Patriots Overtime Victory Over Ravens Sets CBS Ratings Mark

The Patriots 23-20 overtime victory over the Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 17 helped CBS set the mark for the highest rating for its single-game window since it acquired the current AFC package in 2008. 

The window, which included the Patriots-Ravens, Dolphins-Packers, Jets-Broncos, and Browns-Steelers matchups, averaged a 12.8 HH rating and 21.5 million viewers nationwide, making it the most-watched Sunday CBS single-game window since CBS resumed NFL coverage in 1998. The window broke the old record set week 16 of the 2008 season during a game for first place between the Steelers and Titans, which had a 12.3 HH rating and 20.0 million viewers.

Locally, the game had a 29.84 rating with a 61 share. The game peaked with a 38.25 rating during overtime.

With 734,000 households watching the game locally, the Patriots-Ravens game more than doubled the 338,400 households that watched Dancing with the Stars, the second most watched program of the week in the Boston TV market. Dancing with Stars had a rating of 13.8 and a 20 share on Monday, October 11. Patriots 5th Quarter, which followed the New England game on WBZ, placed third with a 13.7 rating and a 27 share on Sunday.

The Patriots-Ravens game was the second most-watched game in the Boston TV market of the year, behind CBS’s doubleheader weekend on Sept. 19 that featured the Patriots and the Jets as the 4:15 game. That game was the most watched September CBS game ever and the third most watched game during the NFL season with 27 million viewers nationwide.


Bodden Is Back With The Patriots – Or Is He?

Last night there was quite a ruckus on Twitter as two very respected football reporters Michael Lombardi and Adam Schefter both reported that Leigh Bodden would be re-signing with the Patriots. Both guys are right far more than they’re wrong, especially Schefter, whose word I pretty much take as gospel these days. Meanwhile, Bodden’s agent, Alvin Keels was posting that nothing was done, or even agreed to.

We’ll see what happens today. If I had to bet, I’m siding with Schefter/Lombardi.

Speaking of the NFL free agency period, while Mike Reiss, Tom Curran, Christopher Price, Shalise Manza Young and Albert Breer have all done their usual solid jobs, I think the star of the first few days has been the Herald’s Ian Rapoport. He’s consistently brought good information, and angles and insight that some of the others have missed at times. The Rap Sheet has become a must-follow destination for Patriots fans, and he has been tearing it up on Twitter as well.

Otherwise, it’s a fairly slow day today with both the Celtics and Bruins off last night.

Selection of Tom Brady Makes 2000 Draft One to Remember – Jeff Howe concludes his series of reviewing the Patriots drafts under Bill Belichick with the coach’s first draft, one that is memorable for a certain sixth-round selection.

Patriots air of infallibility is waning – A good article from Tom E Curran, but headlines like that one really turn me off, and many times make me not want to even look at the article underneath the headline. Who ever said the Patriots were infallible? Who? C’mon. The article itself is candid, frank, without pushing silly agendas, but the headline is just dumb. (I know, Curran probably didn’t create it.)

Fielding more than his share of bad hops – Gordon Edes looks at how Dustin Pedroia used baseball as his focus when off-field things weren’t going so well for him last season. I also enjoyed this blog entry from Edes on Jose Iglesias in which Edes is giddy as a schoolboy over the potential of the phenom shortstop, and wonders if the Red Sox should put him right in the majors to start the season.

Why some Red Sox pitchers like throwing to some Red Sox catchers – The title of Rob Bradfords article this morning explains it all.

Big performances: Young trio impresses – Michael Silverman has a trio of young, gifted and intriguing outfielders making an impression on the Red Sox yesterday.

Beckett, Martinez on learning curve – Sean McAdam with another strong notebook from the action of yesterday.

La Russa still mover, shaker – Bob Ryan talks to Tony La Russa about his 33 years as a big league manager.

Hits like this don’t belong in hockey – Mike Loftus weighs in on the hit that Penguins forward Matt Cooke laid on Marc Savard Sunday.

Marc Savard fuzzy on details – Stephen Harris gets props for catching up with Savard at the Pittsburgh airport yesterday to talk to him about the hit and how he’s feeling.

Lockdown defense steadies KG – Chris Forsberg says that Kevin Garnett’s defensive performance down the stretch on Sunday night should be encouraging to Celtics fans.

Relentless defense critical to Celtics – Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics performance on defense in the last six minutes Sunday night showed that they are still capable of locking down an opponent, and that gives them no excuses going forward.

Also check out Greg Doyle’s Q&A With UNH TE Scott Sicko, who has gathered some interest from pro scouts.

Elsewhere, I was also disappointed with the news that Alice Cook was tossed at Ch. 4 after 25 years of service to the station. With the decreased amount of time that newscasts are giving to the sports segments, it makes sense to keep the rosters small, but I always enjoyed the job that Cook did, both with the sports reports, and on the Patriots pre and post game shows.

Was Jonny Miller a bigger “Curse” Pusher than Shaughnessy?

If you didn’t read Bob Hohler’s column this morning – Really big news – I highly recommend that you do so.

The article looks at some of the media pressure that the Red Sox had to overcome en route to winning the 2004 World Series. It seems that much of that “media pressure” came from an unlikely source: WBZ’s Jonny Miller.

WBZ’s Jonny Miller greeted every new player in the Fens by asking him to declare whether the team’s chronic misfortune was born of some ghostly voodoo risen from Babe Ruth’s grave. His tape recorder whirring, Miller followed up by posing the same question every spring training to every player on the Sox roster: “Do you believe in the curse of the Bambino?’

Miller doesn’t refer to the curse any longer, as he is quoted in the article as ““They took away one of my lines,’’ Miller said of the ’04 Sox. “I can’t ask about the curse anymore.’’

The article notes that Jonathan Papelbon this season called Miller “the most negative person around.”

This seems to fit with some of the lines of questioning Miller has pursued, as chronicled by Hohler.

And when the Sox went on a 10-game winning streak to seize a four-game lead in the wild-card race in early September, it was Miller who stirred the ghosts.

“In the history of the wild card, no team has blown a four-game lead starting Sept. 1,’’ he informed Damon. “Are you confident you won’t be the first?’’

There are plenty of other examples in the article.

Hohler also notes that Miller is a prankster, though some of his stunts have been better than others:

Miller became as memorable in 2004 for his pluck as his perseverance. In February, five months after WEEI’s John Dennis and Gerry Callahan compared a gorilla that escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo to a minority Metco student, Miller welcomed them to spring training by presenting them white pillowcases as if they were Klansmen.

And later:

In September of ’04, with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon filming “Fever Pitch’’ in Fenway’s box seats, Barrymore’s history of teen drug problems inspired Miller to raise a placard that asked, “When Will Drew Be Back In Rehab?’’

All in all, this was a nice “behind the scenes” look by Hohler at the type of coverage and questions that were around the Red Sox prior to the 2004 World Series Title.

Patriots Loss a Winner for WBZ-TV

The New England Patriots overtime loss on Sunday to former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and his Denver Broncos was the highest rated program of the week in the Boston market.

The game earned a household rating of 29.73 with a 57 share. The game averaged 1,156,900 viewers and peaked during overtime with 1,446,100 viewers.

It was the second highest-rated Patriots game of the season, trailing only the season opener on Monday Night Football against Buffalo.

Through five games in 2009, Patriots games are averaging a local rating of 28.88 with a 57.4 share.

By comparison, through five games of the 2008 season, Patriots games averaged a local rating of 25.62 with a 49.4 share.

Patriots Preseason Game A Ratings Winner

Lured by the prospect of seeing Tom Brady’s return to the field, viewers flocked to last night’s Patriots preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to Kraft Sports Productions and WBZ, the game garnered a 14.6 rating last night.

The Patriots’ preseason game versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night earned a 14.6 rating and a 27 share. The game was the top program in total households and total viewers in every demographic among all broadcast and cable networks on Thursday. The broadcast averaged 524,300 total viewers, ranking second in total viewers for a preseason game since the introduction of Local People Meter ratings in 2002. The game peaked at 8:45 p.m. with 643,290 total viewers. Patriots-Eagles ranked among the top five television events of the summer (June 1 to Aug. 13, 2009) for adults and men 18-49 and 25-54 in the Boston market.

The pre and post game shows also did well for WBZ:

WBZ-TV is also home to “Patriots Gameday” prior to every game and “Patriots 5th Quarter” after each game. “Patriots Gameday” on Thursday had a household rating of a 5.32 with a 12 share. “Patriots 5th Quarter” had a household rating of 5.70 with a 12 share.

Not bad for a preseason game. Check my Media Notes on Patriots Daily for more on last night’s TV and Radio broadcasts.

Santos To Become Second Member of WBZ Hall of Fame

Later this morning, WBZ will be honoring legendary sportscaster Gil Santos by making him the second member of the WBZ Hall of Fame.

From WBZ’s release sent out last night:

WBZ News Radio will add another chapter to the history and heritage of its famous call letters. At 11:00 we will unveil a plaque honoring Gil Santos as the newest member to be inducted into the WBZ Hall of Fame.

Gil Santos retired from his morning sports anchor position in January of this year and WBZ News Radio is delighted to bring him back so he can see the permanent addition to the Hall of Fame wall on the front of the WBZ building on Soldiers Field Road. Gil was the voice of sports in New England for more than 38 years on WBZ. He’s covered an amazing 13 professional sports championships in Boston during his career. This will be Gil’s third hall of fame honor. He is already in the New England Sports Museum Hall of Fame as well as the Fairhaven High School Hall of Fame.

Gil becomes on the second member of WBZ’s Hall of Fame. Former WBZ morning news anchor Gary LaPierre was the first inductee in February of 2007 following his retirement in December of 2006.

Congratulations to Mr Santos for a well-deserved honor.