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Volume 24 No. 116
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NFL Week 5 Overnights: CBS' Broncos-Cowboys Marks Best Game Season-To-Date

CBS scored an 18.6 overnight rating for the Broncos’ 51-48 win over the Cowboys yesterday, marking the best rating for any NFL game window on any net this season to date. The game, which was featured in 100% of the national window after Chargers-Raiders was moved to late Sunday night on NFL Network, is up 19% from a 15.7 rating for Broncos-Patriots in Week 4 last year. Broncos-Cowboys peaked at a 24.4 local rating from 7:30-7:45pm ET as the game was coming to a close. In Denver, the game drew a 42.9 local rating, while Dallas-Ft. Worth drew a 29.9 rating. The telecast also marks the best overnight for any program on TV since the Academy Awards last February. CBS also earned a 9.7 overnight for NFL regional coverage in the early window, up 4% from last year. Meanwhile, NBC earned an 11.6 overnight for the 49ers’ 31-point win over the Texans on “SNF” last night, which is down around 1 % from Chargers-Saints in Week 4 last year. Both games had competition from MLB LDS coverage. Texans-49ers, which had the largest point differential for an "SNF" game in two years, still led NBC to a primetime win. Houston earned a 27.5 local rating and S.F.-Oakland-San Jose earned a 22.4 rating. Fox' singleheader in Week 4 drew a 12.5 overnight, flat compared to last season (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). ESPN Radio 980 DC's Kevin Sheehan tweeted, "I know it's early for this but Skins-Giants NBC Sun night Dec.1 looks like a move back to a FOX at 1 with Den at KC the move to Sun nite" (, 10/7).

'13 GAME
'12 GAME
% +/-
Broncos-Cowboys (100%)
Broncos-Patriots (81%)

CHART NOTE: Due to scheduling conflict with the A's-Tigers ALDS, Chargers-Raiders was moved from Sunday afternoon to late Sunday night on NFL Network.

An overnight rating for Chargers-Raiders was unavailable at presstime, but columnist Kevin Blackistone predicted the game would earn NFL Network its "highest ratings ever for that particular time slot" and said, "I can see this down the line in a few years, they’ll look back at this and say, ‘Hey, let’s try this 11:35 East Coast start again.’" He added, "They put everything on TV and NFL fans watch it." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said the NFL "should be fine" with the late start time. Cowlishaw: "If this was just a late-afternoon game in Oakland on the same network that has Denver at Dallas, nobody outside of a couple spots in California would see this game" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/4). THE MMQB’s Peter King writes he found himself "loving" the late start of Chargers-Raiders, including the "lateness, the novelty, the vigor of the Black Hole crowd.” King polled his Twitter followers after the game and many respondents indicated that the NFL effectively “should get rid of the Thursday night game and hold one of these late jobs after NBC’s Sunday night game is over.” The biggest problem "would be the venues and teams willing to hold a game so late.” It is an “interesting concept, but one I doubt that would have any chance of happening” (, 10/7).

KEYED IN: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote CBS' Marv Albert and Rich Gannon "got it mostly right in their 'keys to the game' talking points just before kickoff" of Ravens-Dolphins. Albert said, "The question is: what can Baltimore do against a Miami offensive line that has really struggled?" Gannon responded Ravens LBs Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are "really excited after watching film." Zurawik: "That was exactly the major story line of the game as far as I was concerned -- especially in the fourth quarter when Suggs and Dumervil took their play to a higher level and crushed the Dolphins quarterback in successive series" (, 10/6). Meanwhile, in Dallas, Barry Horn notes CBS' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms "had issues" thoughout Broncos-Cowboys yesterday due to "pink penalty flags in a sea of breast cancer awareness pink on the field." It was "enough of an issue that Nantz had to explain the problem to viewers and apologize" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/7).

NICE PIECE ON GLEASON:'s Richard Deitsch wrote ESPN "ran a remarkable piece" on "Sunday NFL Countdown" on the relationship between former NFLer Steve Gleason, who has ALS, and the band Pearl Jam. Gleason "interviewed members of the band, and at one point during the interview, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder teared up while talking about his relationship with his father." As ESPN's long-form producers "do time after time, they let the subjects tell the story rather than interjecting the talent in the piece, so credit is due" to ESPN Feature Producer Mike O'Connor and reporter Chris Connelly (, 10/6).

PLAUDITS FOR MCCARREN: In Milwaukee, Bob McGinn wrote Packers radio analyst Larry McCarren is "unique in the radio industry, and scary good at what he does." McCarren "doesn't look to be caustic like some analysts that I heard, but does point out poor performance by the Packers." McCarren said that he "does so in angry fashion ... only when lack of effort is evident" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/6).