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  • "Monday Night Football" Ratings Down

    NEW YORK Green Bay's win over Carolina in the first game of the season on ABC's "Monday Night Football," was the second-most watched prime-time show of the week, trailing only NBC's debut episode of the "Friends" spinoff "Joey."

    The game had a rating of 12.5 with a 21 share, the lowest for a season opener on "Monday Night Football" since at least 1994, but still the highest-rated television show of the night. Last year's opener had a rating of 13.3.

    The 17 telecasts last season averaged an 11.5 rating with a 19 share, and it was the first time since 1994 that the average rating had not declined.

    A ratings point represents 1,096,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 109.6 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

  • #2
    Re: "Monday Night Football" Ratings Down

    I just have never been convinced that moving kickoff to 8p est wouldn't get them a larger share. I think most people prefer to start something they can finish and for those who work the traditional hours I suspect they see no point in getting engaged in an event they won't stay up to see the end of if they have to get up early to work. The network wouldn't really be giving up anything by replacing the 8 pm programming because, contrary to popular myth, only dead air is being broadcast then anyway.

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    • OldRamsfan
      Line Of Scrimmage: R.I.P. Monday Night
      by OldRamsfan
      By Tony Moss, Sports Network NFL Editor

      PHILADELPHIA -- The New England Patriots will play the New York Jets the day after Christmas, in what will mark the end of the 35- year spectacle known as Monday Night Football.

      ESPN is taking over the Monday night game next season, while NBC will carry the premiere primetime game of the week, only on Sundays.

      The official end of Monday Night Football on network television is but the final splash of light in a long, slow sunset that has been at least a decade in its descent. ABC had been complaining for years about the money it was losing on the Monday night game, and tried a variety of bells and whistles, all of which were met with skepticism and/or ambivalence by the viewing public, in an effort to reclaim a measure of its 1970s glory.

      With so many cable outlets to distract viewers, the ratings decline that MNF was subject to was little more than a sign of the times. ABC knew when it agreed to pay an annual rights fee of $550 million that it couldn't possibly recoup those dollars in ad revenue. The network was reportedly losing about $150 million a year on the package, and while that money could certainly pay my heating bill for the winter, networks like ABC typically dump $150 million or so on a casual lunch for the cast of According to Jim.

      Lest you thought that the four major networks operated like Swarthmore College trying to determine whether or not to drop women's tennis, know this: networks don't buy the rights to NFL games for the money, they buy them for the prestige and promotional potential that comes with owning them. If you're out of the NFL game, as CBS and NBC both found out during different periods of the past decade, you may have more bankroll within the financial coffers, but you're also considered to be at the back of the network sports bus.

      And though ABC knew this, and should have realized that having a Top 10 show like MNF was still better than much of the dreck it would be able to put out in its place, executives at the network still thought they could transform the show back into the phenomenon it once was. So it made a series of disastrous decisions in an effort to make the game an en all-encompassing festival of entertainment rather than what it has always been, which is a quality sporting event.

      Dennis Miller is a terrific comedian and social commentator, but to think that his high-brow observations were going to make Roscoe from Omaha switch the dial from professional wrestling smacks of a decision made by a bunch of Yale grads in a Manhattan boardroom. Hiring John Madden away from FOX was a step in the right direction, and probably should have been made long before the name "Boomer Esiason" was uttered anywhere in the vicinity of an offseason production meeting.

      But the teaming of Madden and the similarly classy Al Michaels was too little, too late,...
      YES
      40.00%
      2
      NO
      60.00%
      3
      -12-22-2005, 09:13 AM
    • Nick
      Monday Night Football switching to ESPN?
      by Nick
      Disney May Switch N.F.L. Shows
      By RICHARD SANDOMIR
      Published: April 7, 2005

      The National Football League usually announces its gaudy television deals in one cymbal-crashing day.

      Last Nov. 8, it completed deals with CBS and Fox to renew their Sunday afternoon packages through 2011. The total value was $8 billion. At the same time, the league increased its annual take from DirecTV by 75 percent when they extended their deal for $3.5 billion over five years.

      Since then, nothing has happened - no Monday night or Sunday night deals, nothing on a possible late-season, eight-game Thursday-Saturday night slate.

      Right now, the league is biding its time with the slow-to-decide Disney, which chose not to renew its ABC and ESPN deals when CBS and Fox completed their pacts, and is undergoing a shift in chief executive to Robert A. Iger from Michael D. Eisner.

      Disney's uncertainty is realistic: ABC has lost about $150 million annually on a "Monday Night Football" deal that pays the league $550 million a year. Disney may have erred in deferring a deal, because the N.F.L.'s demands go up, not down.

      But if ABC pulls out, does Iger want one of his first major decisions to be the network's parting with "Monday Night" after 35 years? Or will he risk being castigated for continuing to pay a fee that is guaranteed to maintain hefty losses?

      The rampant speculation is that in talks with the league, Disney wants to shift ABC to Sunday night and ESPN to Monday night, giving its cable behemoth the marquee property it craves, a prime-time game on a day with no other games.

      For this, it appears that ESPN, because of revenues it gets from advertisers and subscribers, is willing to pay $900 million or even $1 billion annually through 2011.

      ABC would like to snare Sunday night for as little as $450 million, which might displease the league, which hasn't reduced what it charges to a network since a small rollback in 1993. But if ESPN's bid keeps rising, the league might not be so hasty to dismiss ABC's lowball offer; it shouldn't care how the Disney money is allocated.

      At $1.45 billion a year, Disney would pay 26 percent more than it pays now.

      One factor that Iger must consider is whether it is worth replacing ABC's "Desperate Housewives"-led Sunday night schedule to accommodate football for six more years. The ladies of Wisteria Lane star in the No. 4-ranked prime-time show this year, the new "Grey's Anatomy" is No. 12 and "Extreme Makeover" is No. 22.

      "Monday Night" ranks ninth.

      By losing oodles of cash, ABC might have inadvertently created a bargaining chip as a bulwark against the pressure to pay an increase of 25 percent or 30 percent, as CBS and Fox have.

      "Monday Night"...
      -04-07-2005, 02:13 PM
    • BigGameMN
      What do you think of the Monday Night Football Crew?
      by BigGameMN
      I don't like them. Joe Theisman is a know-it-all and Kornheiser is out of his element. What were they thinking with this group? Another thing I hate is that they invite non-football people into the booth at various points in the game and they stay a LONG time. Last week it was Christian Slater and this week they had Jay-Z there. While I'm watching a football game I don't want to hear about somebody's new movie or music ventures. I want to hear the announcers focus on calling the game.
      Yep, I like 'em
      12.50%
      2
      No, They need to start thinking about replacements
      62.50%
      10
      I don't really care one way or the other
      25.00%
      4
      -11-21-2006, 04:17 AM
    • RamWraith
      Monday night lights can illuminate Rams
      by RamWraith
      By Bryan Burwell
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      12/10/2006


      The magic begins on a field far from the celebrated glare of Monday Night lights. It begins under the low-wattage glimmer of some craggy patch of grass and dirt, with little boys scooting across Pop Warner practice fields in shoulder pads far too big for their pint-sized bodies. The momentum builds as it moves across small towns and big cities, growing under the ethereal yellow mist of every teenage boy's Friday night high school football fantasies.

      The glowing lights of football at night have always held a special allure to anyone who held even a mild infatuation with the gridiron. The sight of a colossal multimillion-dollar stadium aglow in the distance or for that matter, even a tiny, nondescript boys club field is the surest signal that the game's about to be transformed into a larger-than-life event.

      "I still remember my first Monday night game," former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks told me several years ago. "I remember driving up to Giants Stadium as a rookie and seeing the stadium lit up from two or three miles away. I got goosebumps and butterflies right then and there, and they didn't go away until after the game. Don't let any player ever tell you 'Monday Night Football' doesn't mean anything to him. If you hear a guy say that, tell him he's lying. Monday night is big. It's very big and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise."

      So the Very Big Show comes to town Monday night under the big top of the Edward Jones Dome.


      So maybe it's not quite as big as it used to be, having moved from network television to the niche world of ESPN; so maybe the larger-than-life, love-him-or-hate-him character of Howard Cosell has been replaced by the entertaining trio of Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser; so maybe because the game is being played under a downtown roof, the only glow in the night will be the neon lights of commercialism that decorate the stadium's exterior.

      But the game still carries a wallop when you're the only game on the tube. Reputations can still be made or ruined on "Monday Night Football." "This will be a tremendous challenge for this football team on the biggest stage in football, other than the Super Bowl and playoffs," said Torry Holt, the brilliant Rams receiver. "We'll either get embarrassed or we'll do some embarrassing."

      Oh yes, the game still has some clout. The Rams are a struggling 5-7 team. An underdog in their own home against the 10-2 Bears. They have not been on national television all season. They are a team devoid of a national persona. They have been limited to brief highlights on the tail ends of sportscasts. They are a mystery. No, it's worse than that; they are a franchise lacking any national consequence.

      "I know they have Steven...
      -12-11-2006, 02:38 PM
    • RamWraith
      Rams' TV ratings tumble to six-year low
      by RamWraith
      By Dan Caesar
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      12/31/2004

      The Rams' fall from grace isn't limited to the standings this year.

      Television ratings have taken an unprecedented tumble this season, dropping to their lowest level since 1998 - before the team's rise to prominence began.

      With just one game remaining, Nielsen Media Research reports that telecasts of their games are being seen in an average of 25.7 percent of area homes with a TV. That's a 22 percent drop from their rating of 33 last season.

      There are several notable numbers:

      Their best-rated game this season (28.2 for a September contest against New Orleans), is lower-rated than all their games last year.

      In the last five seasons, the Rams have appeared on "Monday Night Football" 14 times. Discounting a meaningless season-ending contest against San Francisco two years ago in which the Rams already had been eliminated from postseason contention, they never had drawn a local rating below 31.6 for a "MNF" telecast.

      But they were on three times this season, with the best rating a 27.1 figure for their game this week vs. Philadelphia. The three-game average is just 24.9.

      The theory that the Cardinals' postseason success hurt Rams viewership doesn't hold statistically. Ratings for Rams games in October, when the Cardinals were garnering most of the attention of local sports fans, was 25.8 - just about the same as the season average.

      Radio report

      Changes could be in store for the Rams on radio, as their deal with Clear Channel Communications expires after this season. Clear Channel airs the games on KLOU (103.3 FM), which it owns, and also sends the transmission to KTRS (550 AM), which it does not own. Sources say KTRS has been paying about 15 percent or so of the estimated $3 million annual rights fees.

      Clear Channel nationally has been moving away from broadcasting the NFL, but its arrangement locally (with KTRS paying part of the freight) could make it more attractive to trying to remain involved. Lee Clear, who manages Clear Channel's local radio operations, could not be reached for comment. But Rams executive vice president Bob Wallace said, "I think they'd like to keep it."

      Tim Dorsey, who runs KTRS, said he is optimistic that a deal similar to the existing one will be worked out. Either way, he said he wants his station to remain as the AM outlet for the broadcasts.

      He said if Clear Channel pulls out, "we would unilaterally speak to the Rams."

      Because of the unsettled situation, the Rams regular-season finale Sunday could be the last game for the entertaining broadcast duo of play-by-play voice Steve Savard and analyst Jack Snow, who are in their fourth season together.

      "We hope its not, but it's a possibility,"...
      -01-01-2005, 05:35 PM
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