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Volume 25 No. 177
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49ers Flexed Out Of Primetime "SNF" Game For Mahomes, Chiefs

Buzz surrounding the undefeated Chiefs and Mahomes helped land the "SNF" game

The 49ers are being "pushed out of prime time partly due to the allure of the NFL’s next big thing," as QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' game against the Bengals on Oct. 21 has been flexed into "SNF," according to Eric Branch of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Rams-49ers had been the scheduled "SNF" game for that date and will now be played at 1:25pm PT at Levi’s Stadium on CBS. The 49ers will "unveil statues of Dwight Clark and Joe Montana depicting 'The Catch' outside the stadium the same day" and will wear their '94 throwback uniforms (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/10). USA TODAY's Nate Davis notes beginning Monday night against the Packers, the 49ers were about to be "featured in prime time four of the next five weeks -- and that would have been fine" if QB Jimmy Garoppolo did not suffer a season-ending injury in Week 3. The upcoming Monday night game, a Thursday game in Week 9 against the Raiders and "MNF" in Week 10 against the Giants are "not eligible to be flexed because they're not Sunday games" (USA TODAY, 10/10). In L.A., Sam Farmer writes it "wasn’t just that Rams-49ers was less attractive, but that both the Chiefs and Bengals have played their way into prime time, especially with the buzz surrounding" Mahomes (L.A. TIMES, 10/10). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Joe Lucia noted this is the "earliest time in a season the NFL has flexed a game" (, 10/9).

SKY NOT FALLING: USA TODAY's Nancy Armour notes NFL ratings prior to this season had "seen a decline," but so had "pretty much everything else on TV." The NFL is "still king." NFL games "accounted for the three most-watched telecasts" in '17, and "six of the top 10." There are people who "turned off the NFL" when Colin Kaepernick began protesting in '16, and some of them "haven’t returned." But those numbers were "never as substantial" as some tried to claim. Armour: "The NFL isn't dying and its TV ratings aren't plummeting. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even the president" (USA TODAY, 10/10). YAHOO SPORTS' Charles Robinson wrote it is "amazing that it took a detailed media study to understand the popularity of the league is more driven by the product than by political schisms." That should "sting for a group of owners that have an unyielding belief they are always right." In hindsight, the "arrogance in decision-making and reactive nature of the league office only fanned the flames of a fire that wasn’t damaging the bottom line" (, 10/9). Bruin Sports Capital Founder & CEO George Pyne said the rise in NFL ratings this season can partly be attributed to the "focus on the production on the field." The league has "four young quarterbacks that are dynamic" and has had “overtime games.” Pyne: "Last year, 72 of the top 100 programs on TV were NFL games and they’re off to a strong start. It’s good for the NFL, but it’s also good for sports because the NFL is such a big part of the sports ecosystem in the United States"(“Power Lunch,” CNBC, 10/9).

MOVING THE NEEDLE: In Nashville, Mike Organ notes ratings for Titans games are "slightly up this season" with the team sitting at 3-2 and the top of the AFC South. The Titans are averaging a 21.3 local rating, up from a 21.1 last season through five games (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/10).