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Volume 25 No. 194
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NFL Week 17 Overnights: Fox Has Its Best National-Window Finale Since '02

Fox led all Week 17 NFL broadcasts with a 16.9 overnight rating for its 4:25pm ET national window, which featured the Packers securing the NFC North title with a win over the Lions. That figure marks Fox’ best Week 17 national window since ’02 and is up 11% from Packers-Bears last year. CBS had its Week 17 national window in the 1:00pm window featuring Chargers-Chiefs, with the net drawing a 10.8 overnight. That figure is down 10% from Ravens-Bengals last year. Meanwhile, NBC earned a 12.7 overnight for its “SNF" finale, which saw the Steelers secure the AFC North title with a 27-17 win over the Bengals. That figure is down 24% from Cowboys-Redskins last year. Despite the drop, “SNF” still secured a primetime win for NBC. The game earned a 47.2 local rating in Pittsburgh and a 38.7 rating in Cincinnati (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NFL WEEK 17 OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'14 GAME
RAT.
'13 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(regional)
10.5
(regional)
10.5
0.0%
CBS
(regional)
6.7
(regional)
10.7
-37.4%
Fox
Lions-Packers (87%)
16.9
Packers-Bears (63%)
15.2
11.2%
CBS
Chargers-Chiefs (65%)
10.8
Ravens-Bengals (62%)
12.0
-10.0%
NBC
Bengals-Steelers
12.7
Cowboys-Redskins
16.8
-24.4%
           

MAN IN THE MIRROR: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes on the final pregame shows of the '14 NFL season, "all produced by the league’s TV partners, there was no look back at the NFL’s season of infamy." Of course there was "reflection about between-the-lines performances, but these shows went ostrich on stuff that stained the league’s image." But Fox' Terry Bradshaw "uttered the 'G' word" during a discussion of the "biggest disappointments of the year." Bradshaw: "What about the commissioner of the NFL? He hasn’t had what I call a banner year, especially when it comes to the big issues. So I think Roger Goodell could look in the mirror and say: ‘I’m lucky this league is making a lot of money because I still have a job'" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/29).

BACK TO THE FUTURE: In Boston, Chad Finn wrote neither Otis Livingston nor Jenny Dell "did much to affirm" CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus' decision this year to "use sideline reporters on NFL coverage" for the first time since '06. McManus made the decision in part because the net "picked up the Thursday night package, and a sideline reporter is a standard element of a prime-time or postseason broadcast." CBS wanted Thursdays "to have that big-game feel." Dell has "improved markedly" since her first year at NESN in '12. However, her improved skills "were not evident" during the Dec. 14 Dolphins-Patriots game when she gave "the Sideline Reporters’ Condensed Version of an uncommonly insightful article" on Patriots QB Tom Brady in the Dec. 15 edition of SI. Dell "didn’t cite the writer of the article" in her report. Meanwhile, it "would have been easy to mistake Livingston for a newcomer," as his "meandering approach left viewers bewildered even before CBS could get around to a staple of any Patriots broadcast on the network: the first shot of Robert Kraft in the owners’ box" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/27).

WHAT ABOUT BOB? In Indianapolis, Zak Keefer noted Colts radio play-by-play announcer Bob Lamey yesterday missed "his first game" since '95. Colts COO Pete Ward yesterday said that Lamey "experienced shortness of breath in Indianapolis before the team made the trip to Tennessee." Lamey has been the "voice of the Colts since the team moved to Indianapolis" in '84 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/29).

LONG AND WINDING ROAD: Cardinals-49ers yesterday marked the final game for "NFL on Fox" producer Bob Stenner, who is moving into a consultant role (Fox).