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SBD/November 18, 2013/Media

NFL Week 11 Overnights: Fox' 49ers-Saints Leads; "SNF" Best Nov. Primetime In 17 Years

The NFL saw a mixed bag for Week 11 overnight ratings on Sunday, with the early telecasts seeing declines, while the late afternoon and Sunday night windows saw gains. Fox' national window, which featured 49ers-Saints in 66% of markets, led all Sunday NFL telecasts with a 16.7 overnight, up 13% from CBS’ national window in Week 11 last year, which featured a mix of Colts-Patriots and Chargers-Broncos. NBC’s Chiefs-Broncos “SNF” telecast earned a 16.6 overnight, up 36% from a 12.2 rating for Ravens-Steelers in Week 11 last season. The 16.6 also marks the NFL’s best November primetime overnight rating in 17 years. Meanwhile, Fox saw a 6% drop for the Sunday afternoon regional window. CBS earned a 10.4 overnight for its singleheader, down 2%. That window featured Ravens-Bears, which had a two-hour delay due to tornadoes in the Chicago area. The game telecast ended around 6:23pm ET (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

'13 GAME
'12 NET
'12 GAME
% +/-
49ers-Saints (66%)
Colts-Patriots (51%), Chargers-Broncos (49%)

BIG-GAME SITUATIONS: NBC next week will air Broncos-Patriots, and SI.com's Richard Deitsch reported the "core staff of SNF held a three-hour meeting last June 20 at NBC Sports Network's headquarters in Stamford, Conn. specifically to discuss ideas on how they could make next Sunday night's production special for viewers." The game will mark the 14th in which Patriots QB Tom Brady and Broncos QB Peyton Manning will play each other, and "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli said, "We will have some nice, historical material, but I'm also looking for things in the game to showcase why these guys are two of the greatest to have ever played this game." NBC Sports Dir Drew Esocoff said that both Brady and Manning "will have a camera on them whenever they are on the field, and there will also be an isolated or hand-held camera on the quarterbacks when they are on the sidelines for situations that make narrative sense for viewers." Esocoff said that NBC airing Chiefs-Broncos last night gives the production crew an "advantage heading into this week because it speeds up the previous week's production review." It also helps that the Patriots play tonight versus the Panthers, so "SNF" staffers "can watch that game live instead of on tape" (SI.com, 11/17). In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes Chiefs-Broncos last night was the "game of the week in the NFL." Esocoff said, "Obviously, the game is a special sports event for the high-profile NFL and NBC. But Fred and I plan all games alike on our Sunday night schedule. We don't 'gear up' for one game and then relax a bit the following Sunday because we're covering a less important contest." NBC "used 22 cameras for the Broncos-Chiefs telecast -- a few more than usual, partly to capture the enthusiastic crowd" (DENVER POST, 11/18).

WEATHERING THE STORM: Yesterday's Ravens-Bears telecast lasted over five hours due to a weather delay of nearly two hours, and in Baltimore, David Zurawik writes any broadcasters who can "hold their concentration for five hours deserve high praise." The analysis from CBS' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms was "almost as sharp and focused at the end of overtime as it was when the game started." Zurawik: "Hats off to the CBS crew." Meanwhile, during the weather delay, CBS switched to Jets-Bills in the Baltimore market instead of a "game that mattered" to Ravens fans in Browns-Bengals. CBS officials eventually "did wake up ... and give us" Browns-Bengals. The "more serious mistake: For the millionth time, CBS Sports refused to provide a reporter" at Soldier Field, "even though there were tornado warnings." Did CBS "learn nothing from its miserable coverage" during the Super Bowl XLVII delay? (Baltimore SUN, 11/18). In Chicago, Ed Sherman writes the challenge for Chicago's WBBM-CBS yesterday was to "strike a balance between reporting the latest news about dangerous weather conditions while also delivering coverage of the Bears-Ravens game to millions of viewers in the area." WBBM "pre-empted much of CBS' 'NFL Today' pregame show" and "included reports about the unique circumstances at Soldier Field" instead. However, the station "did not pre-empt coverage of the game," and it "provided weather updates coming out of commercials until play was suspended late in the first quarter." WBBM "returned to local coverage of the weather" once the delay hit (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/18).

THE OL' SWITCHAROO: Fox yesterday cut away from Redskins-Eagles at one point due to the Redskins being down by a sizable margin, drawing several responses on Twitter. NFL.com's Judy Battista wrote, "Oh boy. Fox cutting away from Eagles-Redskins because it is so non-competitive. Remember when people would never look away from RGIII?" The L.A. Times' Joe Flint: "Fox drops Redskins - Eagles game in LA for Lions - Steelers. My response? What took so long? I won't even go to the radio stream. #done." TVByTheNumbers.com's Robert Seidman: "Redskins so bad that KTVU in San Francisco switched to Lions/Steelers. Hard to blame 'em."

BEATING AROUND THE BUSH: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes the "vast assortment of pregame shows barely touched" on Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe "being busted last Sunday night for driving over the speed limit and possession of marijuana." The shows' "mega-mouths steered clear of commenting" on Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s decision to start Bowe last night against the Broncos (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/18).
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