Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 177
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

NFL Week 12 Overnights: Steelers-Broncos Gives CBS Its Best '18 Game

Steelers-Broncos drew a 15.5 overnight, marking CBS' best Week 12 national window since ’15

Thanksgiving weekend was kind to the NFL, as game ratings rose again. After all three windows were up on Thursday, Week 12 overnights were up 10% across the four windows yesterday. CBS led the way with its best rating so far this season. Its national window, featuring Steelers-Broncos, drew a 15.5 overnight, which is the best Week 12 national window since Steelers-Seahawks in ’15 (16.7 rating). Steelers-Broncos also is up 17% from Saints-Rams last year and keeps CBS’ season-long average up 5%. Meanwhile, NBC last night drew a 13.2 overnight for Packers-Vikings, also the best Week 12 “SNF” since ’15 (Patriots-Broncos, 16.2). Packers-Vikings is up 8% from Packers-Steelers last year. The game delivered another primetime win for NBC, peaking at a 14.2 rating from 9:30-9:45pm ET. Minneapolis-St. Paul led all markets with a 49.0 local rating, followed by Milwaukee with a 43.8. Fox for its singleheader window yesterday drew a 10.3 overnight, up 3% from last year. The window yesterday featured Seahawks-Panthers (42% of markets) and Giants-Eagles (33%) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

% +/-
Steelers-Broncos (87%)
Saints-Rams (82%)
Download the
NFL Week 12 Overnight Ratings

MIDWAY MATH: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal noted CBS' Bears-Lions on Thanksgiving drew a 27.5 local rating, which was 2% lower than a 28.1 for the same matchup on Fox "just 11 days earlier." The Thanksgiving game was the "second-highest rated afternoon Bears game on Chicago TV this season, edging the 27.2 for their Oct. 14 overtime loss to the Dolphins, and fifth-best number locally overall through 11 games" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/24). 

UNDER REVIEW: In Philadelphia, Rob Tornoe noted in a "pun-heavy introduction" for Thanksgiving games, CBS' promo referred to Redskins QB Alex Smith's injured leg as a "drumstick." The joke "didn't go over well on social media, where viewers called the promo 'insensitive,' 'tasteless' and 'repugnantly disrespectful.'" It also "appeared to bother CBS studio analyst Boomer Esiason, who basically apologized for the network's misplaced attempt at humor and empathized with Smith and his family." Meanwhile, NBC's Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison "called a pretty solid game" Thursday night in the Saints' win over the Falcons. The three "weren't shy about calling out the Falcons' mistake-filled offensive performance" (, 11/23).

BACK IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT: In N.Y., John Koblin writes two months into the '18-19 TV season, there is "big ratings news: The NFL is back!" Viewers "can't get enough" of NFL games, which has "come as a relief" to network execs (N.Y. TIMES, 11/26). Ad Age's Anthony Crupi wrote the NFL is effectively "doing away with any semblance of defensive play," meaning the league has "cleared the way for the sort of pass-happy theatrics that appeals to the sort of casual, fantasy-besotted fans who go a long way toward padding the weekly Nielsen stats." No fewer than 12 teams are "averaging at least 25 points per game." The games have "managed to remain sufficiently competitive to keep everyone from adrenaline junkies to advertisers satisfied." A blend of "good fortune and conditioning has kept most of the league’s top stars active throughout the season." The NFL has "managed to sidestep the political ouroboros that made the last two seasons a source of intrigue for everyone" (, 11/26).

THICK SKIN: ESPN's Jason Witten said he knew there was "going to be a lot of noise" in his debut season in the "MNF" booth and "everybody's got an opinion." Witten: "I always felt as a player, one of my best strengths was that I had the self-confidence to be self-critical. I knew when I got into broadcasting that it would be a transition. It's going to be challenging. But I think over time, I'm going to be good at it. I know my study habits. I know what I'm sharing, I know my confidence in myself as an analyst." Witten said that the criticism he receives on social media "becomes contagious" and it "never ends." Witten: "You can't allow that to affect who you are" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/26).