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Volume 24 No. 214
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ESPN Sees Overnight Ratings Bump For Week 2 Lions-Giants "MNF" Matchup

ESPN saw a 4% overnight ratings uptick for its Week 2 "MNF" telecast. The Lions' 24-10 win over the Giants last night drew an 8.7 overnight, up from an 8.3 for Eagles-Bears last year, which was a Week 2 low for ESPN. The 8.6 is down 8% from 9.3 overnight for Jets-Colts in '15 and marks the second-lowest Week 2 "MNF" overnight for ESPN. Last night's game peaked at a 10.0 rating from 9:15-9:30pm ET. Lions-Giants drew a 28.7 local rating in Detroit (11.3 on ESPN, 17.4 on WXYZ-ABC) and a 14.8 local rating in N.Y. (9.4 on ESPN, 5.4 on WPIX-CW). Rounding out the top five markets were New Orleans (13.8), Norfolk (12.9) and Philadelphia (12.5) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

TALKING POINT: YAHOO SPORTS' Charles Robinson wrote the NFL’s "most consistent theme" in '17 is that "everything is an eye-gouging argument over why the audience is changing." Ratings will serve as the "seesaw the league will be forced to ride all season long." Through two weeks, "nothing is certain and nobody is sure what is causing numbers to land where they are." There also has been a "perpetual argument over why the TV results are up and down." It is why fans "can’t talk" about Colin Kaepernick or player activism "without weaving in a ratings conversation." It is also why domestic violence and league discipline "can’t be dissected without considering how it impacts image and viewership." NFL Exec VP/Communications Joe Lockhart said, "We try not to take too much out of any one week. We’ll look at this as far as the season and we’re confident that the ratings will be strong." The "key word there is 'strong.'" Like last season, the numbers can "fall back for the NFL this year and still be unquestionably strong." But strong "doesn’t necessarily mean 'up'" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/18).

LOCAL FLAVORS: Nashville-based WTVF-CBS Program & Research Dir Mark Binda noted that CBS' Tennessee-Florida game on Saturday afternoon drew a 19.6 local rating, while CBS' Titans-Jaguars on Sunday earned an 18.1 (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/19). In San Diego, Jay Posner notes Dolphins-Chargers on KFMB-CBS drew a 12.3 local rating, the "lowest rating for a Chargers game" in the San Diego TV market since at least '98. Sunday’s rating was about 53% lower than the 26.2 for Chargers-Jaguars in Week 2 last year, although it "should be noted there was no other NFL game on TV at the same time a year ago" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/19).

TONY THE TIGER: In Boston, Chad Finn writes of CBS' Tony Romo, "I can’t come up with another name that has impressed so soon while also giving the viewer confidence that he’s only going to get better once he gets comfortable with a director talking in his ear and the other technical bells and whistles of a broadcast." Cris Collinsworth "wasn’t this sharp when he started at NBC" in '90, nor was Fox' Troy Aikman, who are "probably the two best analysts working today." Romo is "articulate, affable, and revealing, which is why two games into his second career, there is no doubt that CBS made the right choice in bringing him" onto the net’s No. 1 NFL broadcast team (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/19). SI.com's Jimmy Traina wondered whether two weeks is "too early to make a declaration" that Romo is the "best NFL analyst." Traina: "Probably. But, I don't care." Romo has an "uncanny ability to predict" plays. His energy is "perfect." He is "excitable, but not over the top." Romo "comes across as a fan, not a suit" (SI.com, 9/18).