SBD/December 3, 2012/Media

NFL Week 13 Overnights: CBS Nat'l Window Down; "SNF" Up Despite Losing Teams

Network execs roundly agree they would air as many Cowboys games as they could get

CBS led all Sunday NFL telecasts with a 15.3 overnight for its national window, which featured Steelers-Ravens in 93% of markets. That figure is off 17% from an 18.5 overnight for Fox’ national window in Week 13 last year, which featured Packers-Giants in 77% of markets. CBS also earned a 10.2 overnight for its regional coverage in the early window, off 7%. Despite having two teams with losing records, NBC earned a 13.5 overnight for the Eagles-Cowboys “SNF” matchup, up 13% from an 11.9 for Lions-Saints in Week 13 last year. The game was the top-rated program of the night and led NBC to a win among all nets in primetime. The game peaked at a 14.1 rating from 11:00-11:30pm ET. In Dallas-Ft. Worth, the game earned a 32.4 local rating, while in Philadelphia, it earned a 26.3 rating. For its singleheader, Fox earned a 13.5 overnight, up 10% (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Dallas, Barry Horn noted the Eagles-Cowboys game marked the “first scheduled late-season NBC Sunday Night Football game in the flex era played between two teams with losing records.” CBS’ Jim Nantz said, “If I could pick one team today to play in our Super Bowl at the end of this season, from a business perspective, it would still be the Cowboys.” Fox Sports VP/Programming & Research Mike Mulvihill said, “Short of Texas seceding from the Union, the Cowboys will always remain in demand for our network and all networks.” ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions Leah LaPlaca said, “We would always take as many Cowboys games as we could get” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/2).

NFL WEEK 13 OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET
'12 GAME
RAT.
'11 NET
'11 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
13.5
CBS
(single)
12.3
9.8%
CBS
(regional)
10.2
Fox
(regional)
11.0
-7.3%
CBS
Steelers-Ravens (93%)
15.3
Fox
Packers-Giants (77%)
18.5
-17.3%
NBC
Eagles-Cowboys
13.5
NBC
Lions-Saints
11.9
13.4%

THAT'S SO RAVEN: In Baltimore, David Zurawik notes viewers watching yesterday's Steelers-Ravens game on CBS were “given a lot of ground-level shots.” Zurawik: “During those shots, I felt as connected to Sunday’s game as I do watching NFL Films, and that’s high, high praise.” However, it was “unforgivable" that CBS did not show the "full game." With 3:21 left in the third quarter, the audio “went out,” and instead of “holding the visual so viewers didn't miss anything, CBS broke away and went to the 10,000th promo for the Army-Navy game.” When the telecast resumed, the game clock read 2:59. Zurawik: "I have no idea what happened to those 22 seconds,” and that is “wrong.” Zurawik also writes he was “disappointed in the way that” analyst Phil Simms “failed to take me inside the game -- explaining why something was working (or not) for one team or the other the way Cris Collinsworth does at NBC” (Baltimore SUN, 12/3).

JET PILOT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote Jets coach Rex Ryan “would be the most sought after broadcasting rookie free agent ‘since Joe Montana hung up his cleats.’” Unfortunately, Montana “bombed on NBC’s pregame show,” but it is “highly unlikely Ryan would go belly-up in front of the camera.” Ryan has the “same everyman quality John Madden, the finest analyst/personality to ever grace an NFL microphone, possessed.” If Ryan were available, ESPN “would have to take a serious look at moving him in the ‘MNF’ booth with Mike Tirico.” Meanwhile, Raissman cited sources as saying that a Jets representative “went to NBC Sports execs and asked them to stop airing shots of GM Mike Tannenbaum, who was sitting in his box.” Raissman: “Guess Tannenbaum didn’t dig the national TV spotlight” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/2).

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