When I wrote about the flex schedule last week, a lot of reader comments said that NBC decision made perfect sense because the Vikings-Card game would be a bigger draw than the Patriots-Dolphins.
Well, guess what happened? The Favre game turned out to be a bust. The Cardinals, led by Kurt Warner, shredded the Vikings and won handily 30-17. It wasn't close and the ratings diminished from the second half on.
Well, without much more than the usual hype, ESPN's Monday Night Football got the huge audience this kind of contest warrants. It was the second most-watched cable program of all time. Yes, you read that correctly. The second most-watched cable program of all time. Over 20 million total viewers -- 21.4 million -- tuned in to watch the game... which turned out to be a bit of a dud. But that doesn't matter to ESPN because they scored big time.
The move by the NFL to exclusively air this weekend's game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants on their own NFL network, which reaches only 40% of US households, was met with much criticism and frustration. With a win this weekend, the Patriots would become the first team to go undefeated in a 16-game season (the Dolphins did it in the 14-game '72 season).
Now it looks like pressure from Washington has changed their mind and suddenly the game is airing on NFL Network and both NBC and CBS. Of course, several local affiliates to the two teams had already negotiated exclusive rights to the game and sold ads at inflated rates, so they can't be too happy about having to share the game now with CBS and NBC.
So, what do you think it is?
Was it the debut episode of this season's American Idol? Was it the season opener of 24? Or maybe the half-season-ender of Lost a few months ago? The season opener of Grey's Anatomy?
Nope. The highest-rated TV show of the season so far was the third episode of Ghost Whisperer! OK, I'm kidding. The actual highest-rated show after the jump.
- "They'll be giving it to him in the locker room."
- "It's long...it's good!"
- "There are a lot of things for you to enjoy in The Fantasy Room."
- "Oh my!"