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Volume 24 No. 160
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49ers-Redskins Brings "MNF" Double-Digit Improvement On Overnight Rating From '12

ESPN earned a 9.1 overnight for last night’s 49ers-Redskins “MNF” telecast, up 16.7% from a 7.8 rating for Panthers-Eagles in Week 12 last year. In DC, last night’s game earned a 26.0 local rating (16.9 on ESPN, 9.1 on WSCA-Ind). In S.F., the game earned a 22.9 local rating (10.1 rating on ESPN, 12.8 rating on KPIX-CBS). The top markets were rounded out by Sacramento (19.1), Richmond-Petersburg (18.5) and New Orleans (16.0) (Joe Perez, Assistant Editor). In DC, Mike Jones writes the Redskins after "another embarrassing performance in prime time" fell to 0-4 this season in nationally televised games. The NFL's schedule makers during the offseason gave the Redskins five prime-time matchups, the first time time since '10 that the team had "entered a season with more than one prime-time game on the schedule." But the "national stage has been anything but kind" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/26). In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted the Redskins play the Giants this coming Sunday night on NBC in a game that "could be totally meaningless." Raissman: "That’s hurting the ratings" (“Daily News Live,” SNY, 11/25).

ISLANDS IN THE STREAM: Sunday night's Broncos-Patriots game delivered a record 21.3 million minutes of consumption through live streaming on "NBC Sports Live Extra." That figure is the most for any NBC regular-season NFL game, besting this season's NFL Kickoff game between the Ravens and Broncos, which delivered 20.7 million minutes with a long weather delay. Broncos-Patriots trailed only Super Bowl XLVI, which had 78.6 million minutes of consumption, among all NBC NFL games (NBC Sports).

: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports Fox Deportes under a new two-year deal with the NFL will broadcast the Super Bowl, which has "never before been televised in Spanish" in the U.S. The deal also "allows Fox Deportes to carry other Fox games," starting with Thursday’s Packers-Lions game and followed by all Fox postseason games. That schedule also "will be followed in the 2014 season and will include preseason games." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fox Deportes also will air a "weekly 30-minute NFL program and pregame shows." The games under the Fox Deportes contract "will be called by John Laguna and Francisco X. Rivera, who have experience calling NFL games in Spanish" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/26).

INSIDE MAN: In Tacoma, Dave Boling profiles ESPN's John Clayton, noting he has gone from Seahawks beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune "to one of the most recognizable members of the sports media." Clayton is "hailed for the encyclopedic knowledge and scholarly demeanor that earned him the nickname 'The Professor,'" and has "just shy of 870,000 Twitter followers." That is more than Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, or QB Russell Wilson, or RB Marshawn Lynch and CB Richard Sherman combined. The "spot-on quality of Clayton’s inside information" is the "key to his appeal." But his "delivery plays a role, too, particularly on television." ESPN Senior News Editor Chuck Salituro said of Clayton, "It’s fair to say that he comes across as 'everyman' on TV. He’s so well-spoken, and so (contrasting) to the look of the slick-haired Ron Burgundy-type. And I think that adds to his credibility. That, and the fact he has made a lifetime of covering the NFL, and covering it so well" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 11/25).

SMOOTH TALKERS: The NEW YORKER's Reeves Wiedeman notes ESPN has a talent department "staffed with several performance coaches" to work with on-air talent. When the net hired Ray Lewis, who was "known for his enthusiasm and his incoherence, in equal measure, it asked him to undergo training with Arthur Joseph, a vocal coach who often works with opera singers." ESPN VP/Talent & Event Production Tim Scanlan said, "We wanted him to focus on delivering that same intensity, but to put it in a proper sentence structure." Joseph met Lewis at his home and "put him through a series of exercises that he calls 'vocal yoga.'" Joseph and Barry Nash, another performance coach, both indicated that athletes, "having been coached all their lives, tend to be responsive students." Nash in coaching sessions with ESPN analyst Jerome Bettis had been encouraging him "to accentuate his size on camera" and "to be more expressive with his hands" (THE NEW YORKER, 12/2 issue).