SBD/December 9, 2013/Media

Week 14 NFL Overnights: CBS' Singleheader, Fox' Regional Window See Best '13 Figures

Several games featuring heavy snow may have helped CBS and Fox to strong overnight ratings NFL windows yesterday. A snow-heavy Lions-Eagles matchup on Fox went to 69% of markets in the early regional window, helping the net earn an 11.8 overnight. That figure is Fox’ best for a regional window for the ’13 season to date and up 3.5% from Week 14 last year. Fox also had the top NFL overnight of the weekend with Seahawks-49ers featured in the national window. That telecast earned an 18.1 overnight, up 6.5% from the net’s Week 14 window last year, which featured Saints-Giants. Meanwhile, CBS earned a 13.3 overnight for its NFL singleheader yesterday, fueled by Titans-Broncos in 22% of markets. That figure is the net’s best singleheader window this season to date and up 18% from Week 14 last season. NBC also earned a 12.7 overnight for the Saints’ blowout win over the Panthers on “SNF” last night, down 6% from Lions-Packers last season. Despite the 31-13 score, “SNF” still delivered NBC a win in primetime. New Orleans topped all markets with a 58.1 local rating, while Charlotte earned a 34.5 rating. Rounding out the top five markets were Greensboro-Winston-Salem (28.9), Las Vegas (18.2) and Greenville-Spartanburg (18.0) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NFL WEEK 14 SUNDAY OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'13 GAME
RAT.
'12 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
CBS
(single)
13.3
(single)
11.3
17.7%
Fox
(regional)
11.8
(regional)
11.4
3.5%
Fox
Seahawks-49ers (78%)
18.1
Saints-Giants (91%)
17.0
6.5%
NBC
Panthers-Saints
12.7
Lions-Packers
13.5
-5.9%

 

A DIFFERENT KIND OF WHITE OUT: In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes snow and cold in the NFL markets of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Green Bay and DC "made for fascinating TV coverage." At the top of the list "was the slipping and sliding" during the Lions-Eagles game, which "produced a variety of wild winter scenes" (DENVER POST, 12/9). SPORTS ON EARTH's Mike Tanier wrote the conditions for Lions-Eagles "were cinematographically beautiful," but Fox TV producers "saw the icy conditions and decided to dust of their 1990s hockey broadcast model: superimpose weird images over everything!" First, Fox "laid down a rainbow of bright lines to represent the line of scrimmage, first-down distance, midfield." The net later "superimposed ghostly gray field numbers onto the snow." Players sometimes appeared "to 'phase' through the numbers before the graphical kinks were worked out" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 12/9). Meanwhile, in Tampa, Tom Jones notes "Fox NFL Sunday" was without analyst Terry Bradshaw, who "couldn't get to Los Angeles from Texas because of bad weather." It is believed to be the "first time Bradshaw missed a pregame show in his 23 years with CBS and Fox." Jones: "And you know what? I missed him" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/9). In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes Fox "did not bring in a fifth mouth, like FS1's Randy Moss, because they didn't get the word until late Saturday" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/9).

IMPORTANCE OF SIDELINE REPORTERS: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote Fox gave viewers "a good one" for Vikings-Ravens in sideline reporter Jennifer Hale. When Vikings RB Adrian Peterson "went down with a leg injury, Fox not only had her and a camera right next to him when he came off the field, she followed Peterson and the medical staff into the tunnel and waited outside the locker room." Given Peterson's "injury history and his importance to his team," Vikings fans likely were "hanging on Hale's every word." She also gave viewers "another important report early in the game, when she and a Fox camera crew showed Ravens players changing from shoes with molded bottoms to cleats because of the field condition." Zurawik: "Bravo to Hale and Fox, and boo to CBS Sports and all the local viewers who have let Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, brainwash them into thinking sideline reporters aren't necessary" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/8). Meanwhile, SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote CBS' Jim Nantz "had a great call on the 64-yard field goal" by Broncos K Matt Prater. Following the record kick, Nantz and Phil Simms "went silent for 10 seconds." Deitsch: "Well done" (SI.com, 12/8).

LANGUAGE BARRIER: The Baltimore SUN's Zurawik noted some local viewers "were hearing the Fox telecast Sunday in Spanish instead of English during the first half." The problem with the Fox telecast "appeared to be limited to Verizon Fios subscribers watching in HD and some viewers receiving the telecast over the air." But the Verizon experience "was a weird one on HD, with the game starting without any sound." Zurawik: "Then, the audio came on in Spanish. Then English. And then, it flipped in and out of Spanish and English" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/8).

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY: The N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Raissman notes a panel discussion on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning" featuring Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin and Kurt Warner took viewers "to the dark side of losing." Faulk said that a player "would not be speaking the truth ... if he didn’t admit to being mentally shot with one foot on the putting green" at this point in the season. The former NFLers deserve credit for "being real." But Raissman asks, "Why would any of the NFL’s network partners look to tarnish the integrity of the game (and the league’s image) by having a former player say something like, 'we mailed it in'" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/9).

THE BOYS OF FALL: In Dallas, Barry Horn notes the Cowboys play the Bears on "MNF" tonight and writes, "Among the items every network requests is as many Cowboys games as possible, which in television currency translates into ratings gold." Since ESPN took over "MNF" in '06, the net had "been regulated to one Cowboys game per season." Understanding that it "wasn't about to get any more in 2013, ESPN asked for something else." The net "requested that its lone Cowboys game come later in the season." ESPN Dir of Programming & Acquisitions Matt Volk said, "Having them on the back end of the schedule makes for a potential good upside" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/9).

MIC CHECK: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes NFL Net analyst Mike Mayock "continues to brutalize nationally televised football telecasts." During Thursday's Texans-Jaguars game, he "broke his own record for 'I think,' 'I say,' 'see/saw,' 'Here’s what I like/I don’t like.'" Mayock "must warm up with, Me, me, me, me, meeee!'" He has "a gift for emitting knowing, cryptic and unexplained laughter, as if we just wouldn’t understand." Yet he "places commas where periods are needed" (N.Y. POST, 12/9). Meanwhile, ESPN's Chris Mortensen yesterday said "MNF" analyst Jon Gruden has a "strong commitment" to stay on the net. Mortensen: "Some owners may have eyes for Gruden, but Gruden's eyes will remain with ESPN through at least the 2014 season, the former Bucs and Raiders coach has confirmed" ("Sunday NFL Countdown," ESPN, 12/8).

COACH TALK: In Chicago, Ed Sherman writes ESPN's Mike Ditka has had a "remarkable run as a network analyst." He has been "showcased on NBC, CBS and ESPN since 2004." Ditka also does a weekly show on Chicago-based WMVP-AM. He is the "oldest analyst working any of the NFL studio shows for the major networks" and continues to "be featured in several national and local ads." His agent, Steve Mandell, said Ditka "turns down far more opportunities than he accepts." ESPN NFL Senior Coordinating Producer Seth Markman said of Ditka, "When he came to us, he complained that he felt he had been overproduced (at the other networks). We made a point of just letting him be him." Sherman notes the "blunt, unvarnished approach always has been at the core of Ditka" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/9).

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