NFL Week #4: NBC’s SNF has Brady’s return to New England; ESPN’s Mannings won’t return until Week #7

Broadcast notes, NFL Week #4

  • CBS has the doubleheader, Fox the single game.
  • Joe Buck and Troy Aikman work Thursday night on NFL Network but not on Sunday.
  • Beth Mowins (@bethmowins) | TwitterBeth Mowins (left) will make her CBS regular season debut and Tiki Barber will be alongside for Houston at Buffalo. Mowins is from Upstate New York.
  • Cord cutting you ask? The NFL Network is down to 53 million subscribers. At its height, ESPN subscriptions were over 100 million. It is now at 83 million. ESPN has lost some 20% of its subscription. That is a steep decline. Where did the subscribers go? In January, 2019, ESPN+ had 1.4 million buying in. In the third quarter of this year, it’s 14.9. Remember, this is recurring and projectable revenue every month. Unless my calculator is wrong, ESPN+ generates over $1 billion in revenue already.
  • According to Sports Media Watch,  “The NFL hit a trio of multi-year highs in primetime in Week #3 of the season. The latest edition of NFL Monday Night Football (Eagles-Cowboys) averaged 14.9 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2, the largest Week 3 MNF audience since the Packers-Seahawks “Fail Mary” in 2012. “The primary ESPN telecast averaged 12.90 million, while the Peyton and Eli Manning-fronted alternate presentation on ESPN2 averaged 1.89 million. The audience for the Manningcast increased slightly from the previous week (1.86M), though it made up a slightly smaller percentage of the audience (just under 13% of the audience, compared to slightly more than 13% last week).”
  • I’ve heard those who’ve criticized Aqib Talib. I like him. He’s vibrant and informative.
  • As far as the Mannings, I guess there’s some load management going on. Peyton and Eli won’t return with their side-by-side telecast until Week #7. They worked the first three weeks and they’re off the next three. What will be interesting this weekend, their first Monday off, is to see whether the total ESPN/NFL audience  is down significantly, compared to their first three weeks when they were a side show, ESPN plus the Mannings on ESPN2. In other words, we’ll see what the two former QBs add to the total broadcast number.


Thursday, Sept. 30 – 8:20 pm ET

You Are Looking Live!: How The NFL Today Revolutionized Sports BroadcastingJacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews

NFL Network -53 M subscribers across America

Sunday, Oct. 3 – 1 pm ET

Tennessee Titans at New York Jets

Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta, AJ Ross

CBS – 11%//13 stations

(Above: Rich Podolsky’s new book on the NFL’s longest running network pre-game show, CBS’ The NFL Today. There were colorful people engaged from Brent Musburger, to Phyllis George and  Jayne Kennedy to Jimmy the Greek. Click to purchase)

Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles

Ian Eagle, Charles Davis,  Evan Washburn

CBS – 53%/142 stations

Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver

Fox -38%/87 stations

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints

Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Sara Walsh

Fox – 13%/29 stations

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings

Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Williams

CBS – 14%/45 stations

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Gus Johnson, Aqib Talib

Fox – 12%/36 stations

Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills

Beth Mowins, Tiki Barber

CBS – 7%/24 stations

Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins

Spero Dedes, Jay Feely

CBS – 8%/16 stations

Washington Football Team at Atlanta Falcons

Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

Fox – 8%/17 stations

Sunday, Oct. 3 – 4:05 pm ET

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake

Fox – 9 %/24 stations

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Jen Hale

Fox – 9%/19 stations

Sunday, Oct. 3 – 4:25 pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers

Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson

CBS – 10%/201 stations

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

Andrew Catalon , James Lofton, Amanda Balionis

CBS – 10%/39 stations

Sunday, Oct. 3 – 8:20 pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

NBC – 100% of country

Monday, Oct. 4 – 8:15 pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Suzy Kolber, Lisa Salters

ESPN 83 M subscribers across America

The Manning Brothers won’t return with their side-by-side until Week #7

David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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