Event Previews

NFL Week #8: Joe Buck and Kevin Burkhardt back from baseball on Sunday; Nantz/Romo have Pit-Balt


Byes this week are Arizona, Houston, Jacksonville and Washington.

Fox has the doubleheader, 3 games in the early window and 2 in the late. CBS presents a single game, 5 at 1 o’clock and one at 4:05 p.m.

Little rest for the weary. Joe Buck joins Troy Aikman Thursday night for Atlanta at Carolina. Sunday, they’ll both be in Chicago for the Saints and Bears. Next Super Bowl for Joe is 2023, the last year of the NFL’s contract with its current over-the-air partners. The league’s contract with ESPN ends after next season.

Sports Media Watch reports that Fox and CBS showed improved ratings last week for the afternoon coverage. Last Sunday, NBC’s SNF did a 7.9 rating versus Fox’ World Series, 5.3.

The NFL might be behind its ratings of a year ago and that’s understandable, given the pandemic and empty stadiums. Moreover, the confluence of all four sports cannibalizes ratings. Still, the NFL is within striking distance of a year ago. The NBA, NHL and MLB suffered terribly.

I’m a pretty seasoned listener. But I often struggle to distinguish between Louis Riddick and Brian Griese on ESPN’s MNF. Riddick is knowledgeable. But someone should tell him, ‘Less is more.’ He talks excessively .

I’m close to a 3 million miler with Delta but have made just one trip since the pandemic gripped our great country. Most of the guys below don’t travel by chartered aircraft. Risking their health each week is something they do and we should be aware of it. Masks are required to be worn by everyone and meals/snacks are pre-packaged. It’s hardly reassuring to sit on a plane for five or six hours under these chancy conditions. Think Greg Gumbel, 74 and fourth on CBS’ depth chart. He does it every week. I’m surprised he didn’t take the season off.

Games and data:

Thursday, Oct. 29

Atlanta at Carolina, 8:20 p.m. Fox and NFL Network/Joe Buck, Troy Aikman

19% of US. on Fox. NFL Network penetrates approximately 65 million homes

Sunday, Nov. 1

Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1 p.m. CBS/ Jim Nantz, Tony Romo

114 markets/49% of US

Abilene-Albany-Alexandria-Altoona-Anchorage-Atlanta-Augusta, Ga-Austin-Bakersfield-Baltimore-Baton Rouge-Beaumont-Bend-Biloxi-Birmingham-Bismarck-Boise-Bozeman-Bryan -Butte-Charleston-Charlotte-Charlottesville-Chico-Columbia-Columbus,Ga.-Dallas-Dickinson-Dothan-El Paso-Erie-Eureka-Fairbanks-Fargo-Florence-Fresno-Ft Myers -Gainesville-Glendive-Great Falls-Greensboro-Greenville, NC-Harlingen -Harrisburg-Harrisonburg-Hattiesburg-Helena-Honolulu-Houston-Huntington-Jackson-Jacksonville-Juneau-Kalispell-Ketchikan-Lafayette, La.-Lake Charles-Laredo-Lewisburg-Lewiston-Little Rock-Louisville-Macon-Mankato Meridian Minot Missoula Mobile Monroe Montgomery New Orleans Norfolk Oklahoma City Orlando Panama City Beach Parkersburg Pasco Philadelphia  Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond Roanoke Sacramento Salisbury San Angelo San Antonio San Francisco Santa Maria Savannah Scranton Seattle Sherman Shreveport Sitka Spartanburg Spokane Tallahassee Tampa Toledo Tucson Tulsa Twin Falls Victoria W. Palm Beach Waco Washington Weston Wheeling Williston Wilmington Yakima Youngstown

New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. CBS/Ian Eagle, Charles Davis

16 markets/6% of US

Albany, NY-Bangor-Binghamton-Boston-Buffalo-Burlington-Elmira-corning-Hartford-Portland-Presque Isle-Providence -Rochester-Springfield, Ma–Syracuse-Utica-Watertown

Tennessee at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. CBS/Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

16 markets/6% of US

Bowling Green-Chattanooga-Cincinnati-Columbus_Ms.-Columbus_Oh.-Dayton-Greenville_Ms-Hazard-Huntsville-Jackson, Tn-Johnson City-Knoxville-Lexington-Lima-Memphis-Nashville

Las Vegas at Cleveland, 1 p.m. Fox/Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman

43 markets/19% of US

Albuquerque-Baltimore-Bluefield-Casper-Charleston-Cheyenne-Chico-Cincinnati-Clarksburg-Cleveland-Colorado Springs-Columbus-Dayton-Denver-Erie-Eureka-Fresno-Grand Junction-Johnstown-Joplin-Kansas City-Las Vegas-Lexington-Lima-Medford-Monterey-Oklahoma City-Parkersburg-Pittsburgh-Reno-Sacramento-Salisbury-Salt Lake City-San Francisco-Springfield-Springfield-St. Joseph-Toledo-Topeka-Tulsa-Wheeling-Wichita-Youngstown

Indianapolis at Detroit, 1 p.m. CBS/Andrew Catalon, James Lofton 

17 markets/9% of US

Alpena-Cadillac-Champaign-Chicago-Detroit-Evansville-Flint-Fort Wayne-Indianapolis-Kalamazoo-Lafayette, In.-Lansing-Peoria-Rockford-Sault Saint Marie-South Bend-Terre Haute

Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. Fox/Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston

137 markets/56% of US

Abilene-Albany, Ga-Albany, NY-Alexandria-Alpena-Amarillo-Anchorage-Augusta-Austin-Baton Rouge-Beaumont-Billings-Biloxi-Binghamton-Boise-Bowling Green-Burlington-Butte-Cedar Rapids-Champaign-Charleston-Charlotte-Charlottesville-Chattanooga-Chicago-Columbia-Columbia-Columbus-Columbus-Corpus Christi-Dallas-Davenport-Des Moines-Detroit-Duluth-El Paso-Elmira-Evansville-Fairbanks-Fargo-Flint-Fort Smith-Fort Wayne-Grand Rapids-Great Falls-Green Bay-Greensboro-Greenville-Greenville-Greenwood-Guam-Harlingen-Harrisburg-Harrisonburg-Hartford-Hattiesburg-Helena-Houston-Idaho Falls-Indianapolis-Jackson-Jackson-Jonesboro- Juneau Knoxville La Crosse Lafayette, In- Lafayette, La- Lake Charles Lansing Laredo Lincoln Little Rock Louisville Lubbock Macon Madison Mankato Marquette Memphis Meridian Milwaukee Minneapolis Minot Missoula Monroe Myrtle Beach Nashville New Orleans New York Norfolk North Platte Odessa Omaha Ottumwa Paducah Peoria Philadelphia Phoenix Puerto Rico Quincy Raleigh Rapid City Richmond Roanoke Rochester Rockford San Angelo San Antonio Savannah Sherman Shreveport Sioux City Sioux Falls South Bend Spokane Springfield, Il- St. Louis Syracuse Terre Haute Traverse City Tri-Cities Tucson Twin Falls Tyler US Virgin Islands Utica Victoria Waco Washington Watertown Wausau Wichita Falls Wilkes-Barre Wilmington Yakima Yuma

New York Jets at Kansas City, 1 p.m. CBS/Kevin Harlan, Trent Green

35 markets/13% of US

Amarillo-Cape Girardeau-Cedar Rapids-Corpus Christi-Des Moines-Dodge City/Ensign-Florence-Ft Smith-Goodland-Grand Island-Hays-Jefferson City-Jonesboro-Kansas City-Kirksville-Lincoln-Lubbock -New York-North Platte-Odessa-Omaha-Pittsburg-Quincy-Rapid City-Reliance-Rock Island-Sioux City, Ia-Sioux Falls, SD-Springfield, Mo-St Joseph-St. Louis-Topeka-Tyler-Wichita-Wichita Falls

Los Angeles Rams at Miami, 1 p.m. Fox/Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma

32 markets/24% of US

Atlanta-Bakersfield-Bangor-Bend-Birmingham-Boston-Buffalo-Dothan-Eugene-Fort Myers-Gainesville-Honolulu-Huntsville-Jacksonville-Los Angeles-Miami-Mobile-Montgomery-Orlando-Palm Springs-Panama City-Portland-Portland-Presque Isle-Providence-Rochester-San Diego-Santa Barbara-Seattle-Tallahassee-Tampa-West Palm Beach

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 4:05 p.m. CBS/Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon 

38 markets/17% of US

Albuquerque-Billings-Casper-Cheyenne-Cleveland-Colorado Springs-Coos Bay-Denver-Duluth – Chisholm-Durango-Escanaba-Eugene-Grand Junction-Green Bay-Idaho Falls-La Crosse -Lander-Las Vegas-Los Angeles-Madison-Mason City-Medford-Miami -Milwaukee-Minneapolis-Monterey-Montrose-Palm Springs-Reno-Rock Springs-Roseburg-Roswell-Salt Lake City-San Diego-Scottsbluff/Gering-Walker-Wausau-Yuma

New Orleans at Chicago, 4:25 p.m. Fox/Joe Buck, Troy Aikman

165 markets/76% of US

Abilene-Albany, Ga-Albany, NY-Alexandria-Alpena-Amarillo-Atlanta-Augusta-Austin-Baltimore-Bangor-Baton Rouge-Beaumont-Biloxi-Binghamton-Birmingham-Bluefield-Boston-Bowling Green-Buffalo-Cedar Rapids-Champaign-Charleston-Charleston-Charlotte-Charlottesville-Chattanooga-Chicago-Cincinnati-Clarksburg-Cleveland-Columbia-Columbia-Columbus-Columbus-Columbus-Corpus Christi-Dallas-Davenport-Dayton-Des Moines-Detroit-Dothan-Duluth-Elmira-Erie-Evansville-Fargo-Flint-Fort Myers-Fort Smith-Fort Wayne-Gainesville-Grand Rapids-Green Bay-Greensboro-Greenville-Greenville-Greenwood-Harlingen-Harrisburg-Harrisonburg-HartfordHattiesburg Houston Huntsville Indianapolis Jackson, Ms- Jackson, Tn- Jacksonville Johnstown Jonesboro Joplin Kansas City Knoxville La Crosse Lafayette, In- Lafayette, La- Lake Charles Lansing Laredo Lexington Lima Lincoln Little Rock Louisville Lubbock Macon Madison Mankato Marquette Memphis Meridian Miami Milwaukee Minneapolis Minot Mobile Monroe Montgomery Myrtle Beach Nashville New Orleans New York North Platte Odessa Oklahoma City Omaha Orlando Ottumwa Paducah Panama City Parkersburg Peoria Philadelphia Pittsburgh Portland Presque Isle Providence Puerto Rico Quincy Raleigh Rapid City Richmond Roanoke Rochester, Mn- Rochester, NY- Rockford Salisbury San Angelo San Antonio Savannah Sherman Shreveport Sioux City Sioux Falls South Bend Springfield ,Il-Springfield, Mo- St. Joseph St. Louis Syracuse Tallahassee Tampa Terre Haute Toledo Topeka Traverse City Tri-Cities Tulsa Tyler US Virgin Islands Utica Victoria Waco Washington Watertown Wausau West Palm Beach Wheeling Wichita Wichita Falls Wilkes-Barre Wilmington Youngstown

San Francisco at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. Fox/Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth 

47 markets/23% of US

Albuquerque-Anchorage-Bakersfield-Bend-Billings-Boise-Burlington-Butte-Casper-Cheyenne-Chico-Colorado Springs-Denver-El Paso-Eugene-Eureka-Fairbanks-Fresno-Grand Junction-Great Falls-Guam-Helena-Honolulu-Idaho Falls-Juneau-Las Vegas-Los Angeles-Medford-Missoula-Monterey-Norfolk-Palm Springs-Phoenix-Portland-Reno-Sacramento-Salt Lake City-San Diego-San Francisco-Santa Barbara-Seattle-Spokane-Springfield-Tucson-Twin Falls-Yakima-Yuma

Dallas at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m. NBC/Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth

100% of US

Monday, Nov. 2

Tampa Bay at New York Giants, 8:15 p.m. ESPN/ Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick

ESPN’s 85 million homes 


*TV listings are unofficial (10/18/20)

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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Michael Green
3 years ago

This is true, I fear, in any sport: The Madden influence. He talked a lot and therefore the analyst, they think, should talk a lot. But Madden ALWAYS had something to say–maybe funny, maybe analytical. I’m reminded of Red Barber’s comment in The Broadcasters that, as good as Eric Sevareid was, he only did two minutes a night on the evening news. That made him stand out even more.