NFL Week 14 Broadcast Preview
December 6, 2007 3:36 PM
The undefeated streak of the New England Patriots continues to deliver gold for NFL carriers, and this week CBS hopes the trend continues.
The week 13 games bolstered ESPN's “Monday Night Football” which soared to an incredible 11.1 rating and 18 share with 17.5 million households tuned in for Baltimore's near-upset of the Pats. The game not only ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched NFL telecast ever on cable, but scores the most-watched cable telecast, edging out Disney's August airing of “High-School Musical 2” which drew 17.2 million.
With fans expecting a blowout, Monday night's game opened at a 6.8/11 (10.6 mill.) at 8:30pm, and grew steadily as the night wore on before peaking at a 15.0/28 (23.9 mill.) at 11:30pm. So far this season, the unbeaten Patriots have delivered season-high ratings to CBS (vs. IND in Week 9), NBC (vs. PHL in Week 12), and ESPN (vs. BAL this week).
With both the Redskins and the Bears struggling, the loser of this game on Thursday night is almost certainly out of the playoff race. Although on the NFL Network nationally, the games can also be seen on MyNetwork Ch. 50 (WPWR-TV) in Chicago and MyNetwork Ch. 20 (WDCA-TV) in DC in the two local markets.
The NFL Network will lead up to the match with programming that includes Deion Sanders going 1-on-1 with Bears kick returner Devin Hester and Kara Henderson sitting down with Redskins running back Clinton Portis as well as Pedro Taylor, father of the slain Sean Taylor.
As I said before, this week, the big kahuna returns to CBS against a tough Pittsburgh team and slated Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to call the national game for the network.
“Now the NFL is not about all the games, it’s about which game of the year is it this week,” said Mr. Simms of the Patriots ratings behemoth. “I guess there are certain parts of it that are good, but we tend to lose focus on too many teams that are doing some good stuff and they are going to be part of the playoff picture. We can’t get past the Patriots, the Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and this week the Steelers squeak in there because they are playing the Patriots Every time the Patriots play a game that is close now, of course since they are undefeated, it becomes huge news.”
Here are the CBS announcers for the week 14 games.
|San Diego @ Tennessee||Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf|
|Oakland @ Green Bay||Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon|
|Miami @ Buffalo||Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots|
|Pittsburgh @ New England||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
|Cleveland @ NY Jets||Dick Enberg, Randy Cross|
|Kansas City @ Denver||Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker|
The NFL ON FOX pulled in a 10.5/20 (16.5 million viewers) for its week 13 doubleheader, anchored by a Giants/Bears national game. This week Dallas @ Detroit will be featured in a single game broadcast for the channel.
Here’s Fox’s official game map with announcers and percentages…
NFL on Fox Week 14 Singleheader (Click image to view.)
Fresh off the Patriots, the Ravens now face the Colts on NBC “Sunday Night Football.” The Colts can lock up a playoff berth with a win on Sunday night and some help and could potentially wrap up their fifth straight AFC South title.
“Change any one of about a half dozen plays in the Pats-Colts game, then the next week have Vinatieri make a field goal he almost never misses and the Colts would now be 12-0,” said NBC’s Bob Costas. “They would have the No. 1 seed and the Pats, in all likelihood, would be coming to Indy in late January.”
This is the Colts third appearance on NBC this season. The team defeated the Saints 41-10 on the opening Thursday night game of the season and lost to the Chargers 23-21 on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 10. The Colts appeared on SNF three times last season winning all three and hold a 21-11 all-time record on the NFL's premiere primetime network package (ABC's MNF 1970-2005, NBC's SNF 2006-Present).
Meanwhile, this is the Ravens first ever appearance on NBC “Sunday Night Football.”
Following the mammoth numbers of this week, the channel will struggle to get close to that again as the channel gets a Saints/Falcons game of two teams with losing records but hard rivals. Interestingly, on the same day that the Falcons host the Monday Night Football game, their franchise quarterback Michael Vick will find out how long he will spend in jail.
I also wanted to give a shout to awfulannoucing.com which continues to make me laugh with their take on the world of the sports industry, but without losing insight. Check it out for his POV.