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Volume 24 No. 180
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NFL Week 17 Overnights: Ratings Down In Three Of Four Windows On New Year's Eve

The NFL saw ratings decreases in three of its four windows for the final Sunday of the season. Fox drew a 13.2 overnight for its 4:25pm ET national window (Panthers-Falcons in 72% of markets), down 7% from a 14.2 for Giants-Redskins in the same window last year. Fox also drew a 7.7 overnight for its regional window on Sunday, down 22% from a 9.9 last year. Meanwhile, CBS on Sunday drew a 9.4 overnight rating for its national window at 4:25pm, which featured Bengals-Ravens in 31% of markets. That number is down 10% from a 10.4 for CBS’ Week 17 national window last year, which featured Patriots-Dolphins (64% of markets) in the 1:00pm window. CBS on Sunday drew a 7.1 overnight for its regional window at 1:00pm, flat from a 7.1 in the 4:25pm window last year. NBC notably did not air a "SNF" game in Week 17. Fewer televisions also were in use on Sunday on New Year's Eve holiday, compared to last year, when Week 17 fell on New Year's Day (Josh Carpenter, Assistant Editor).

NFL WEEK 17 OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'17 GAME
RAT.
'16 GAME
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(regional)
7.7
(regional)
9.9
-22.2%
CBS
(regional)
7.1
(regional)
7.1
0.0%
Fox
Panthers-Falcons (72%)
13.2
Giants-Redskins (76%)
14.2
-7.0%
CBS
Bengals-Ravens (31%)
9.4
Patriots-Dolphins (64%)
10.4
-9.6%
NBC
No Game
n/a
Packers-Lions
13.7
n/a

CONFLICT OF INTEREST? PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Michael David Smith noted Jon Gruden is "still scheduled to call Saturday's Titans-Chiefs playoff game" on ESPN despite speculation swirling that he could become the Raiders' next coach. That raises "questions about whether there's a conflict between Gruden doing his job as an analyst and Gruden preparing for his next job as a coach." Fox earlier this year "agreed to limit" Greg Olsen's access to the Vikings when the team complained about the Panthers TE serving as a guest analyst while he was on IR. While Gruden has a "good relationship" with Chiefs coach Andy Reid "dating to their days together on the Packers' staff in the 1990s, the Chiefs presumably don't want the Raiders' next head coach to have access to their preparations" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 1/1). ESPN's Adam Schefter noted Gruden and Reid are "very good friends" and Reid has "no issue" with Gruden calling Saturday's game ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/1).

PAINTING A PICTURE: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote CBS delivered "great pictures" of Sunday's Bengals-Ravens game. The net "did it the old-fashioned way: with tight shots of the line of scrimmage to the point where you could see breath ... coming out of the noses and mouths of linemen prior to and at the end of some plays." From the opening of the telecast, CBS "understood that visuals were the best way to help fans understand how cold it was in the M&T Bank Stadium stands" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/31). Meanwhile, THE MMQB's Peter King wrote  the "camera work of the day" on Sunday went to CBS following Bills TE Nick O'Leary scored against the Dolphins. The net "panned to the crowd to show an elderly man in a Bills hat" -- Jack Nicklaus, who is O'Leary's grandfather (SI.com, 1/1).

MUST-SEE IN TENNESSEE: The Titans' regular-season finale against the Jaguars on Sunday earned a 27.4 local rating on WTVF-CBS, the "highest rating since Oct. 6, 2013," for a game in the Nashville market (TENNESSEAN.com, 1/1).