ESPN's Bears-Cowboys "MNF" Overnight Up Big From Week 4 Telecast Last Year
ESPN earned an 11.6 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Bears-Cowboys "MNF" telecast, up 45% from an 8.0 overnight for Colts-Buccaneers in Week 4 last year and up 13% from Patriots-Dolphins in '10. The game peaked at a 12.8 rating from 10:30-11:00pm ET. In Chicago, the game earned a 17.3 local rating on ESPN and a 15.2 rating on WGN-CW. In the Dallas-Ft. Worth market, the game earned a 13.8 local rating on ESPN and a 12.3 rating on KTXA-Ind (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
UNDER FURTHER REVIEW: In Tampa, Tom Jones reviewed NFL Network after its first week being carried on Bright House Network and he wrote, “It’s safe to say football fans would prefer a world with NFL Network than one without. However, to suggest the network is one you can’t live without is debatable.” NFL Network "feels too technical," as it is "NFL overload with an emphasis on X’s and O’s.” Some of the more “entertaining characters” such as analysts Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp and Deion Sanders are “fine when they’re serious." However, when they "turn into caricatures, it becomes hard to watch.” There is a "lot to like about the network.” Analysts Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk “are sensational.” Rich Eisen is a “top-notch studio host” and Brad Nessler is a “super game broadcaster.” Jones: “All the retrospective shows during the week are great” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/1)
AN INSTANT HIT: On Long Island, Neil Best profiled Fox NFL analyst Michael Strahan and his recent move to become co-host of "Live! With Kelly and Michael.” Best noted Strahan "never considered giving up his Fox NFL role, which requires him to fly to Los Angeles on Fridays and take the red-eye back Sunday nights.” Strahan said, “If I had to go back and forth for a whole year, that would be tough, but for four months? I know what a real job is. I’ve had one. To fly across the country, if that’s my biggest complaint, I need to get my priorities straight.” Best noted studio and TV audiences “have embraced him as Ripa’s much, much larger new partner.” Show Exec Producer Michael Gelman said, “Even though he’s a big, imposing sports figure, when he opens up his mouth and smiles, he’s like a big teddy bear and he comes off with a cuddling, reassuring persona as opposed to a big, scary sports guy” (NEWSDAY, 9/30).