Most NFL Pregame Shows, Like Games, Seeing Ratings Decreases From Last Season
The NFL's ratings slide in recent seasons also has "infected long-running pregame shows" on ESPN, NBC and CBS, according to Michael McCarthy of SPORTING NEWS. The "hardest hit has been ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown,' which has lost" 15% of its viewership from last season. This marks the first year Sam Ponder has served as host after replacing "Countdown" stalwart Chris Berman after 31 years. McCarthy wrote it is "good" that ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Seth Markman and the net's top brass are "giving 'Countdown' room to let a new show chemistry develop." However, sources said that the show's TV numbers are "causing concern." Meanwhile, NBC's "Football Night in America" has "averaged 7.359 million viewers through the first nine weeks," which is down 7.2%. Meanwhile, CBS' "The NFL Today" averaged 3.3 million viewers over the first nine weeks of the season, down 5.7% (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 11/9). Fox' pregame shows are actually up, despite the net's game coverage being down 8%. "Fox NFL Kickoff" in the 11:00am-12:00pm window is averaging 1.3 million viewers, up 5% to date. "Fox NFL Sunday" in the 12:00-1:00pm window is averaging 4.7 million viewers, up 1% (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).