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Volume 26 No. 50
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NFL Week 4 Overnights: CBS, NBC Lead Another Ratings Gain

Saints-Giants yesterday helped CBS see a 14% ratings gain for its national window
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

For the four traditional Sunday windows in Week 4, the NFL saw overnight ratings rise by 7%. CBS and NBC led the way with matching 12.3 ratings for both the Sunday national window and “SNF.” CBS featured Saints-Giants in 74% of U.S. markets yesterday as part of the NFL using cross-flex, and that led to a 14% ratings gain for the national window. The other game featured for CBS was 49ers-Chargers. Last year, CBS featured Raider-Broncos in 94% of the country, drawing a 10.8 overnight. CBS also saw a 14% gain for regional action in the early Sunday afternoon window. Meanwhile, NBC last night got another primetime win with Ravens-Steelers on “SNF.” The 12.3 rating was up 12% from Colts-Seahawks last year in Week 4. Pittsburgh led all markets with a 42.7 local rating, followed by Baltimore with a 32.3. For Fox’ singleheader window yesterday, the net bumped up national distribution of Browns-Raiders for QB Baker Mayfield’s first start, but the Raiders’ 45-32 win in OT did not help out the rating. Fox was down 7% from last year in the window. One benefit Fox did have last year was a lead-in from Saints-Dolphins from London. That fifth Sunday window in Week 4 last year drew a 4.8 overnight in the morning. There has not been a London game this season to date (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK 4 SUNDAY OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'18 TELECAST
RAT.
'17 TELECAST
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
11.7
(single)
12.6
-7.1%
CBS
(regional)
9.2
(regional)
8.1
13.6%
CBS
Saints-Giants (74%)
12.3
Raiders-Broncos (97%)
10.8
13.9%
NBC
Ravens-Steelers
12.3
Colts-Seahawks
11.0
11.8%

NOTES: Week 4 last season also included a Sunday morning window on Fox from London, which drew a 4.8 overnight. That number is not factored into the ratings chart above.

Download the
NFL Week 4 Overnights

FADE ROUTE: In Dallas, Brad Townsend noted Jimmy Johnson is still in the Fox NFL Studio on Sundays, but his "appearances have been sporadic." Johnson: "I requested to cut back on my time rather than to retire. I'm under contract this year and next but have told Fox that I'm taking it year-to-year." The "relatively youthful-looking" Johnson turned 75 in July. He told Fox that he would "appear in [the] network's Hollywood studio during the hour-long Sunday pre-game show, but would not stay for the halftime or post-game shows." Tony Gonzalez then "suddenly appears in Johnson's chair." Perhaps it "seems illogical for Johnson to fly 5,800 miles round-trip to appear on-camera for basically an hour per week," but Fox no doubt "pays him handsomely to do so." The net is "wise to cull as much insight from Johnson as it can, for as long as it can" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/1).

SPICE IT UP: Joe Buck said that Fox officials were encouraging him and analyst Troy Aikman to "have a less rigid broadcast" on "Thursday Night Football" in terms of the "conversation between the on-air talent." Buck: "Someone comes to you from 'The Big Bang Theory' and they flip on this game, I don't think you can be textbook, cut-and-dry talking about two-deep zones. You have to bring other stuff in and have fun and interact as a group." THE ATHLETIC's Richard Deitsch writes Buck and Aikman seemed a "little more free-flowing with their in-game conversation" during Vikings-Rams this past Thursday, and it "felt like they had more time to discuss things compared to a Sunday afternoon game" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/1).