senior VP & GM Jon Heidtke said, "You could say we've definitely been bullish on the Big 12. Our mission statement is to be the preeminent regional sports network in our five-state territory. Adding these schools of this calilber ... certainly heads us in that direction." TCU AD Chris Del Conte said that the six-year deal between the school and FS Southwest includes "no immediate plans to create a weekly show for the network" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/14). Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said that the school's three-year deal with FS Southwest will include "game coverage and news magazine shows 'Red Raider Weekly' and 'Raider Power.'" He added that Texas Tech's staff is "currently equipped to be able to put together broadcasts for all its games and shows." However, Hocutt said, "You'd have to think there will be some growth in personnel in the years to come" (LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL, 9/14).
CBS News and Showtime Sports have announced an agreement that expands the "60 Minutes" brand to include a new sports news show titled "60 Minutes of Sports." The program will debut in November on Showtime and be co-executive produced by "60 Minutes" Exec Producer Jeff Fager and "60 Minutes" Exec Editor Bill Owens. Each month, "60 Minutes of Sports" will feature two original segments and one updated "60 Minutes" classic sports story from the program's archive. In addition, each broadcast will contain an interview with a sports newsmaker (Showtime). In N.Y., Brian Stelter noted CBS "already repurposes old stories from '60 Minutes' for themed editions on the cable channels VH1 and CNBC." But “60 Minutes of Sports” will "include new stories specifically for the Showtime audience." The new program "may be a sign of Showtime’s eagerness to challenge its bigger rival HBO in the category of sports." For many years HBO has "televised a monthly sports newsmagazine, 'Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.'" Showtime "already televises 'Inside the NFL' -- which began on HBO -- 'Inside NASCAR' and some mixed martial arts events" (NYTIMES.com, 9/13).
EA Sports late Thursday said it was indefinitely delaying the release of its basketball video game, "NBA Live 13," providing another setback for the troubled title. EA Sports is attempting to challenge the highly popular "NBA 2K" series from 2K Sports after two years away from the simulation basketball gaming market. But EA execs said Thursday their game was not yet ready. They did not say when it would be, what the current problems are, or address growing industry speculation "NBA Live 13" will eventually be released only as a digital-download title. "Many fans have been anticipating an early October launch, but our plan is to release at a later date," EA Sports said in a statement. "We will share more information in the future." EA Sports performed the same delay tactic two years ago with "NBA Elite 11," also beset with significant problems, before ultimately shelving the title altogether. Following that move, EA Sports committed an undisclosed eight-figure sum to shift development of its basketball game from its EA Canada studio outside Vancouver to its Tiburon facility in Orlando, build a new production team, sign a new licensing deal with the NBA, revert to the "NBA Live" brand name for the game and take two years building a new product. Following those moves, some optimism existed this past spring around the forthcoming "NBA Live 13." But over the summer, as further news of a cover athlete and other game features were expected, EA Sports instead stayed silent on the title. During that period, 2K Sports made several major announcements for "NBA 2K 13," including the enlistment of Jay-Z as Exec Producer and the signing of both the '92 and '12 U.S. men's Olympic basketball teams to be in the game. "NBA 2K 13" will be released on Oct. 2 (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
APPLES & ORANGES: EA Sports on Thursday released the first trailer for "NBA Live 13," and ESPN.com's Jon Robinson wrote that showed "why the game needs to be delayed." Robinson: "Watch the 'NBA Live 13' trailer, then watch the 'NBA 2K 13' video and tell me how these two games are even playing in the same league. Makes me wonder if 'NBA Live 13' will ever come out at all" (ESPN.com, 9/13).
PRE-ORDERS UP FOR SOCCER TITLE: EA Sports said Friday they have received more than 875,000 pre-orders for its upcoming soccer title, "FIFA Soccer 13," set to release Sept. 25 in North America. The pre-order total is up 37% in Europe and up 62% in North America compared to a similar point last year. An online demo of the game has been downloaded by 1.99 million people in 73 countries, up from 28% compared to last year's demo release (Fisher).
The Maloof Money Cup has cut a revenue-sharing agreement with a national theater company that will result in its South Africa skateboarding competition being shown in more than 600 theaters nationwide. National Cinemedia (NCM) will show a delayed broadcast of the Sept. 28-30 finals in vert, mini mega-ramp and street skateboarding competitions. Regal, AMC and Cinemark theaters nationwide will show Maloof Money Cup Oct. 2 at 7:30pm local time. Tickets will cost $12.50. Maloof Money Cup and NCM will share revenues. It is the first time a skateboarding competition has been shown in theaters rather than on TV. Maloof Money Cup aired on Fox last year, but it will not be on TV in the U.S. this year. NCM has broadcast FIFA World Cup matches and Wimbledon finals in theaters in 3D in the past. NCM Properties VP Jim Millman said, "We thought the visual nature of skateboarding might be cool on the big screen. It's the first time we've tried it, and we'll see if fans come out to see it. It's an experiment for us and them." Maloof Money Cup President Tim McFerran said that the event decided to forgo TV because of the decrease in TV viewership skateboarding contests had seen in recent years. McFerran said, "Quite honestly, the theater goers are more in line with our target demographic than some of the networks which broadcast action sports programming." Connecticut-based 21 Marketing worked with Maloof Money Cup and National Cinemedia on the deal.
CBS finished with a 2.4 rating for Andy Murray’s five-set win over Novak Djokovic in the men’s final of the U.S. Open on Monday. That figure is up from a 2.3 rating for Djokovic’s win over Rafael Nadal last year, which also aired on a Monday. The 2.4 also ties the Juan Martin del Potro-Roger Federer match in '09 for the best men’s final over the past five years, which have all ended on a Monday. The last men’s final to air on its normally-scheduled Sunday was Federer-Djokovic in ’07, which earned a 3.7 rating.FIVE-YEAR TREND FOR U.S. OPEN MEN'S FINAL ON CBSYEAR
MATCHUPRATING'12 Andy Murray-Novak Djokovic2.4'11 Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal2.3'10 Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic1.8'09 Juan Martin del Potro-Roger Federer2.4'08 Roger Federer-Andy Murray1.7
NOTES: Univision averaged 3.9 million viewers for the second leg of the Mexico-Costa Rica ’14 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night, marking the second-best soccer audience on U.S. television this year to date. The high for the year was the net’s Mexico-Colombia friendly on Feb. 29, which averaged 4.3 million viewers. The first leg on Sept. 7 averaged 2.6 million viewers on Telemundo….Comcast SportsNet Chicago earned a 4.44 local rating on Tuesday night for Tigers-White Sox, the second game in a key AL Central series. The figure marks the RSN’s best White Sox telecast in three years, dating back to a 4.52 rating for a game against the Royals on Aug. 18, 2009.
The charts below list final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts. All ratings listed are U.S. ratings.
TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "Sunday Night Football":
"NFL on Fox": 49ers-Packers (87%)9/9Fox4:15-7:30pm15.4n/a "NFL on CBS": (single)9/9CBS1:00-4:05pm9.0n/a "NFL on Fox": (regional)9/9Fox1:00-4:15pm8.0n/a "Football Night in America"9/9NBC7:30-8:15pm4.87,892 U.S. Open: Women's final: Serena
Williams d. Victoria Azarenka**9/9CBS4:00-7:00pm3.4n/a
NCAA Football: (regional)9/8ABC3:30-8:00pm3.34,709 NASCAR Sprint Cup: Federated
Auto Parts 400 (Richmond)*9/8ABC9:26pm-12:44am3.35,079
"Fox NFL Sunday"9/9Fox12:00-1:00pm3.3n/a NCAA Football: Nebraska-UCLA9/8Fox7:51-11:31pm2.84,300 "NASCAR Countdown"9/8ABC8:07-8:38pm2.53,758 "The NFL Today"9/9CBS12:00-1:00pm2.5n/a PGA Tour: FedExCup Playoffs:
BMW Championship: Final Round9/9NBC2:00-6:00pm2.53,600
U.S. Open: Men's final:
Andy Murray-Novak Djokovic**9/10CBS4:00-9:17pm2.4n/a
PGA Tour: FedExCup Playoffs:
BMW Championship: Third Round9/8NBC12:00-3:30pm1.6n/a
U.S. Open: Women's semifinals9/7CBS2:33-7:00pm1.3n/a '14 FIFA World Cup qualifier:
U.S. Open: Men's semifinals**9/8CBS12:00-5:13pm1.1n/a MLB: (regional)9/8Fox4:00-7:00pm1.1n/a "Golf Central Live"9/9NBC1:30-2:00pm0.4n/a "Road to the Ryder Cup"9/9NBC1:00-1:30pm0.3n/a TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) NCAA Football:
Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech9/3ESPN7:55-11:27pm2.84,306
NCAA Football: Georgia-Missouri9/8ESPN27:45-11:37pm2.44,119 NCAA Football: Washington-LSU9/8ESPN7:00-10:28pm1.82,883 "Sunday NFL Countdown"9/9ESPN10:00am-1:00pm1.82,499 NCAA Football:
NCAA Football: Pitt-Cincinnati9/6ESPN7:56-11:18pm1.62,239 NCAA Football: UCF-Ohio State9/8ESPN212:00-3:15pm1.42,215 "College GameDay"9/8ESPN10:00am-12:00pm1.52,076 PGA Tour: FedExCup Playoffs:
BMW Championship: Third Round9/8Golf3:32-7:11pm1.31,890