SBD/December 16, 2013/Media

Week 15 NFL Overnights: Fox Leads With Packers-Cowboys In National Window

Fox led all NFL Week 15 ratings with an 18.1 overnight for its national window yesterday, which featured Packers-Cowboys. That figure is up 5% from CBS' 17.2 overnight for Steelers-Cowboys in the Week 15 national window last season. Fox also saw gains for its regional window, up 3%. The Steelers jumped out to a 21-0 lead over the Bengals by the end of the first quarter, hampering the rating for NBC's "SNF" telecast. The game earned a 10.9 overnight, down 28% from 49ers-Patriots last year. "SNF" earmed a 39.4 rating in Pittsburgh and a 33.2 in Cincinnati. CBS also saw a 22% for its singleheader window compared to Fox' 13.8 rating in Week 15 last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NFL WEEK 15 SUNDAY OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'13 GAME
RAT.
'12 NET
'12 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
CBS
(single)
10.8
Fox
(single)
13.8
-21.7%
Fox
(regional)
11.1
CBS
(regional)
10.8
2.8%
Fox
Packers-Cowboys (83%)
18.1
CBS
Steelers-Cowboys (90%)
17.2
5.2%
NBC
Bengals-Steelers
10.9
NBC
49ers-Patriots
15.2
-28.3%

AIKMAN PULLS NO PUNCHES: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes, "I always have thought that Fox’s Troy Aikman had a soft spot in his broadcasting heart for the Cowboys," as Aikman often "preferred the analytical to critical" when calling games involving his former team. However, during the second half of yesterday's "Cowboys debacle at AT&T Stadium" in which the team lost to the Packers after having a 23-point lead, Aikman "came out tongue blazing." Horn: "Who could blame him? His credibility was on the line." Aikman and play-by-play announcer Joe Buck "proved an excoriating tag team in their critique of the Cowboys’ play-calling and clock management." Aikman said during the broadcast, "It’s hard to explain, but the clock management by the Dallas Cowboys was about as bad as I’ve seen" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/16). In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted Aikman during the first half of yesterday's game "uncorked some uncharacteristically unrestrained declarations" after the Cowboys amassed 332 yards of total offense. But Aikman and Buck later "shared their criticism of the Cowboys' play selection on offense, specifically their decisions in some instances to abandon the run late in the game" (JSONLINE.com, 12/15). SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote Aikman and Buck "were excellent in the fourth quarter of Dallas's epic collapse" (SI.com, 12/15). Deitsch toward the end of the Cowboys game tweeted, "I haven't seen Fox show Jerry Jones the last couple of minutes. They certainly do when things are coming up roses" (TWITTER.com, 12/15).

REDSKINS WOES: CBS' Shannon Sharpe yesterday said of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's decision to bench QB Robert Griffin III, "Race or racism had nothing to do with this." In N.Y., Bob Raissman asks of Sharpe's comment, "Who said it did?" Sharpe "spoke with so much emotion that he must have had someone in mind, someone who claims Shanahan’s move is racially motivated." He "should have identified the person(s)" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/16). Meanwhile, in DC, Dan Steinberg noted, "Every week the NFL puts out a press release, listing the NFL markets in which pro football was the highest-rated television program over the previous week," and DC is "almost always on that list, and almost always in the middle or higher of that list." But the Redskins' game against the Chiefs last week "was awfully close to the bottom" as the game earned CBS a 20.7 rating. Steinberg: "That’s obviously still a massive television rating" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/13).

CONFLICT OF INTEREST? CBS' Dan Marino yesterday interviewed Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and team players "during a feature" on CBS’ "The NFL Today," but the N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Raissman notes Marino is a "member of a committee selected by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to review and investigate Miami’s locker-room 'culture'" following the team's alleged bullying scandal. It was "hard to believe he could be an objective member of the panel," and after watching Marino on this piece, it is "even harder." The spot "left a bad perception" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/16).

CRITIQUES ON THE CALL: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Fox' Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch during yesterday's Seahawks-Giants game "recited so many season-long stats -- many of them misleading or irrelevant -- they could have worked from home." Meanwhile, Mushnick asks if the Panthers' success is "predicated on its defense, as per CBS’s Dan Dierdorf’s reminders during the Jets-Panthers game, why did CBS sell it as Cam Newton vs. the Jets?" (N.Y. POST, 12/16).

A CALL FOR CONSOLIDATION: The N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Raissman wrote, "Watching more and more of the NFL Network is to see vastly improved programming." During football season, it is "hard to switch to another channel." Whenever we "hear the league is considering selling half its Thursday night game package to another network it makes, as it relates to NFLN, no sense." Cutting the package in half "would fatten the owners’ bank accounts but devalue their network." A source said that the league "should roll its Red Zone Channel into NFLN," as that move "would allow NFLN to jack up the rates it charges cable and satellite providers to carry NFLN." It also would "allow more eyeballs to access Red Zone" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/15).

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