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Volume 25 No. 214
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NFL Week 15 Overnights: CBS Draws Best Rating Of '18 For Pats-Steelers

Pittsburgh led all markets for Patriots-Steelers with a 47.1 rating, followed by Boston with a 41.9
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The longtime Patriots-Steelers rivalry continues to deliver strong TV numbers for the NFL, as yesterday’s matchup in the national window on CBS was the highest-rated game of the season for any network. The 16.5 overnight is actually down 3% from a 17.0 for last year’s Pats-Steelers matchup in the same window. That game was also the NFL’s highest-rated of the season to that point. Yesterday’s number is up from a 15.8 rating in ’16 for Patriots-Broncos in Week 15. Pittsburgh led all markets yesterday with a 47.1 local rating, followed by Boston with a 41.9. Meanwhile, CBS drew an 8.3 overnight for its regional window yesterday, up 24% from a 6.7 last year. Season to date, NFL ratings on CBS are up 6% (10.9 vs. 10.3) from last year. Fox also saw an increase yesterday for its singleheader coverage with a 12.4 overnight, up 7% from an 11.6 last year. Yesterday’s rating was the best for a singleheader window this season on any network. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ close win over the Rams on “SNF” helped NBC to a slight increase last night, as the 12.5 rating for the game was up from a 12.3 for Cowboys-Raiders in Week 15 last year. “SNF” won the night in primetime and peaked at a 13.1 overnight from 10:30-10:45pm ET (Josh Carpenter, THE DAILY).

NFL WEEK 15 SUNDAY OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
18 TELECAST
RAT.
17 TELECAST
RAT.
% +/-
Fox
(single)
12.4
(single)
11.6
6.9%
CBS
(regional)
8.3
(regional)
6.7
23.9%
CBS
Patriots-Steelers (98%)
16.5
Patriots-Steelers (91%)
17.0
-2.9%
NBC
Eagles-Rams
12.5
Cowboys-Raiders
12.3
1.6%

CREAM OF THE CROP: USA TODAY's Nate Davis wonders if any former player has made a "better transition to media" than Nate Burleson? The NFL Network personality, who also appears on CBS, is "Pro Bowl caliber at multiple positions -- game analyst, studio analyst, haberdashery trendsetter." His comparison of rookie QB Sam Darnold to Tony Romo on Saturday's NFL Network Texans-Jets telecast was "on point" (USA TODAY, 12/17). NBCSPORTS.com's Peter King gave a "hearty congratulations to Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, who just finished a series of 11 games as the first all-woman broadcast team in NFL history." Storm and Kremer "teamed up for the Thursday night Amazon Prime telecasts, concluding their season" with last week's Chargers-Chiefs game (NBCSPORTS.com, 12/17).

EVERYBODY LOVES CRIS: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth called Eagles-Rams on NBC's "SNF," and Collinsworth's entry slide into the camera view at the beginning of the broadcast was again a light-hearted moment for viewers. Collinsworth this week entered the frame from the left after a viral entrance from the right last week. NFL Net's Mike Garafolo: "Collinsworth slides left to right this week. That’ll wake you up." SI's Jimmy Traina: "Collinsworth f***ing with everyone by sliding in from the other side is A+ material." The Athletic's David Ubben: "Legitimately gasped when Collinsworth slid in from the left." The N.Y. Daily News' Pat Leonard: "Did Collinsworth just slide in from the opposite side? Is he trolling us???" (TWITTER.com, 12/16).

CASE OF THE MONDAYS: In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel writes ESPN's "MNF" has "never been held in such low esteem." What "once was appointment viewing has become can-miss television." First-year analyst Jason Witten "offers little insight, few stories and no personality, all in a package like he's running from a fire." But Witten "hasn't diminished Monday Night Football." He is the "result of a diminished Monday Night Football." Sideline reporter Lisa Salters is "by far the best thing about the current Monday night crew" (OKLAHOMAN, 12/17).