SBD/September 9, 2013/Media

NFL Week 1 Overnights: Fox Sees Record For National Window, While NBC's "SNF" Down

Fox got off to a strong start with its NFL coverage yesterday, as the national window featuring Packers-49ers set a new Week 1 overnight ratings record for the net. The 17.8 rating for the window is up from a 17.2 overnight for the net’s Week 1 national window last year, which also featured 49ers-Packers. Fox aired its “Fox NFL Sunday” pregame show from Times Square yesterday and earned a 4.0 overnight, marking the show’s best Week 1 rating since ’03. Meanwhile, NBC earned a 16.6 overnight for the Giants-Cowboys “SNF” opener, down 8% from a 18.0 rating for Peyton Manning's Broncos debut against the Steelers last year, the net’s best regular-season NFL primetime overnight ever. The 16.6 rating for Giants-Cowboys is also down from a 16.9 overnight for Cowboys-Jets in ’11 and up from a 16.4 overnight for Cowboys-Redskins in ’10. Despite the drop, Giants-Cowboys delivered the best Sunday night overnight for any broadcast TV program since ABC's Academy Awards telecast on Feb. 24. The game marked NBC's fifth-best "SNF" overnight and third-best an "SNF" opener. Giants-Cowboys earned a 36.2 local rating in Dallas-Ft. Worth and a 19.5 rating in N.Y. CBS earned an 11.2 overnight for its lone window yesterday, marking the net’s best Week 1 singleheader rating in 14 years. The window was also up 8% from last year. CBS Sports Group Chair Sean McManus credited close games with big market clubs like the Patriots and Bears for helping CBS' Week 1 ratings climb to their highest level since '99. "Our guys had told us that they thought we would do a little bit better Week 1 than we did last year," McManus told THE DAILY. "It's about what we expected. But it's always pleasant to see the power of the NFL ratings. It's pretty remarkable. It is the gift that keeps on giving. It really is" (Karp & Ourand, Staff Writers).

'13 GAME
'12 GAME
% +/-
Packers-49ers (94%)
49ers-Packers (87%)

"A" FOR EFFORT:'s Richard Deitsch wrote Fox' Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch in the final minute of the Buccaneers-Jets game provided "excellent work." There was "no over-the-top-screaming -- just impressions from what they saw on the field and a legit calling out" of Buccaneers LB Lavonte David for "taking a terrible penalty to set up the game-winning field goal." Deitsch also wrote there was "nice work" by NBC's "Football Night In America" analysts Rodney Harrison and Scott Pioli on the impact of the season-ending injury to Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (, 9/8). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Burkhardt "was spotty." He was "concise, but failed to note who made important open-field tackles, and, in the first half of the season's first game, got hung up telling us who had his 'first sack of the year' and scored his 'first touchdown of the year'" (N.Y. POST, 9/9). Also in N.Y., Bob Raissman writes under the header, "John Lynch Provides Great Analysis At End Of NY Jets Game Vs. Buccaneers." Fox showed a replay late in the game of Jets LB Demario Davis catching Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson from behind to "save a touchdown." Lynch's "attention to detail, his mention of Davis catching Jackson, may not have seemed like such a big deal at the time." But it "turned into a rare piece of analysis. A game changer." It is "rare when NFL analysts celebrate the art of hustle" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/9).

HAVE IT YOUR WAY: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes NBC during Giants-Cowboys last night labeled a hit on Cowboys QB Tony Romo, one that forced him from the game near halftime, “The Burger King Inside Edge” play of the game. Horn: "Good to know injury timeouts are for sale to sponsors. Would a stretcher warrant a bigger payment?" This is a league that "just settled a concussion lawsuit." Injuries "shouldn’t be for sale." NBC's Cris Collinsworth "sounded nauseated that he was forced to read the promo" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/9).

THE NEW GUYS: Former NFLer Brian Urlacher said of appearing on FS1's "Fox NFL Kickoff" studio crew, "I wasn't sure if I wanted to do TV because the media side gets a little tricky. But I wanted to try it out. And I've actually enjoyed myself a whole bunch." In Chicago, Vaughn McClure noted Fox' Jay Glazer convinced Urlacher "to join forces" at FS1. Urlacher: "I thought Fox was a great fit, No. 1, especially with Jay being on the show. And Fox has done our games my entire career because we're in the NFC. I know most of the crews that had worked there." He added, "I'm not going to really kill anyone. I'm not going to be like Keyshawn (Johnson) or one of those guys who just kill people" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE 9/8). Meanwhile, the N.Y. POST's Mushnick wrote former NFLer Randy Moss is "one of the most repugnant humans to wear an NFL uniform," and FS1's hiring of him is "extraordinary, a sick, twisted parody come real" (N.Y. POST, 9/8).

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