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CBS led all NFL Week 16 windows on Sunday with a 14.8 overnight for the national window featuring Patriots-Ravens. That figure is down 13% from a 17.0 overnight for Fox’ Week 16 national window last season, which featured Giants-Ravens. CBS also earned a 10.8 overnight for its regional window, up 2%. Meanwhile, Fox earned a 13.3 overnight for its singleheader window, up 15% from CBS’ Week 16 single last season. NBC earned a 12.5 overnight for the Eagles’ 54-11 win over the Bears on “SNF” last night, which marked the biggest blowout in the NFL this season to date. The 12.5 overnight is down slightly from a 12.6 rating for 49ers-Seahawks last year. Despite the blowout, “SNF” topped all primetime entertainment shows last night. The game earned a 30.6 local rating in Philadelphia and a 28.2 rating in Chicago (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).NFL WEEK 16 OVERNIGHT RATINGSNET'13 GAMERAT.12 NET'12 GAMERAT.% +/-Fox(single)13.3CBS(single)11.614.7%CBS(regional)10.8Fox(regional)10.61.9%CBSPatriots-Ravens (65%)14.8FoxGiants-Ravens (83%)17.0-12.9%NBCBears-Eagles12.5NBC49ers-Seahawks12.6-0.8%
CHART NOTE: Inclement weather meant ratings unavailable for Detroit market.BEASTS OF THE EAST: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Tim Baysinger noted the NFL yesterday flexed the NFC East-deciding Eagles-Cowboys matchup in Week 17 to NBC's "SNF." The move "means that for the third consective season, the NFC East will be decided" on "SNF." Three other games were also flexed by the league from the 1:00pm ET slot to the 4:25pm slot, including Bills-Patriots, Buccaneers-Saints and Packers-Bears. As is "customary on Week 17, both Fox and CBS will have a doubleheader" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 12/23).
SILENCE IS GOLDEN: In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote Fox' Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch on Sunday "did an admirable job" in calling their first Cowboys game for the net. Horn: "But I really wanted to hear what Lynch ... had to say" about Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Lynch played for Kiffin while with the Buccaneers, and the "first time Burkhardt dutifully approached the subject, Lynch ignored him." After a camera caught a shot of Kiffin, Burkhardt said, "You know that guy, John." Horn noted Lynch responded with an "awkward silence, which some might construe as the greatest possible indictment of a coach charged with leading the worst defense in the NFL" (DALLASNEWS.com, 12/22). Meanwhile, Fox studio analysts Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson "took turns lambasting the Cowboys and coach Jason Garrett" during Sunday's pregame show. Bradshaw said Garrett is "no head coach" and he "never should have been hired in the first place." Bradshaw: "He's just a yes man for Jerry (Jones)" (MYSANANTONIO.com, 12/22).
BLOWING THE WHISTLE: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote he wished CBS' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms during yesterday's Patriots-Ravens telecast would have "had the independence and integrity to call out the officiating team loudly and clearly for one of the worst performances I have ever seen." Nantz and Simms "did disagree with some calls and did predict others would be overturned as they watched the replays." However, when the officiating "sinks to the depths that it did Sunday ... it needs to be denounced in no uncertain terms." Zurawik: "The networks, particularly the announcers at CBS, it seems, are simply afraid to denounce anything connected with the league that chooses who gets what rights to these billion-dollar television contracts" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/22).
PREPARING FOR LAST CALL? In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes a meaningless Browns-Jets game "turned in to meaningful" after Fox' Jay Glazer reported Jets coach Rex Ryan told his team prior to the game he believed this is his last year with the team. CBS' Marv Albert "acknowledged the report early in the telecast," and cameras "stayed glued to Ryan." Raissman: "Rex staring at his list of defensive plays. Rex wigging out on an official after Geno Smith was [the] recipient of a late hit out of bounds. Rex running down the sideline after Smith clinched the 24-13 win with a touchdown run." While Ryan "did not dominate Rich Gannon's analysis," the cameras "took care of that" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/23).
CHANGING THE ROUTINE: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Baysinger reports Fox for the second straight season will "tinker with its broadcast assignments for the divisional round of the playoffs." The Burkhardt-Lynch team "will get one of the plum divisional round games." It also will mark "another high-profile assignment for that team's field reporter, Erin Andrews." Meanwhile, the divisional round will be the "swan song" for CBS' Dan Dierdorf, who is retiring from the booth after the season (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 12/23 issue).
The Red Wings and Maple Leafs both banned HBO "24/7" cameras from their respective locker rooms during games last week, according to Elliotte Friedman of the CBC. Friedman said, “One thing I can tell you is that on Tuesday night, and I don’t think they even realized each other did it. … both teams told ‘24/7’ during intermission, ‘You cannot come in,’ and I believe that is the first time that has happened.” CBC’s Glen MacLean asked Friedman, “Does the league say that you’ve got to?” Friedman said, “Both teams said, ‘Not right now,’ and as far as I understand, there were no repercussions” (“HNIC,” CBC, 12/21). In Toronto, Rob Longley noted neither Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle nor Red Wings coach Mike Babcock "is big on being part of a made for TV special." While both coaches "will have to suck it up through the Winter Classic, whether they like it or not," it is "clear that neither is enamoured" with being part of "24/7" (TORONTO SUN, 12/22). The CP's Stephen Whyno noted Carlyle "had his reservations about the intrusiveness" before the camera crew arrived, "but he has also justified it as part of the deal that comes with being in Toronto." Carlyle said, "It’s not normal what we’re living right now. These people are professional people, they try to make it as easy as possible. But it’s not easy to sit and give a team meeting and have a team meeting with a camera and a microphone. It’s just not normal for us. We’ve never had to do that." Several Leafs players said that they "weren't bothered by the HBO cameras after getting used to their presence earlier this month." Leafs D Carl Gunnarsson said, "They’re pretty good at hiding and staying in the background." Leafs G James Reimer said of the filming, "I think it’s, honestly, worse for the coaches" (CP, 12/21).BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger noted while the first "24/7" episode was "criticized in some circles as being too soft and lacking bite, Episode 2 certainly offered up some zing," as the show is "really starting to heat up." Babcock during Ducks-Red Wings last week kicked the HBO cameras out of the locket room. Babcock, upset that his team was headed for its seventh consecutive loss, said, "Get the (bleep) out of here!" (TORONTO SUN, 12/22). Meanwhile, CBSSPORTS.com's Brian Stubits wrote of Babcock telling the camera operator to leave the team's locker room, "It was a rare restrictive moment for the show that is all about inside access and kind of defeats the purpose of the show to reveal what's really going on inside the team." Nevertheless, Saturday's episode was "compelling, some of the best television the show has produced in this its third season" (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/22).
OBSERVER EFFECT: In Toronto, Dave Feschuk noted the Leafs and Red Wings have "lost a combined 13 of 18 games in a month of December that has seen them surrounded by HBO’s cameras and microphones." However, as much as this season's returns "suggest the cameras are having a negative effect, it’s difficult to build a case that there’s an HBO jinx." There have "certainly been teams that have prospered under the watchful eye of motion-picture-quality lenses" (TORONTO STAR, 12/20).