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Volume 24 No. 112


CBS led all NFL broadcasts yesterday with a 14.8 overnight Nielsen rating for its national window, which featured Colts-Patriots in 51% of markets and Chargers-Broncos in 49%. That figure is up 4% from a 14.2 overnight for the comparable Week 11 national window last year, which featured Chargers-Bears. The overrun from the NFL national window also led CBS to a win for the night over NBC. “SNF” earned a 12.2 overnight for the Ravens-Steelers matchup last night, which was down 13% from the Eagles-Giants in Week 11 last year. "SNF" peaked at a 12.6 rating in the 9:00pm ET window. The Ravens-Steelers game earned a 47.8 local rating in Pittsburgh and a 39.0 rating in Baltimore. With Browns-Cowboys and Jaguars-Texans both going to OT yesterday in the 1:00pm window, CBS saw its regional overnight jump 33% from last year. Meanwhile, Fox saw its Week 11 singleheader overnight down 16.5% (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

'12 GAME
'11 GAME
% +/-
Colts-Patriots (51%),
Chargers-Broncos (49%)
Chargers-Bears (79%)

AROUND THE TUBE: In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes NBC's "SNF" telecast "lives on another planet so far away from the nearest competition that it can't even be judged by the same standards." Zurawik: "I swear, you could put the next best three NFL analysts in a booth together, and they wouldn't open the game up for the average fan the way" NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth routinely does. "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli's team "was sublime" (Baltimore SUN, 11/19). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes NFL Network on Thursday "placed us in the hand of analyst Mike Mayock, who again attempted to break his own record for the use of 'I,' 'me' and 'my.'" Most plays "brought a lecture -- no matter that none of us signed up for a lecture series; we just tuned in to watch the game." But the telecast was "shellacked in Mayockian, including 'eye discipline' (apparently the ability to see what one is looking for) and 'two-level routes,' which I surmised is when two guys go out for a pass, one deeper than the the other" (N.Y. POST, 11/19). In Dallas, Barry Horn writes yesterday "had to be [CBS'] Dan Dierdorf's first assignment at Cowboys Stadium." That can be the "only explanation for any game analyst to call it, 'a tough environment.'" But it is "no excuse." Dierdorf's "best line came midway through the second quarter with the Cowboys trailing, 10-0." He said, "This is a Cowboys offense that has been practicing all week but it doesn't look like it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/19).

A NEW THANKSGIVING NIGHT TRADITION:'s Peter King reports Pro Football HOFer John Madden will introduce NBC's coverage of Patriots-Jets Thursday night "focusing on his Thanksgiving tradition of football, family and food." The net will then "inaugurate the John Madden Thanksgiving Player of the Game." The idea came from Collinsworth, who replaced Madden in the "SNF" booth, and was instituted by NBC Sports Dir Drew Esocoff. King: "I'm looking forward to seeing Madden's ode to turkey and football" (, 11/19).

DITKA TALKS ABOUT STROKE: ESPN’s Mike Ditka called into ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” today to discuss his health. Ditka suffered a minor stroke Friday, but was released from a Chicago-area hospital yesterday morning. He said, “I was kind of like driving down the highway of life real fast and I had a flat tire. That's what happened. … I think I'm okay. You don't expect those things to happen. They come up on you, it really opens your eyes. I knew everything that was happening, but I couldn't do anything about anything that was happening. So I feel pretty good right now. I really do. I think everything will be okay” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN Radio, 11/19). Ditka was absent from ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" yesterday, and show host Chris Berman said, "We're playing a man down this morning. Coach Mike Ditka suffered a minor stroke Friday in Chicago. ... He's told us everything is okay. He'll be back with us soon, right here" ("Sunday NFL Countdown," ESPN, 11/18). NBC’s Bob Costas said, “We want to extend our best wishes to our former colleague and one of the major figures in the history of the league. ... We hope the coach is back on the air very soon” (“Football Night in America,” NBC, 11/18).

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted the competition for Sunday morning NFL pregame viewers "has been steadily growing," and it is "eating into the ratings of ESPN's 'NFL Countdown' pregame show." It is "not just competition on the national level from the NFL Network, which may as well start its pregame at midnight, but an increased number of local shows, produced by NFL teams, are also siphoning viewers." When this "kind of stuff happens the suits look at the product." One area that "likely is being examined is the cast." Raissman: "Could the winds of change eventually blow in their direction? Stay tuned" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/18).

ABC earned a 5.5 overnight Nielsen rating for Stanford’s OT win over Oregon on Saturday night, marking the best college football rating of the weekend. The net also earned a 3.2 overnight for regional coverage in the 3:30pm ET window, which featured Ohio State-Wisconsin and N.C. State-Clemson. Fox earned a 2.7 overnight for USC-UCLA in that same window, which was just ahead of CBS’ 2.4 overnight for Ole Miss-LSU. On cable, ESPN’s primetime window featuring Kansas State-Baylor led the way with a 2.2 overnight. NBC earned a 1.7 overnight for Notre Dame’s blowout win over Wake Forest, marking the net’s lowest Notre Dame overnight this season (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

APPEALING MATCHUP ... RIGHT NOW: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes losses on Saturday by Kansas State and Oregon "should lead to this season's title game getting record TV ratings." The current mark was set with the '06 Texas-USC game, which drew a 21.7 rating. However, that "could be topped" with a potential matchup of Notre Dame and the winner of the Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship game. ESPN is televising this weekend's Notre Dame-USC game, and Hiestand writes network execs "will try to stay publicly neutral, but they're all wearing Irish T-shirts under their suits" (USA TODAY, 11/19).'s Richard Deitsch writes, "The sound you hear from Bristol, Conn., is ESPN executives rooting hard for Notre Dame." An appearance by the Irish in the BCS title game "sets up for monster ratings if Alabama is the opponent." The Texas-USC numbers "are likely out of reach even with a month of ESPN hype, but the popularity of Notre Dame as a television team will be a massive draw." Deitsch: "If the game is close late, watch out" (, 11/19).

HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht wrote Fox' Craig Bolerjack, Joel Klatt and Petros Papadakis "did a good job of capturing the ebb and flow" of Oklahoma's 50-49 win over West Virginia, but they "virtually ignored the ugly antics of West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen." During a timeout toward the end of the first half, Holgorsen "shouted an obscenity that clearly was caught by a live microphone." He said, "Everybody run in the (expletive) end zone." Bolerjack said on the broadcast, "Emotional to say the least." Bracht noted Bolerjack "offered no apology for the network airing the obscenity" (OKLAHOMAN, 11/18). ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said when a coach “attacks a guy and you make it personal and you go after him, there’s cameras on you in 2012. Whether you respect that or you don’t, the reality is no matter what you’re saying it gives off an impression and a vibe that is disrespectful.” ESPN’s Desmond Howard said Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman supported coach Bo Pelini after Pelini had a heated exchange with a player on the sidelines during a game earlier this year Perlman “blamed the media for having a camera on a coach" ("College GameDay,” ESPN, 11/17).

In N.Y., Sandomir & Chozick cite sources as saying that News Corp.'s effort to purchase up to 49% of YES Network would provide the company “a route to eventual control of YES -- an option would exist in three to five years for the company to increase its investment to as much as 80 percent.” But “at that point, the price would be based on a valuation of at least $3.5 billion.” If News Corp. “acquires the majority of the network, YES could turn into a more conventional, less-biased sports network.” The deal could “also include other payments to the Yankees, including higher rights fees” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/19).

CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis yesterday tweeted about UFC 154, which was held Saturday in Montreal. Davis: “Looking on news sites showing picture of two muscular bloody men in homoerotic fighting pose. … Maybe I'm a prude on this but I'm also a dad. I don't mind my sons watching boxing, but I wouldn't want them watching a UFC bout.” In N.Y., Marc Raimondi wrote Davis is “a good parent” and is “very good at what he does, one of the best college hoops reporters out there.” However, he “lowered himself to the least common denominator with these comments” (, 11/18).

: In Houston, David Barron noted Astros TV analyst Jim Deshaies yesterday said that he had “’good meetings’ with officials in Chicago about becoming the Cubs’ TV analyst on WGN and Comcast SportsNet Chicago and will wait and see if he is offered the job before deciding whether to leave Houston or to work toward a new contract calling Astros games.” Deshaies said that he has been told by Astros President George Postolos the team “would like him back” in ’13 when the team’s broadcasts move from FS Houston to CSN Houston (, 11/18).

: CBS Radio on Friday said that Boston-based WBZ-FM’s Damon Amendolara “will host the network’s weekday overnight show," which will debut Jan. 2. In Boston, Ira Kantor noted “The D.A. Show” will be “heard on select stations in 12 major U.S. cities from 2 a.m.-6 a.m. on air, streaming online and through the application for mobile devices.” Amendolara served as WBZ-AM’s evening host “since the station’s launch” in August ’09 (, 11/16). Also in Boston, Chad Finn noted Amendolara’s “affable if increasingly contrarian style and catchphrases such as ‘the mothership has connected, welcome aboard’ won him a loyal young audience” (, 11/16).