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Volume 26 No. 207
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NFL Week 5 Overnights: CBS' National Window Down, But All Other Telecasts Up

While the overnight rating for the NFL's national window on CBS was down yesterday, other Week 5 time slots saw gains. CBS earned a 13.2 overnight for yesterday's national window, which featured a combination of Chiefs-49ers and Jets-Chargers, down 29% from an 18.6 rating last year for a high-scoring Broncos-Cowboys affair. CBS' regional coverage -- which featured the Cowboys' OT win over the Texans in over half of U.S. markets -- earned an 11.6 overnight, up almost 20% over last year. Meanwhile, NBC won Sunday night in primetime with a 12.8 overnight for the Patriots' blowout win over the Bengals on "SNF." That 12.8 figure is up 10% from the 49ers' 34-3 romp over the Texans last year and also marks the Bengals' highest-rated game ever on "SNF," dating back to '06. Boston (36.1) and Cincinnati (35.6) led all local markets. Fox earned a 12.8 overnight for its singleheader coverage yesterday, marking the best singleheader window for the '14 NFL season to date. That figure was up 2% from last year (Josh Carpenter, Staff Writer).

OVERNIGHT RATINGS FOR NFL WEEK 5 SUNDAY TELECASTS
NET
'14 GAME
RAT.
'13 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
12.8
(single)
12.5
2.4%
CBS
(regional)
11.6
(regional)
9.7
19.6%
CBS
Chiefs-49ers (54%),
Jets-Chargers (45%)
13.2
Broncos-Cowboys (98%)
18.6
-29.0%
NBC
Bengals-Patriots
12.8
Texans-49ers
11.6
10.3%
           

FOX TROT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes Fox' John Lynch and Kevin Burkhardt, who called Falcons-Giants, "have some chemistry going," but they "like repeating things." Raissman: "Over three hours this can get, well, repetitive." Meanwhile, Raissman writes he is "not looking" for Fox to "get involved in bidding for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package when it hits the open market after this season." On "Fox NFL Sunday,” the cast "outlined why the Thursday night product, which airs on CBS, sucks." With the headline, “Weak Day Football,” Fox "graphically pointed out the point differential per game on Thursday night is 29, while for all other games it’s 12.5" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/6). ESPN's Israel Gutierrez said there can be "too much football" with the "TNF" games. Gutierrez: "The NFL has basically perfected parity it seems like. ... (But) when you expose them to a short week, that difference between the teams is going to look a lot greater and that's what we're seeing so far." He added, "The viewership, however, still seems to be there and that's what's frustrating." ESPN's Jemele Hill said "We're part of the problem. We've told them that we will watch anything you put before us" ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 10/3). ESPN's Max Kellerman on Friday said "TNF" is good for the NFL because "I got to watch football last night." ESPN's Marcellus Wiley said "for the NFL, this is a bad look." That is because coaches state they "need the entire week" to formulate a game plan but the "players don't need the entire week to play" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 10/3).

STANDING PAT: Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, when asked about the FCC's decision last week to eliminate sports blackout rules, said that the NFL’s contractual language with its broadcast partners "should keep things the way they are during the length of the current deals." Kraft said, "Practically speaking, between now and 2022, I'm not sure much will change" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/6). 

MAKING THE RIGHT CALL: The N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Raissman wrote, "Standing ovation for the NFL Network and NFL Films for their 'Finding Giants' documentary, an inside look at Big Blue’s scouting department." The Giants opening up their operation, "providing all the access, might just lead to a bigger step." Further exposing a "model organization as was depicted in 'Finding Giants' to the HBO audience just might be good for business -- and may draw a new segment of fans, too" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/5).

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? In N.Y., Josh Kosman reported Verizon, an NFL sponsor, "did break ranks with the NFL over its blackout rule." Verizon "backed the successful lobbying effort, led by the Sports Fan Coalition, to end the federal regulatory ban on cable stations airing NFL games that were blacked out locally." A source said that the group "counted Verizon among its financial backers when it kicked off the battle against the ban three years ago" (N.Y. POST, 10/4).