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Volume 25 No. 7
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Colts-Titans Marks One Of ESPN's Lowest "MNF" Overnight Ratings On Record

ESPN last night drew a 6.1 overnight rating for the Titans' 36-22 win over the Colts, marking the third-lowest "MNF" overnight since the network acquired rights to the package prior to the '06 season. The all-time low was a 5.7 overnight last year for Falcons-Saints in Week 3, which went up against the first Trump-Clinton presidential debate. The second-lowest "MNF" overnight was a 6.0 for Colts-Jets in Week 13 last season. Colts-Titans, which aired opposite FS1's Astros-Yankees ALCS Game 3, is down 3% from a 6.3 overnight for Jets-Cardinals last year, the previous Week 6 low for ESPN. That game last year aired up against TBS' Indians-Blue Jays ALCS Game 3. The game last night peaked at a 6.9 rating from 10:30-10:45pm and then again from 11:15-11:30pm. The telecast drew a 25.4 local rating in Indianapolis (10.4 on ESPN, 15.0 on WRTV-ABC). Nashville drew a 22.2 local rating (6.5 on ESPN, 15.7 on WKRN-ABC). Rounding out the top five markets last night were Memphis (10.4), Philadelphia (9.6) and New Orleans (9.3). Through six weeks, "MNF" is averaging a 7.8 overnight, up 4% from the same point last season (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
 
BOSTON MARKET: CBS' Patriots-Jets on Sunday drew a 32.9 local rating in Boston in the 1:00pm ET window, marking the highest-rated program in market last week. It also was the second-best local rating of the season behind the Chiefs-Patriots NFL Kickoff game on NBC (Patriots).

HIGHEST-RATED PROGRAMS IN BOSTON TV MARKET (OCT. 9-15)
PROGRAM
NETWORK
DATE
LOCAL RATING
Patriots-Jets
CBS
10/15
32.9
Steelers-Chiefs
CBS
10/15
13.4
"60 Minutes"
CBS
10/15
13.4
"The Big Bang Theory"
CBS
10/9
11.4
ALDS: Astros-Red Sox: Game 4
FS1
10/9
10.4


FOCUS ON THE ISSUES
: NBCSN’s Chris Simms said of NFL ratings being down, "They just made the games available on too many avenues. A 25-year-old kid on a Sunday afternoon can say, ‘I'm going to go out to the park and hang out with my friends and, whatever, and I'll watch the game later on my iPad in a condensed version and watch 40 minutes and see the whole thing.’” Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said of the NFL, “They need to figure out what the problem is and they need to put resources toward solving it, and maybe (with) this obsession with expanding the sport beyond our borders to other countries and growing the pie that way they've taken the U.S. fan base for granted. Maybe they need to market their product a little more aggressively here, find ways to get people interested" ("PFT," NBCSN, 10/17).

AFTER PARTY: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal notes the Bears are "extending their 10-year TV partnership" with WFLD-Fox another five years. WFLD, which became a partner in '08, will "continue to air the team-produced preseason game telecasts, the in-season weekly shows 'Bears Gameday Live' and 'Bears Gamenight Live' and year-round 'Inside the Bears' each week." In addition, the Bears said that they "plan to add a postgame show and a 30-minute Bears weekly show scheduled for Friday evenings along with three to four specials pegged to events such as the draft, the opening of the regular season and a review of the season at its completion" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/17).

LOST IN TRANSLATION: REUTERS' Li & Cadell note football's "rapid growth and youthful fan base" in China have "exposed a shortage of Mandarin-speaking commentators who have the football knowledge to call a game." The NFL this season "scrapped a mix of online streaming deals in favor of an exclusive digital partnership" with China social media outfit Tencent. Chinese commentator Wang Zixing said that "translating the jargon is the toughest thing about explaining the game to China’s young football fans." Football is "less popular than basketball and soccer in China, but fan numbers are growing quickly, as young people accustomed to streaming sports on mobile telephones get drawn in." The NFL has been "quick to seize on the trend" (REUTERS, 10/16).