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Volume 24 No. 112
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NFL Week 4 Overnights: Fox Leads With Eagles-Broncos; "SNF" Wins Primetime

Fox led all NFL broadcasts yesterday with an 18.5 overnight for its national window, which featured Eagles-Broncos in 69% of markets, also marking the best NFL overnight this season to date. The telecast also included Cowboys-Chargers in 17% of markets, with Redskins-Raiders in 12%. Compared to the net’s Week 4 national window last year, which featured Saints-Packers, the window is up 24%. Fox’ regional window earned a 10.2 overnight, up 4%. NBC’s “SNF” featured Patriots-Falcons last night, with the game earning a 13.6 overnight. That figure is down 13% from Giants-Eagles in Week 4 last year. “SNF” had strong competition last night from several network TV premieres, as well as the series finale for AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” However, “SNF” still led NBC a primetime win. The game earned a 36.0 local rating in Boston and a 27.2 rating in Atlanta. CBS' singleheader saw a 10% drop compared to Week 4 last season (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

% +/-
Eagles-Broncos (69%)
Saints-Packers (87%)

ENGLISH BEAT: The Steelers-Vikings game in London was regionally broadcast by CBS, and in Tampa, Tom Jones writes his "annual complaint" is that games played in England are not "nationally televised." He writes, "I know the game is meant for the international audience. But if the NFL wants to someday expand across the Atlantic, why not help U.S. fans get on board with the idea by showing them how cool it is to have games over there?" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/30). THE MMQB's Peter King writes games played at Wembley Stadium have a problem in that there are not "enough lights in the stadium." King: "Every one of those games looks dark" (, 9/30).

AM I FORGETTING ANYONE? NBC's Cris Collinsworth last night discussed the Patriots' habit of taking chances with players who have had character issues when talking about CB Aqib Talib. Collinsworth said, "All Bill Belichick does is bring them in here, and there hasn't been one ounce of a problem. There's something about when they come in (and) they play for the Patriots. Whatever their issues may have been before, they disappear and they play great football for them" ("SNF," NBC, 9/29).'s Albert Breer on his Twitter feed wrote, "Talib's been great, bt Collinsworth's comment that guys' off-field problems get fixed when they come to NE ignores something pretty enormous." The N.Y. Post's Brian Costello wrote, "Someone may want to remind Collinsworth about Aaron Hernandez as he gushes about guys behaving so well for the Pats." CBS Sports Radio's Doug Gottlieb: "Someone nudge Collinsworth on the 'Pats change guys' narrative #AaronHernandez."'s Doug Farrar: "I like Collinsworth a lot, but that's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard anybody say" (, 9/29).

In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes the "signature moment" of Fox' Giants-Chiefs broadcast came when the net "aired a close-up of a Giants fan wearing a bag over his head" with 4:50 left in the fourth quarter. Raissman: "When was the last time anyone saw that?" That is "not good for the NFL and its TV partners." The Giants still have four scheduled primetime games this season -- two on NBC and one each on NFL Network and ESPN. A number of viewers in the N.Y. market are "going to bail, unless the Giants show major signs of life" against the Eagles on Sunday (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/30). 

BUC THE TREND: The TAMPA BAY TIMES' Jones writes yesterday's Cardinals-Buccaneers game "seemed like a perfect occasion" for Fox to "assign either of the former Bucs-turned-analysts -- John Lynch or Ronde Barber -- to the game." Fox "can't put those guys on every Bucs game," but with the benching of starting Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman being "such a big part of Sunday's game, it seemed like Fox should have had a former Buc in the booth." Barber, who was a "longtime teammate of Freeman's and someone who still has strong connections to the Bucs, should have been on this game" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/30).

FLAG ON THE PLAY: In Baltimore, David Zurawik noted CBS analyst Dan Fouts during Ravens-Bills yesterday tabbed Ravens WR Torrey Smith as "new" to the team despite being in his third season with the club. Zurawik: "Why do these ex-jocks at CBS Sports keep saying ignorant stuff at the very start of the broadcast this way? ... Why don’t they try scripting some of their opening remarks and have a producer check it for facts -- if they are unable to -- before they read it at the start of the game instead of just gasbagging it and making these stupid mistakes that detract from our viewing pleasure?" (, 9/29). Meanwhile, in DC, Dan Steinberg notes Fox' Dick Stockton pronounced Redskins LB Brian Orakpo's last name as "Orac-ko" until he "made the fix" in the third quarter. CSN Washington's Rob Carlin following the game interviewed Orakpo and said, "The broadcasters were calling you 'Orapko' most of the game. I think they know your name now." Orakpo said, "Well, they suck for doing that" (, 9/30).