Patriots TV Ratings Update

As I mentioned the other day, Monday night’s Patriots/Jets game did a 42.2 rating (62 HH share) in the Boston area. That number is combined between ESPN and WCVB-TV.

The Patriots-Jets game was the highest-rated game of the season in the local market and the third-highest all time, topping the Patriots Nov. 22 victory over the Colts, which had previously set the mark for the third-highest regular season local ratings.

The Patriots continued their record-setting pace for HH ratings through 13 weeks in their designated market area with an average 33.4 HH rating. In addition, New England owns the 10 most-watched television programs in the Boston area since football season began, with the Patriots-Jets game topping the list.

Here is the updated list of Patriots ratings locally thus far this season:


Odd Column Changes From NY Times

I had seen William Rhoden’s column in The New York Times yesterday, and like this emailer, I was somewhat surprised to see it get remade at the same URL following the Patriots beatdown of Jets.

Hi Bruce,

I’m a regular BSMW reader, and as such I thought you might be interested in something I caught in the NYT coverage of the Jets-Pats rivalry. On the Times’ site yesterday, I saw this column from William Rhoden.

That article no longer exists on the Times’ site; it’s been replaced, at the same URL, with this. (The modified article went up within a few minutes of last night’s game ending.) You’ll notice the new headline no longer references the Patriots’ “crumbling empire;” similar changes are made throughout the article.

Now, to my mind, these are both cases of pretty crappy journalism, using the thinnest of pretenses to bring up Spygate without really saying anything new. However, it’s my understanding that the Times’ policy is to note corrections, changes, or updates to articles like this instead of just throwing lines like “The shift has occurred: the Jets are in ascendancy, while New England is in retrograde” down the memory hole.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this.


PS: One more amusing modification. Rhoden, pre-game: “The shift was set in motion three seasons ago by a moral misstep by Belichick. The Patriots empire began to unravel the day New England was caught cheating.” Rhoden, post-game: “If New England does not win another title under Belichick, critics can say that a shift took place three seasons ago.” Hedging his bets, I guess.

Patriots Dominate Ryan, Jets, 45-3

Yesterday will go down as one of the better days in the history of Boston sports, with Adrian Gonzalez being introduced as a member of the Red Sox in the morning, and the Patriots absolutely crushing the New York Jets, 45-3 before a national audience on Monday Night Football.

Overnight numbers have the game doing a 42.2 rating locally. New England fans stayed tuned to the very end, and many also stayed up to see reaction from Patriots players and Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

My favorite moment of the evening had to be rookie Devin McCourty doing the “plane” celebrebration following his interception of a pass intended for Braylon Edwards. I half expected LaDainian Tomlinson to run out onto the field and yell at McCourty and the Patriots for having no class in mocking the Jets celebration.

Another golden season is in the making – Yes, I’m sending you over to a Dan Shaughnessy column. It’s a good one. I also always like a good Secretariat reference.

Ten Things We Learned Monday: Young Patriots were picture perfect in blowout – Christopher Price cranks out his weekly list of things to take away from the game.

Bill Belichick kicks butt – Karen Guregian says that the battle of the coaches was a huge mismatch.

Patriots’ defense comes together – Mike Reiss has the young defense taking another step forward.

Can you say championship? – Michael Felger is officially on the bandwagon.

Jets have no answers for QB Tom Brady’s perfection – Shaughnessy, Felger, and now Borges? Let’s just call it bizarro day at BSMW.

Visitors were grounded from the start – Greg A Bedard puts it simply – The Jets are frauds.

Tom Brady: The best at his best – Jackie MacMullan too? Tom E. Curran says that Brady had an idea of what was going to happen last night.

Bruschi inspires once again – Shalise Manza Young has the former Patriots linebacker being honored at halftime. Karen Guregian says that Bruschi is still a model for the Patriots defense to follow.

Numbers not always true story – Monique Walker’s notebook says that the Patriots defense is better than the numbers would should. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport  has Antonio Cromartie struggling against Tom Brady last night. The Metrowest notebook from Andy Vogt has Danny Woodhead burning his former team. The two-minute drill from Hector Longo threatens to report Tedy Bruschi to DSS.

Epstein’s work isn’t done -Despite the trade for Adrian Gonzalez, Gordon Edes says that the Red Sox GM still has work to do. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham also has Theo with more to do.

Quite a comfortable fit – Nick Cafardo looks at how perfect Gonzalez is for Fenway and the Red Sox. Joe McDonald notes that everyone seems to think the same thing.

For all the right reasons, Adrian Gonzalez move to Red Sox was inevitable – Daniel Barbarisi says that this trade was always going to happen.

Red Sox interested in signing Ordonez – Sean McAdam reports on interest in the former White Sox and Tigers slugger.

Celtics make painstaking gains – Julian Benbow has the Celtics struggling through injuries. Evans Clinchy has the Celtics looking forward to the return of Jermaine O’Neal and some other thoughts.

Celtics finding time forAvery Bradley – Steve Bulpett has the rookie guard getting thrown into the fire. more links coming…

BIGHORN – A Twilight Zone-ish story about the Patriots and Adam Vinatieri

Here is a little bit of fun, that might pass a few minutes of your time this afternoon as we wade throgh the buildup to Patriots/Jets tonight.

I meant to mention this a ways back, and it slipped my mind. Alfred Thomas Catalfo is a New Hampshire-based filmmaker and attorney, and recently released the following short film:

BIGHORN is a 15-minute, supernatural historical fantasy based on a true fact: that General Custer’s bandmaster, Felix Vinatieri — an Italian immigrant and the great-great-grandfather of Super Bowl-winning kicker Adam Vinatieri — was ordered to stay behind at the 7th Cavalry’s Powder River camp and missed the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The story takes place in 2002 and in 1876.

BIGHORN is the latest from award-winning filmmakers Alfred Thomas Catalfo (writer/director of the internet hit “The Norman Rockwell Code” and winner of 21 major screenwriting competitions) and Glenn Gardner (producer of Cannes Film Festival Palm d’Or winner “Sniffer”). The renowned Steve Alexander, recognized by the U.S. Congress as the world’s foremost Custer living historian, portrays Custer. Native American and adopted Lakota Bill Watkinson portrays the Lakota Medicine Man.

In a first for independent filmmaking, the NFL granted the filmmakers permission to use footage from the 2002 Super Bowl. The film can be viewed online at

I obtained permission from Mr Catalfo to embed the film on BSMW, so you can watch the film right here as well:

BIGHORN from Alfred Thomas Catalfo on Vimeo.

Here is a story from the NY Daily News on the film:

How General Custer’s decision before infamous battle could have altered course of NFL history

Sox Get Their Man, Patriots Get Back To Work

Yesterday’s coverage of the Adrian Gonzalez trade to the Red Sox was the rare one that would’ve benefited from the old 24-hour news cycle. Why is that? When 2:00pm yesterday came without an agreement or announcement of a trade, the world of Twitter exploded. Some reports had the trade dead, others said that a trade could still go through without an extension. Some said Gonzalez wanted too much, others said the Red Sox were hesitant to pay a player coming off shoulder surgery. Nick Cafardo was on the right track, but also reported all the other rumors as well.

Then word came out that Jayson Werth, another possible Red Sox target, had agreed to a huge deal with the Washington Nationals, and it started all over again.

Finally, word starting coming out last evening that the trade was going to finally go through, and that the Red Sox have scheduled a press conference for 11:00 this morning to introduce Gonzalez.

In the old days, there would’ve been time for all the information to be gathered in time for newspapers to arrive this morning, and the reader would’ve been fully educated on the process, and spared some of the angst experienced yesterday. There might’ve been a line in there somewhere that said “At one point yesterday afternoon, the sides were far enough apart that it seemed a deal would not get done, but the sides persevered and both sides felt comfortable making the deal official.”

I think Rich Levine agrees with me on this.

Extension can wait? Why Adrian Gonzalez extension might not make sense right now – Alex Speier explains why the Red Sox might not make the contract extension official, even if they’ve agreed on one.

Theo Epstein had him all the way – Gordon Edes says the Red Sox GM was not about to let his prize get away.

Looks like a huge save in Gonzalez deal – Michael Silverman has the Red Sox avoiding the wrath of their fans.

drama has shifted from J.D. Drew to Jayson Werth and Adrian Gonzalez – Rob Bradford looks at the Red Sox again figuring big in the winter meetings.

What to watch for Monday against the Jets – Christopher Price has some things to check out in tonight’s Patriots/Jets game. Mike Reiss has 10 things for Patriots-Jets and Ian Rapoport has Five things to watch tonight.

Opposites attract: Bill, Rex just win – Karen Guregian says that this might be the most interesting matchup of the night. Jackie MacMullan goes a similar route.

It’s all but a ‘must-win’ for the Patriots – Robert Lee says that the Patriots need to have this one.

Taking on a Pack mentality? – Greg A Bedard says that the Patriots have watched a lot of Green Bay’s victory over the Jets.

Celtics bench makes easy work of Nets, 100-75 – Rich Levine has the Celtics with an easy afternoon in Newark.

Nate Robinson answers the call – Paul Flannery has Nate filling in ably for Rajon Rondo.

Red Sox Make That Big Splash, Set To Aquire Adrian Gonzalez

The Red Sox appear to make their biggest trade since Curt Schilling was acquired with the news from Buster Olney this morning that Boston has agreed to terms with the San Diego Padres on a deal with will bring slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

More coverage:

Red Sox close in on Gonzalez – Peter Abraham

Red Sox, Padres agree in principle to Adrian Gonzalez deal – Alex Speier

Red Sox finalize Gonzalez deal – Brian MacPherson

This story is a nice distraction to keep us busy until Monday night’s Patriots-Jets showdown. Here’s a quick peek at the ticket situation:

If you missed it, you need to check out crazyman Cris Carter’s appearance on yesterday’s Big Show, where he slams Deion Branch.

Also check out – First (Second?) Impressions – New York Jets – from Greg Doyle on Patriots Daily.

98.5 and WEEI Continue Ratings Wars

The ratings numbers for the November book (Oct 14th – Nov 10th) are out, and both 98.5 and WEEI are claiming victory, depending on how you look at the numbers.  

The numbers are actually very good for both stations, showing the interest level in Boston sports seems to be at an all-time high.

98.5 FM tied WZLX for number one in the overall ratings (25-to-54-year-old male listeners), pulling a 7.6. 

98.5’s Toucher and Rich were number one among the 25-54 male demo with a 9.4. WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan did an 8.9. However, the station insists that numbers from WEEI-FM in Providence be included. That station did a .8, which when added to the 8.9 gives D&C a 9.7 rating – topping Toucher and Rich. Whether you believe that the ratings should be compiled that way seems to depend on who you work for.

On Mid-days WEEI’s Dale and Holley did a 6.3 (7.4 with FM numbers included) topping Gresh and Zolak, who did a 6.0. That number pops out when you see that the duo did a 3.9 in the previous book.

For afternoon drive, Felger and Massarotti (8.5) topped The Big Show (6.6, 7.2 with FM numbers).

Evenings, 6-11 Mike Adams (and Celtics broadcasts) beat The DA Show (and Bruins broadcasts) 6.2 to 5.1.

No matter how the numbers are spun, one thing is clear, WEEI is facing its first serious challenge, and can’t do too much in the way of changes to regain their ratings dominance. The morning and afternoon drive shows are the most important ones, and they are getting beaten in both, more so especially in the afternoons. As Glenn Ordway would say, Here’s the problem: WEEI is locked in to huge contracts with John Dennis, Gerry Callahan and Ordway. They can’t really do much in the way of making changes. The NESN morning simulcasts were one effort, and I’ll confess to having switched over there briefly almost every morning. More needs to be done.

This is Jason Wolfe’s first serious challenge to WEEI, and it’s not going so well.

Tirico unfazed by double duty – Chad Finn’s media column has Mike Tirico calling Patriots/Jets on Monday night, and Celtics/Nuggets on Wednesday night. He also dives into the radio numbers.

Sports Hub scores big in radio ratings race – Jessica Heslam also reports on the numbers.

From The Childish To The Lame, Everyone’s Talking About The Patriots – In my SB Nation Media column I’m taking a sampling of Patriots talk from this week.

Wins all that count for Patriots defense – Ian R. Rapoport has the Patriots defense only concerned with the final results.

Monday night can’t get here fast enough – Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss break down Monday night’s matchup.

Patriots defense catches Ryan’s eye – Monique Walker has Rex Ryan saying that the Patriots defense is better than it appears statistically.

Brady’s disdain for Jets remains – Glen Farley has the Patriots QB only making a slight attempt to hide his contempt for the Jets.

Darrelle Revis has several target options – Karen Guregian wonders who the Jets CB will cover with Randy Moss gone.

Pats will beat Jets … I guarantee it – Suddenly I’m very worried about the Patriots chances on Monday Night. Bill Burt has guaranteed a Patriots win.

Brady gets the import of Monday’s game – Tom E Curran has the Patriots QB understanding the significance of this game.

Santonio Holmes disses CB Devin McCourty – Rapoport’s notebook has the Jets WR confident that rookie Devin McCourty cannot hang with him. The Globe notebook from Monique Walker has Stephen Neal headed to IR. The Projo Patriots Journal has more on Neal. The Gatehouse notebook from Glen Farley has Ryan admitting to stealing schemes from Belichick. The Sun Chronicle notebook from Mark Farinella has Tom Brady speaking of the rivalry.

Bruins too much for Tampa Bay, 8-1 – Joe Haggerty and Danny Picard report on the Bruins big win last night.

Return of Marc Savard is critical to Bruins’ hopes – Stephen Harris notes the importantance of Savard’s return to the lineup. Joe McDonald says that Savard’s return was just right.

Savard Returns, Krejci dominates and Tim Thomas contributes offensively – DJ Bean has the keys to the game last night.

Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron Thankful to Still Have Marco Sturm as Bruins Teammate – The trade of Marco Sturm to the Kings didn’t happen after all, and Douglas Flynn says that the Bruins are happy about it.

Club’s buzz seems light-years away – John Tomase says that the Red Sox need a Manny Ramirez-like buzz.

Red Sox have reason to their rhyme – Gordon Edes urges patience, insisting that there is a method to the team’s offseason madness.

Varitek, Red Sox a good fit – Mike Fine says that the return of Jason Varitek is good for both sides.

Why Doc Rivers is the perfect coach for the Celtics – Paul Flannery looks at the fit of Rivers and his team.

Efficiency becomes Paul Pierce’s game – Peter May looks at the evolution of Paul Pierce as a scorer.

Marquis Daniels: Standing tall – A Sherrod Blakely submits a feature on the Celtics reserve swingman.

Boxer’s life story a real knockout – Ron Borges says that Micky Ward’s life was made for the big screen.

Butch Stearns Thinks Zoltan Mesko is “disrespectful”

This was my amusing discovery for the day…

Apparently the former FOX25 Sports Anchor (and current star of The Pulse Network’s Sports channel.) believes strongly that the rookie punter is being disrespectful for wearing the number issued him by the team.

@bossprtsthennow Yes. Grogans first. Someone needs to sit Zoltan Mesko down and make him realize how disrespectful he is being.Sun Nov 28 13:13:43 via Twitter for iPad

He’s really fired up about this:

Zoltan Mesko #14? Can someone explain to me why a rookie punter is wearing Steve Grogans number? If it’s not a tribute then that’s bull#%it!Sun Oct 31 21:28:57 via Twitter for iPad

Did it take Butch until October 31st to realize Mesko was wearing number 14?

Allen Shot Holds Off Blazers In Celtics Win

The Portland Trailblazers had come from 16 down in the final minutes to pull to within one point of the Celtics. Ray Allen, who had struggled with his shot all night (3-11 prior to this shot) was left open in the corner and nailed a three pointer with 10 seconds left to put an end to the Blazers comeback, and lift the Celtics to a 99-95 win at the TD Garden.

Ray Allen’s clutch 3-pointer lifts Celtics – Chris Forsberg looks at Allen saving his best shot for last.

Paul Pierce nets 28, but assist wins praise – Steve Bulpett has Pierce, who was 9-11 for the night, passing up the final shot in favor of a pass to the wide-open Allen.

One shot defined the Celtics’ greatness – Paul Flannery with more on the final shot, but also with a look at your new lockdown defender – Marquis Daniels.

Doc Rivers has done plenty with little – Peter May says that Doc Rivers deserves the Coach of the Month award he won yesterday.

Cutting it very close – Julian Benbow’s notebook has Kevin Garnett’s five stitches to the chin taking longer than usual. The Herald notebook from Mark Murphy has the players saluting Rivers. The Republican notebook from Nick Underhill has the Celtics finally playing their style of ball. The Telegram notebook from Bill Doyle has more on the players appreciating Rivers’ style. A. Sherrod Blakely notes that injuries are again piling up for the Celtics.

Where the hate is – Gary Washburn look at just how ugly it could get in Cleveland tonight for LeBron James.

Rematch not a replay – Greg A Bedard notes a lot of changes since the week two meeting between the Patriots and Jets. Mike Reiss also has a good piece on the same topic.

Branch leaves ’em hanging on his every word – Mark Farinella says of the receiver: “Branch has been a breath of fresh air – and not just on the field. Gregarious and approachable, Branch has provided quote-thirsty reporters with an oasis where once there was nothing but desert.” Which we know is what is really important down there…

Characters, plot are all in place for high drama – Bob Ryan looks at “Cousin Rex” and his Jets team, how they got to 9-2 on the season, and what Monday night should hold. Ron Borges likes Rex because he’s not dour like a lot of NFL coaches…he’s not naming any names…*cough*Belichick*cough*

Worry Wart – Game Twelve vs. Jets – Chris Warner has his misgivings about this one.

Patriots LBs are uptight – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots linebackers worried about Dustin Keller. Tom E. Curran says both teams are worried about defending the tight ends.

Bruschi has numerical plan – Shalise Manza Young’s notebook has the Patriots great hoping someone else gets to wear #54 for the team. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has Belichick giving Ryan some praise. The Telegram notebook from Rich Garven has the Patriots not responding to the Jets bluster.

Tim Thomas is really feeling it – Joe McDonald has the Bruins goaltender notching his fifth shutout of the season.

Savard’s day appears near – Fluto Shinzawa says Marc Savard could return as early as tonight.

Red Sox relief remake, Part 1: The current state of the bullpen – Alex Speier looks at the annual bullpen makeover for the Red Sox. Daniel Barbarisi says that building a bullpen is not easy.

Could Carl Crawford fit in on the Red Sox? Oh yeah – Dan Lamothe makes the case for the former Tampa Ray, with whom the Red Sox met yesterday.

Red Sox caught up in Russell Martin dealings – Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox catching situation could be tied to that of the Dodgers.

Rondo, Celtics Turn Away Cavs In Cleveland

Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 23 points, along with 12 assists as the Celtics downed the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 106-87 last night.

Celtics have Quicken fix – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics exacting a measure of revenge on the Cavs.

Davis propels second-stringers – Julian Benbow’s notebook has Glen Davis (17 pts, 11rbs) rising to a Doc Rivers challenge and leading the second unit in the win. The Herald’s notebook from Steve Bulpett has Marquis Daniels also with a strong game last night, with 16 points and strong defense.

The Miami Herald thinks that Doc Rivers will be coaching the Heat next season.

Braylon Edwards’ ‘Dougie’ Dance May Motivate Patriots and 19 Other Thoughts – Jeff Howe offers up 20 thoughts on the Patriots this week.

For Branch, so many reasons to smile – Jackie MacMullan has Deion Branch back where he belongs. It’s almost like a followup to a column on Branch she wrote for the Globe back on January 7, 2006. Over in the Herald, Ian R. Rapoport also has a piece on Branch.

Devin McCourty has already cemented his place in Patriots history – Christopher Price looks at how the Patriots rookie is unlike any other first year cornerback in team history.

Arrington mixing it up with the big boys – Mark Farinella has the Patriots second year corner enjoying his time lining up as a defensive end.

Secondary measures – Karen Guregian says that this game will be a good measure of the growth of McCourty and Arrington.

Former Jet Woodhead focused only on future – Monique Walker’s Globe notebook has Danny Woodhead happy with the Patriots. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport and Karen Guregian has Robert Kraft pumped for Monday night.

Red Sox gunning for top outfield target – Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox are working hard behind the scenes to sign either Carl Crawford or Jason Werth.

Expect Red Sox to make a lot of deals – As December arrives, Mike Fine says we can expect Theo Epstein to get busy.

Bruins are trying to put the pieces together – Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins just trying to figure things out as a team.