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Volume 24 No. 156


CBS earned a 14.9 overnight Nielsen rating for the NFL national window yesterday, which featured Texans-Broncos in 64% of markets. That figure is down 6% from a 15.8 overnight for the Fox’ national window in Week 3 last year, which featured Packers-Bears in 81% of markets. CBS did earn an 11.4 overnight for regional coverage in the early window, up 20% from the comparable window last year. Meanwhile, last night’s Patriots-Ravens “SNF” earned a 14.3 overnight, up 8% from a 13.2 rating for Steelers-Colts in Week 3 last year. The 14.3 overnight also marks the NBC’s second-best “SNF” Week 3 overnight ever and the second best NFL Week 3 primetime rating in 15 years. The game peaked at a 15.5 rating from 9:30-10:00pm ET. Patriots-Ravens also won NBC the night among all nets despite competition from the “Primetime Emmys” on ABC (9.6 overnight). Baltimore topped all markets for “SNF” with a 38.3 local rating, while Boston earned a 37.1 rating (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

'12 GAME
'11 NET
'11 GAME
% +/-
Texans-Broncos (64%)
Packers-Bears (81%)

SWEET CAROLINA: NFL Network's Giants-Panthers "Thursday Night Football" broadcast averaged 7 million viewers, ranking as the net's fifth-best audience since it began airing regular-season games seven seasons ago (NFL). In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock "must have been getting paid by the word" during the telecast. Mayock "just keeps on talking," and he "can't close his yap" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/23). 

JOINED IN PROGRESS: In San Antonio, Jerry Garcia reports the decision made by KENS-CBS to join yesterday's Texans-Broncos game "42 minutes after it began was made by CBS and not by the local affiliate." KENS showed the overtime finish of Chiefs-Saints, and "when that game ended, viewers were switched" to Jets-Dolphins, which also ended in overtime. When KENS joined Texans-Broncos, the Texans led 14-5 "with 10:42 remaining in the second quarter." CBS Sports Exec Communications Dir Jerry Caraccioli said, "Because San Antonio was not a secondary market, it was not required to join the game at the start. We took our audience to the more compelling games" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/24).

DREADED GLITCH AWARD: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Michael David Smith writes DirecTV during yesterday's Lions-Titans game "sent some viewers to commercial at the worst possible time." Just as Lions WR Titus Young was "catching the deflected pass and falling into the end zone, the game went to a commercial for some viewers who were watching the game on DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket feed." DirecTV PR Dir Robert Mercer said, “I don’t have all the details, but it was our error. We sincerely apologize to you and all the viewers who missed the TD." Smith writes, "This isn’t the first time a game has mistakenly been taken to a commercial break while live game action was going on, but this is about the worst possible time it could have happened" (, 9/24).

ZEBRA WATCH: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes the replacement refs in yesterday's Buccaneers-Cowboys game "took heat" from Fox' Troy Aikman and Joe Buck "throughout" the telecast. Additionally, Fox showed Cowboys WR Kevin Ogletree "slipping on a cap haphazardly thrown by an official in the end zone just before halftime." Fox studio analyst Howie Long said during the halftime show, "Not only do you have to beat the defensive back, you have to beat foreign objects in the end zone" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/24). NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth also criticized the referees during the Patriots-Ravens game last night.

WHAT'S UP, DOC? USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes CBS' addition of physician Neal ElAttrache to its NFL studio show is "promising." Using a model of ankle bones, ElAttrache yesterday talked about "the lower ligaments of the outer bones of the ankle to the keystone bone of the ankle," as well as the fibula and tibia. ElAttrache in an interview said that there is "at least one topic he won't discuss -- his treatment of specific players." He added, "I take care [of] a lot of these players. I wouldn't be able to go into a specific athlete's treatment or prognosis. I don't want them, or any players coming to me, to think of me as a 'media doctor'" (USA TODAY, 9/24).

Some Time Warner Cable customers "did not get the NFL Network, or its companion service, NFL RedZone, by the time games began Sunday" after the two sides reached a carriage agreement on Friday, according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. TWC New York and New Jersey regional spokesperson Eric Mangan said there were “sporadic technical issues affecting some customers.” Sandomir wrote, "On the Time Warner Cable system in Queens that I subscribe to, the channel positions designated for each network, in standard and high definition, did not exist." It was "not known how widespread the problems were locally or nationally." Sandomir noted around 6:00pm ET last night he "finally started getting" the networks (, 9/23). TWC and the NFL said a "full launch" of the NFL Network and NFL RedZone will take place before this coming Thursday (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/23). NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein said the expansion to 13 Thursday night games this season from eight last year and last month's deal with Cablevision "added impetus to getting this done" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/22). 

PLANTING SEEDS:'s Mike Ozanian wrote the average monthly affiliate fee of $0.95 per subscriber NFL Network generates is "chump change" compared with what the TWC deal will "make it easier for the NFL to do: auction its slate of 13 Thursday night games to another network." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis "believes given the value of NFL football to broadcasters, such an auction could generate $1 billion a year for the league." Ganis said, “Once they make the NFL Network a destination for Thursday night viewers, which they have been gradually doing, the asset will have enormous value the league can either monetize by auctioning the games, or maintain ownership and continue to build the equity value of the network" (, 9/21). However, in L.A., Joe Flint wrote it is "unclear how committed" the NFL is to keeping the additional games "on its channel." Sources indicated that there is "no official contract between the league and the network," which suggests that an additional package of games "could be removed and sold to another network in the future" (, 9/21).

NBC’s Michigan-Notre Dame game earned a 4.0 overnight Nielsen rating on Saturday, topping a loaded slate of college football telecasts for the day, including three broadcast TV games in primetime. NBC’s 4.0 overnight is up 24% over the net’s first primetime Notre Dame telecast last season against USC in late October. ABC earned a 3.2 overnight for the Clemson-Florida State game in primetime, down 20% compared to a 4.0 overnight for the comparable LSU-West Virginia last year. Among games earlier on Saturday, ABC’s regionalized coverage and CBS’ Missouri-South Carolina led the way (both earned a 2.4 overnight in the 3:30pm ET window). ABC’s regional window featured Temple-Penn State and Oregon State-UCLA.

Michigan-Notre Dame
Clemson-Florida State
Kansas State-Oklahoma

NOTE: * = Game began at 10:30pm ET.

The Sept. 15 Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight on HBO “generated 475,000 pay-per-view buys,” according to Dan Rafael of The PPV total, “consisting of 250,000 buys from satellite services and 225,000 buys from cable and telco systems, generated nearly $25 million in domestic television revenue for the fight.” HBO Senior VP/Sports Operations & PPV Mark Taffet said, "It's an extremely solid number. I expect the figures to go up as we collect more of them." Rafael noted the figure is “particularly strong considering it was the first time Martinez ever has been on pay-per-view and it was the first time Chavez has headlined a major pay-per-view card.” Taffet: "It significantly exceeded our original expectations of 250,000 buys” (, 9/21).