Fox and NFL Network combined for a 10.5 overnight rating for the Steelers' 52-21 win over the Panthers on "TNF," up 12% from Seahawks-Cardinals in Week 10 last year on NBC/NFL Net (9.4 rating). Two years ago, the Week 10 "TNF" game, Browns-Ravens, aired solely on NFL Net. Panthers-Steelers also delivered Fox a seventh straight win in primetime on Thursday. The 10.5 rating also is up 14% from Fox' "TNF" season average (9.2) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
DANCE WITH THE ONE WHO BROUGHT YA? In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes NFL television ratings are "up a bit this year to reverse a trend of recent seasons, but there have been some duds on the recent national schedule and more are on the way." The "trend of clunkers" began with last week's Raiders-49ers on "TNF," which "matched last-place teams that each had won one game beforehand." Additionally, last Monday's Titans-Cowboys game "pitted below-.500 teams" against each other. While Panthers-Steelers on paper was a good matchup, NBC has a "SNF" matchup of teams that "don’t have winning records" in Cowboys-Eagles. To make matters worse, the Giants-49ers "MNF" contest this week is a "horror show." There "isn’t another blockbuster prime-time telecast looming until Nov. 19," when the Rams face the Chiefs in Mexico City (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/9).
CALL IT LIKE YOU SEE IT: THE RINGER's Kevin Clark wrote under the header, "How Mike Pereira Changed The Way We Watch Football Forever." Fox' rules analyst has "developed into a trustworthy guide, the Walter Cronkite of telling America whether the receiver maintained control of the ball as he hit the ground." Shortly after Pereira announced that he would be "leaving his job overseeing officiating" in '09, he "got a phone call" from then-Fox Sports Chair David Hill. The two men had "developed a good rapport during yearly officiating seminars." The call, "as Pereira remembers it, was brief: 'Pereira, it’s Hill, you aren’t retiring. We’ll have something for you. Goodbye.'" Now, Pereira is "like the mayor of the Fox lot on game days" (THERINGER.com, 11/7).
KEEPING IT LIGHT: THE ATHLETIC's Jeff Pearlman profiled NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" host Kyle Brandt, who has "emerged as one of the brightest new faces in sports television." Brandt, also the solo host of his new weekly program, “The Kyle Brandt Football Experience," is "engaging and spirited," and most of all "unwilling to take himself particularly seriously" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/8).