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Volume 24 No. 156
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ESPN's Overnight For Broncos-Chargers "MNF" Flat Compared To Week 6 Last Year

ESPN averaged a 9.2 overnight Nielsen rating for the Broncos' 35-24 win over the Chargers on "MNF" last night, flat compared to the Dolphins-Jets matchup in Week 6 last year. The broadcast peaked at an 11.3 overnight from 11:30-11:45pm ET as the Broncos concluded its comeback from a 24-0 halftime deficit. In Denver, the game earned a 15.2 local rating on ESPN and a 21.1 rating on KTVD-Ind. In San Diego, the game earned a 14.0 local rating on ESPN and a 21.1 rating on KFMB-CBS (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NIGHT MOVES: In Houston, David Barron wrote NBC's "SNF" in its sixth year is "pulling away" from ESPN’s "MNF" in audience numbers. During the first year of the current NFL TV rights deal in '06, "SNF" averaged 17.5 million viewers, compared to 12.3 million for "MNF." Last year, "the spread" was 21.5 million to 13.3 million. So far this season, "SNF" leads "MNF" 22.5 million to 14.0 million. "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli said, "I didn’t think there was any way to reverse 35 years of tradition. But tastes have changed. There aren't as many sitcoms or scripted dramas. There are more reality shows. ... Add to that the fact that the NFL keeps getting bigger and that NBC made such a push to make Sunday a big night, and it’s all come together. That has shocked me. That we would become the No. 1 prime time show, I don’t think anybody saw that coming" (, 10/13).

BETTER THAN MOST: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote Fox' play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman and color analyst Brian Billick "delivered smart, smooth and informative coverage" of Sunday's Cowboys-Ravens game. The "entire production -- from Laura Okmin’s sideline reports to the myriad and sharply focused angles from which the cameras closely followed key plays -- was so vastly superior to what Ravens fans usually get with second- and third-string CBS Sports crews that the telecast felt like a gift from the sports gods." However, the "Fox NFL Sunday" pregame show "is a disgrace." The net's pregame analysts are "lazy, slow, cornball and downright moronic at times" (, 10/15).

SAFETY TALK: NFL Network reporter Andrea Kremer said of what kind of statement the net made by hiring her to cover player health and safety issues, "I sense the network is fully aware that this is a huge issue. They have not fully dealt with it." Regarding any concern that viewers will doubt her objectivity, she added, "I'm sure not being given any special treatment. I'm not going to get people just because I work for the NFL Network. I've been trying to work on a story, and I've put in requests and I've been rebuffed" (, 10/15).

MUSICALLY INCLINED: In Boston, Jed Gottlieb noted "Fox NFL Sunday" last month got "some extra thump" when the broadcast began featuring rock band Prospect Hill and its song "Come Alive." The Fox licensing deal is an opportunity for the group to take "a big step forward." After NBC's London Games women's gymnastics coverage "repeatedly featured Phillip Phillips' 'Home,' the single jumped from No. 84 to No. 9 on the Billboard charts." Prospect Hill manager Dan Roberge said, "Not only do these placements expose the band to a national audience, but it makes everyone else take you seriously. Our first deal with ESPN helped us get our Fox NFL deal, now our Fox deal makes us look better to labels and radio" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/14).