NFL Thanksgiving Ratings See Multiyear Lows; CBS-Dish Dispute Hits Cowboys Game
The NFL's slate of games of Thanksgiving delivered the lowest-rated Turkey Day in many years. Fox led off Thanksgiving with Vikings-Lions in the early window, drawing an 11.4 overnight rating. Despite a close game, that is the lowest overnight for any Thanksgiving afternoon game since the Titans routed the Lions in '08 (10.9 rating) en route to the Lions' 0-16 season. CBS last year drew a 14.4 overnight for the same Vikings-Lions matchup in the early window. In the late afternoon window on Thanksgiving, CBS drew a 12.4 overnight for the Chargers' 28-6 win over the Cowboys. That is the lowest figure for any Cowboys game on Thanksgiving since '08, when they played the Seahawks. Likely affecting the rating for CBS was a now-settled carriage dispute with Dish Network, which led to a blackout for a number of subscribers. Last year, Fox drew a 15.6 rating for Redskins-Cowboys. Meanwhile, NBC drew a 9.7 overnight for Giants-Redskins on Thursday night, marking the lowest-rated Thanksgiving game for NBC since it started airing the primetime matchup in '12. Giants-Redskins is down 10% from a 10.8 overnight for Steelers-Colts on Thanksgiving night last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
BLACKOUT BLUES: In Dallas, Barry Horn noted Chargers-Cowboys, affected by the Dish-CBS carriage dispute, "scored a bottom-of-the-barrel" 18.4 local rating in Dallas-Ft. Worth. The rating is "shockingly low" and is the "worst in memory." Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of Dallas-Ft. Worth's 2.65 million homes with TVs "reportedly are Dish subscribers" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/25).
SETTLING INTO THE SADDLE: Horn in a separate piece wrote now that CBS' Tony Romo has "settled into a week-to-week grind, he's still very good." He "no longer seems a phenom as a network's No. 1 game analyst." Romo "never dropped a hammer on the Cowboys."But he also "offered up a Pollyannaish outline for how the 5-6 Cowboys could still make the promised land of the playoffs" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/24). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Romo has been "eager to please, informing us what goes on in huddles, suspected plays to come, and with a breezy sense of humor." Muschnick: "But his strengths are diminished, if not lost, because we’ve neither the time nor inclination to sort the wheat from the chaff because he doesn’t stop talking!" (N.Y. POST, 11/27).