Ratings Roundup: Tebow, Brady Drive CBS To Season-High NFL Overnight; ESPN’s MNF Makes a Comback

As expected, Tebow vs. Brady generated monumental ratings last Sunday for CBS, as the New England Patriots 41-23 win over the Denver Broncos earned an overnight household rating/share of 19.5/36, the highest rating in the metered markets for an NFL game telecast-to-date in the 2011 regular-season on any network. The 19.5/36 also was CBS’s highest rating for a regular-season NFL game in the metered markets since 2007 (22.5/39; 11/4/07; undefeated matchup between New England and Indianapolis) and was the Network’s second-highest rated regular-season game since CBS re-acquired the NFL 13 years ago in 1998. The overnight number is up 16% from last year’s 16.8/31 (N.Y. Jets-Pittsburgh) and beats out the previous high this season of 19.1/37 (10/16/11; Dallas-New England – high coverage; Fox)…

…After two weeks of bad matchups and poor ratings, ESPN’s Monday Night Football recovered this week. The Week 15 Steelers/49ers Monday Night Football game drew a 10.1 U.S. rating and 16.677 million viewers on ESPN, up 2% in ratings but down 2% in viewership compared to Week 15 last year (CHI/MIN: 9.9, 17.094M), and up 38% and 47%, respectively, from 2009 (NYG/WSH: 7.3, 11.343M). Monday’s game ranks as the fourth-highest rated and third-most viewed NFL telecast of the season on ESPN (16 telecasts). Even with stronger numbers this week, Monday Night Football remains off last year’s pace. Through Week 15, ESPN has averaged an 8.3 U.S. rating and 13.103 million viewers for NFL games, down 7% in ratings and 9% in viewership from last year (8.9, 14.370M)…

…Comcast SportsNet Chicago delivered the highest-rated Bulls pre-season game rating in Chicago RSN television history for the Bulls’ game against the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 20. The lone Bulls pre-season telecast of the 2011-12 NBA season on CSN Chicago posted a 4.62 household rating, reaching approx. 161,400 total households in the Chicago DMA – peaking at a 5.13 (over 179,000 total households).  The 4.62 ratings shattered the previous RSN record for a pre-season telecast (set during the SportsChannel era) when Michael Jordan and the Bulls hosted Seattle on October 11, 1997 (3.2 rating)…

…The Bruins 3-2 win over Montreal on Dec. 19 at TD Garden received a 7.7 HH rating (12.2 Share) on NESN, which makes it the second-highest rated regular season Bruins telecast in network history.  The highest-rated regular season game in NESN history came less than four weeks ago on November 23, when NESN received an 8.4 HH rating (14.1 Share) for the Bruins 3-2 shootout win in Buffalo. NESN’s current season average now stands at a 5.0 HH rating, up 85% over last season after the same number of games (29).

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