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Volume 24 No. 116
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"MNF" Overnight Strong Despite Loss Of Eight Markets Due To Hurricane

ESPN earned an 8.3 overnight Nielsen rating for the 49ers-Cardinals "MNF" telecast last night, despite the figure excluding local ratings from Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland-Akron, Hartford, N.Y., Philadelphia, Providence-New Bedford and DC due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Despite the loss of those markets, the "MNF" overnight is down only 5% from an 8.7 overnight for Chargers-Chiefs in Week 8 last year. In the S.F.-Oakland-San Jose market, "MNF" drew a 7.4 local rating on ESPN and a 10.6 rating on KPIX-CBS. In Phoenix, the game drew a 12.2 local rating on ESPN and an 8.1 rating on KTVD-Ind (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

MUY CALIENDO: ADWEEK’s Anthony Crupi conducted a Q&A with new ESPN “Sunday NFL Countdown” contributor and comedian Frank Caliendo, who previously served in a similar role on "Fox NFL Sunday." Caliendo said of his role, “I’d like to keep some of the basic studio stuff I did when I was at Fox, doing skits and hopefully a little standup. But I’m also planning on doing more taped features, merging the sort of stuff I did before with bits where I go out with a camera and find a subject to really dig into.” Caliendo, who is known for impersonations, said, “Doing impressions of ESPN people was not an option before, so right there you have a whole bunch of huge personalities I haven’t had a chance to try on. So, I have Chris Berman down and I’ve been working on my (Ron) Jaworski, my Herm Edwards. One I’ve been having a lot of fun with is Jon Gruden.” He added, “I don’t think I would do John Madden again unless I had a chance to work with him in a skit. That’s the only way it would make sense” (, 10/29).

: In a Q&A with BROADCASTING & CABLE’s Jon Lafayette, NFL Exec VP/Media and NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein said of finally finishing a distribution deal for NFL Net on Time Warner Cable, "We had two primary guys that we hadn't signed up, Time Warner and Cablevision. We were able to do a deal with Cablevision. They were really interested in a full season of games on the NFL Network as well as the success of (NFL) RedZone. Time Warner had a similar view that this was the right time and that the value proposition was one that made sense to them. … So I never doubted that we’d get a deal done." He added, "We had the patience and the discipline to do a market deal. And that was determined a few years ago, and we were able to make a deal that works for everybody." Bornstein also said of the league having "Sunday Ticket" exclusively on DirecTV, "Right now it seems to be working. We haven't gotten to figuring out what the best models are in the future for that. Obviously that is going to be a priority at the appropriate time" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 10/29 issue).

: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel noted in 34 years as the Cowboys radio voice, Brad Sham has “never crossed the line the way he did” on Sunday during the Giants-Cowboys game. When Cowboys WR Dez Bryant fumbled a punt during the first half, Sham said he would “put that guy on the bench.” Sham said of his comment, “I don't think it was incorrect but it's not my role as a play by play man to be saying [things] like that. I shouldn't have said it." Sham said that “no one in the organization has said anything to him in regards to the comment, nor does he expect it” (, 10/29).

: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes the Jets’ QB controversy “turned into an effective curtain" for coach Rex Ryan to “hide behind during” CBS’ Dolphins-Jets telecast. There was “ample opportunity” for analyst Dan Fouts and play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle to “elevate Ryan to No. 1 bullseye for anyone shooting arrows at the usual suspects.” Raissman: "Fortunately television is a visual medium and CBS cameras were on Rex. … Both voices know who to blame, but they didn't pull the trigger. This often happens when the head coach should wear the target. NFL analysts are reluctant to call the head man out directly during a game.” Eagle and Fouts “could have come out swinging from the get-go when [Jets CB] Antonio Cromartie lost his mind and head-butted [Dolphins RB] Reggie Bush.” Raissman: “Fouts commented on a lack of composure. But where does that attitude come from? The voices talked about all the trash talking, mostly instigated by the Jets, but never cast any aspersions on Ryan for allowing the yakking to careen out of control to the point where it worked to the Dolphins advantage” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30).