CBS scored the highest NFL rating of the day yesterday, earning a 14.4 overnight Nielsen rating for its coverage of Jets-Steelers in the late-afternoon window. Jets-Steelers was seen in 82% of the country. The 14.4 rating is down 5% from a 15.1 in the comparable window in ’11. The net earned a 11.6 overnight in the early-afternoon window, a 16% gain from a 10.0 last year. NBC earned a 13.9 overnight for Lions-49ers, down 11.4% from a 15.7 for Eagles-Falcons last year. Fox drew a 13.3 for its single-header coverage, down 2% from a 13.6 (THE DAILY).
A BIG MESS: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes yesterday brought a "lousy performance by the Cowboys that was matched by the Fox broadcast.” Analysts Tony Siragusa and Daryl Johnston were “disagreeing over a rules interpretation concerning a chop block" and despite the net having former NFL VP/Officiating Mike Pereira in the studio, the analysts did not "go to him for clarification." That "deserves a flag for illegal procedure.” Horn: “I don’t get Siragusa’s role. He’s down on the field and never seems to be in the broadcast flow. That’s the way it has been for years” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/17). In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes CBS’ Ravens-Eagles telecast yesterday was “almost as incompetent as the officiating.” The telecast included "players misidentified, random images inexplicably popping up on the screen, key injuries missed or ignored, and announcers sticking to pre-game story lines long after they should have [been] abandoned based on what was actually happening on the field” (Baltimore SUN, 9/17).
BUCK-ING THE TREND: In Tampa, Tom Jones conducted a Q&A with Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, who said of communicating during the week with his baseball and football partners Tim McCarver and Troy Aikman, “Troy and I will text each other lot. I can't text with Tim. Tim doesn't text. I'm better off sending smoke signals and sending up a pterodactyl.” Buck added, “The chemistry is great with both. For example, I'll throw out a reference like Foo Fighters. Tim has no idea who the Foo Fighters are. Neither does Troy, probably. I need to say Kenny Chesney to get his attention. ... Both are such pros and we're so comfortable around one another that we are able to work together well.” Buck said of the similarities between McCarver and Aikman, “Their work ethic is amazing, and it's what made them great players in their sports. I can tell you that I know now why Troy won three Super Bowls, and it's not just because of his accuracy and arm strength. I see what he does to prepare for a game and you know why he's a success.” Buck: “Tim is at a point that he could just walk in a minute before the broadcast and wing it, but he doesn't do it that way. He continues to work hard. He still loves the game” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/16).
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? In N.Y., Bob Raissman asks regarding NBC's "Football Night in America" pregame show, "Does anyone still watch?" It has "nothing to do with the quality of the program," but that "live game action on Fox or CBS is still going on when ‘FNIA’ airs." Last season, and last Sunday, games "went deep into the NBC show." Late afternoon games on Fox or CBS are followed by a postgame show that "eats further into ‘FNIA.’” Raissman notes, “It’s reasonable to ask: At some point, will NBC consider cutting ‘FNIA’ to a half-hour show?” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/17).