SBD/January 7, 2013/Media

Fox Sees Record Overnight For Cotton Bowl; Broadcasters Heavy On Manziel Praise

Fox' ratings for the AT&T Cotton Bowl trumped that of the Sugar and Orange Bowls

Fox earned a 7.5 overnight Nielsen rating for Texas A&M’s rout of Oklahoma in Friday night’s AT&T Cotton Bowl, marking the net’s best rating for the game on record. The 7.5 overnight is up 60% from a 4.7 for Arkansas-Kansas State last year. The game led Fox to its best Friday primetime average since World Series Game 7 in ’11. The Cotton Bowl also scored a better overnight than ESPN’s Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl telecasts. Oklahoma City led all markets with a 35.0 local rating, followed by Tulsa (29.2) and Austin (27.9). The telecast peaked at an 8.2 rating in the 10:30pm ET window (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht wrote the second half of Fox' AT&T Cotton Bowl telecast between Texas A&M and Oklahoma on Friday “turned into a ‘Johnny Football’ lovefest” with Fox’ Gus Johnson and Charles Davis “nearly running out of adjectives to describe” Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. Johnson “got carried away at times.” The only thing that Manziel “didn't succeed in” during the broadcast was “a fan poll on whether he would win another Heisman Trophy, losing out 66-34 percent.” Both announcers “marveled at Cowboys Stadium.” Johnson said, “You got to get to this stadium, one of the most incredible spectacles that you'll see.” Davis said, “It's awesome even when it's not filled” (OKLAHOMAN, 1/5).

MORE THE MERRIER: FORBES’ Alicia Jessop reported ESPN Regional Television is “leading the way of corporate ownership and operation of bowl games.” This year, seven of the 35 college football bowl games are “owned and operated” by the outlet. ERT Senior VP & GM Pete Derzis said the company was “there to satisfy the needs of a number of (their) partner conferences, many of whom were under-served at the time,” including Conference USA, the WAC and Mountain West. Derzis added, “These conferences didn’t have a lot of bowl opportunities ten years ago. They had teams that could have qualified for bowls by NCAA standards, but had nowhere to go.” The company “does not have to expense the operations and event planning for the bowls to an outside entity.” Derzis: “All of the revenues and expenses end up in a single profit and loss statement.” Jessop wrote ERT’s role in bowl games “may shift” with conference realignment and changes to the BCS system (, 1/5).
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