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Volume 24 No. 117
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NFL Week 3 Ratings Enter Positive Territory After Big Gain For ESPN's "MNF"

The Cowboys-Cardinals "MNF" game on ESPN last night helped push overall NFL Week 3 overnight ratings into positive territory compared to the same week last season (+3%). The Cowboys' 28-17 win last night drew a 9.3 overnight rating, marking the best Week 3 "MNF" telecast since '13, when Raiders-Broncos drew a 10.3 overnight. Last year in Week 3, ESPN drew its least-watched "MNF" game on record, as Falcons-Saints drew a 5.7 overnight up against the first Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton Presidential debate. Two years ago, when there was little competition, Packers-Chiefs drew an 8.9 overnight in Week 3. Last night's game once again peaked early, with the 9:15-9:45pm ET window drawing a 10.3 rating. Dallas-Ft. Worth led all markets with a 29.0 local rating (9.2 on ESPN, 19.8 on WFAA-ABC). Phoenix ranked No. 2 with a 22.2 local rating (13.6 on ESPN, 8.6 on KUTP-Ind). Rounding out the top five markets were San Antonio (20.9), Austin (20.3) and Norfolk (15.1) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Robinson & Beaton write the increase for Week 3 for CBS could "easily be a reflection of the competitiveness of the games and interest in the teams each network aired as opposed to viewers tuning in or away because of the national anthem protest controversy." CBS "benefited from having a double-header of close games" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/26).

TOP OF THE MORNING: In Baltimore, Chris Kaltenbach reports WJZ-CBS averaged 425,000 viewers in the local market for Ravens-Jaguars on Sunday morning from London -- "about 6,000 more fans than watched the season opener against the Bengals, but some 21,000 fewer than watched last year’s Week 3 game," which aired in a normal afternoon slot (Baltimore SUN, 9/26).