Fox Maximizes Packers-Cowboys With Big Late Afternoon Spotlight
Fox aired the Packers' 34-24 victory over the Cowboys yesterday, and "cleared out the schedule to enhance its importance," according to Rodger Sherman of THE RINGER. The net put the game in the 4:25pm ET window, when "no other Fox games were airing." CBS had "just one late game," airing Broncos-Chargers in that window. The "result was a day with 10 games played" at 1:00pm and "just two played" in the last afternoon window. With RedZone available, it "feels weird that the NFL intentionally plans heavy windows and light windows, leading to hours when it's impossible to keep track of everything that's happening and hours when there are fewer games to watch than available screens in your football cave" (THERINGER.com, 10/7).
DYNAMIC DUO: In Buffalo, Alan Pergament wrote CBS' Spero Dedes and Adam Archuleta "added to the enjoyment and entertainment value" of yesterday's Bills-Titans game. Dedes has "never" been better. He "saw all the penalties as they were officially called or missed, was quick to tell the story of the Bills’ new folk hero Duke Williams coming off the practice squad and set up Archuleta beautifully in assessing the play" of Bills QB Josh Allen. Archuleta, one of CBS’ "most underrated analysts, didn’t disappoint." He "praised Allen for his bounce back game after his play cost the Bills" the Patriots game a week earlier (BUFFALO NEWS, 10/7).
RANKINGS ARE IN: In Boston, Chad Finn writes the CBS broadcast duo of Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon, the net's No. 4 NFL team, is "better than the No. 2 team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts (not Eagle's fault there) and the No. 3 Greg Gumbel/Trent Green tandem," which called Patriots-Redskins yesterday. Finn: "Green is so chatty I wonder if he even pauses for breath during commercial breaks." Gumbel "ought to know that anyone who is familiar" with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson "isn't interested in hearing about how strong his handshake is" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/7).
NEEDS SOME WORK: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes the Bears-Raiders broadcast on Fox "wasn't a great game" for the announcing team of Dick Stockton and Mark Schlereth. Stockton "sometimes paused awkwardly between words" and noted that Bears LB Khalil Mack "was sidelined by an injury a week earlier when Mack wasn't." Stockton also said that Bears DT Nick Williams "was hurt; it was [DT] Akiem Hicks instead." Meanwhile, Schlereth made the obvious comment that Raiders CB Daryl Worley "wants to play football." Schlereth also "declared Raiders coach Jon Gruden 'authentic,' apparently suggesting other NFL coaches aren't" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/7).
POWER PLAY: The power of the NFL in television programming terms was in full effect this week during Fox' carriage dispute with Dish Network and Sling TV. Faced with not being able to carry yesterday's Packers-Cowboys game -- and coming just three days after most of its subscribers were unable to watch a thrilling Rams-Seahawks "TNF" game -- Dish Network settled its 10-day old carriage fight with Fox. Deal terms were not announced but will see Fox' owned-and-operated broadcast stations, FS1, FS2 and BTN on Dish Network yesterday. Some social media reports say that those channels already are up-and-running (John Ourand, THE DAILY). CABLEFAX DAILY cites a source as saying that distributors "received virtually no notice" of NFL Network dropping Rams-Seahawks on Thursday amid the carriage dispute. Dropping the simulcast "impacted any ad spots sold by distributors." Ad firm Viamedia said that the game's loss "caught it by surprise and it's still working to credit advertisers" (CABLEFAX.com, 10/7).