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Volume 24 No. 117
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NFL Week 3 Overnights: CBS' National Window Leads All Broadcasts; Pregame Shows Up Big

The NFL saw a mixed bag in overnight ratings for Week 3 on Sunday, with much attention on the league following President Trump's controversial comments over the weekend. CBS led all broadcast windows yesterday with a 13.8 overnight rating for the Packers' OT win over the Bengals in the 4:25pm ET national window, featured in 80% of markets. While tops for yesterday, that number is down slightly from a 13.9 in Week 3 last year, which featured Steelers-Eagles in in 52% of markets. CBS did see an 11.1% increase in its regional window. Overall, CBS saw a 4% increase for its doubleheader over '16. Meanwhile, NBC's "SNF" last night drew an 11.6 rating for the Redskins' 27-10 win over the Raiders, marking the lowest overnight for a Week 3 "SNF" since '06, when Broncos-Patriots drew a 10.7. Raiders-Redskins also is down 10.1% from a 12.9 for last year's Bears-Cowboys tilt. "SNF," which was the top-rated show in primetime, peaked at a 12.5 rating between 9:00-9:30pm. Finally, Fox' singleheader window yesterday drew a 10.3 overnight, down 15.6% from a 12.2 rating last year (Karp & Carpenter, THE DAILY).

'17 GAME
'16 GAME
% +/-
Bengals-Packers (80%)
Steelers-Eagles (52%)

THE TRUMP FACTOR: Trump's comments sparked interest in the NFL's pregame shows, with CBS' "The NFL Today" drawing its best rating since '10. Yesterday's show earned a 3.2 overnight rating, up 33% from a 2.4 for last year's Week 3 show. Fox also saw increases. "Fox NFL Sunday" earned a 3.7 overnight, up 9% from a 3.4 for last year. "Fox NFL Kickoff," airing from 11:00am-noon, drew a 1.3 overnight, up 30% from a 1.0 last year (Josh Carpenter, Assistant Editor).

EYE ON THE BALL:'s Richard Deitsch writes CBS' Jamie Erdahl "landed a big pregame get from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and also provided a quality report at the start of the Browns-Steelers game on the decision of the players not to come out prior to the game" in response to Trump's comments. The game also featured "excellent insight by play-by-play commentator Greg Gumbel telling viewers that when the production group met with Tomlin on Saturday, the coach said he did not know what would happen on Sunday" (, 9/25). In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes CBS' NFL crews "came through impressively" yesterday. For Ravens-Jaguars in London, visual images were "powerful and eloquent, and CBS let them speak for themselves until the singing of our national anthem and England’s ended." CBS "kept its cameras away from nothing." Play-by-play man Andrew Catalon "came in immediately and expertly gave viewers all the background they needed to understand the significance of what they had just seen" during the anthem. CBS "showed it could cover sports with an unblinking eye even when it goes beyond games and becomes politics and culture" (Baltimore SUN, 9/25).

STILL CHOPPY: MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Jeff Baumgartner noted Yahoo’s free live stream of Ravens-Jaguars "proved to be a less-than-perfect experience for some consumers who were trying to watch the game on various platforms." Streaming issues "didn’t appear to be widespread, but several users were logging complaints about problems on Sunday morning via Twitter -- another indication that live streaming of big events at scale remains a key struggle" (, 9/24).

THE VOICES: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes while Tony Romo is "indeed a work in progress," the former QB "someday just may be worthy of mention in the same sentence as John Madden." Romo during Bengals-Packers yesterday "seemed to raise and lower his decibel level more than in weeks past," and his enthusiasm level has been "off the charts." While his CBS predecessor Phil Simms "seemed to 'ho-hum' everything he saw of late, Romo, at least for the time being, sounds like a kid in a candy store" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/25). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote, "It’s still early in the NFL season but the leading candidate for comeback voice of the year is Ray Lewis." He "bombed out after a few years on ESPN’s NFL studio team, but is totally rejuvenated as a member of Showtime’s 'Inside the NFL' crew." Maybe the show’s format is "better suited for him, but he’s making strong points in fewer words and has not gone into his preachy mode" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/24).