FOX Hits Season-Low For Early Window; Did Cablevision Dispute Have Effect?

Posted by | October 23, 2010 at 3:55 AM

Affected only slightly by the loss of millions of New York area TV homes, the first game of last week’s NFL doubleheader on FOX drew the network’s lowest numbers of the season.

Regional NFL action featuring Falcons/Eagles drew a 7.3 final rating and 11.860 million viewers on FOX last Sunday, down 22% in ratings and 21% in viewership from last year’s comparable telecast on CBS (BAL/MIN*: 9.3, 15.094 mil).

This marks the lowest rated, least viewed NFL telecast of the season on FOX.

In New York, FOX affiliate WNYW was blacked out on Cablevision systems due to a dispute between the cable operator and FOX parent company News Corporation. Because of the blackout, Sunday’s early window (Lions/Giants) drew just a 7.8 rating in the New York market — well below the first two Giants games on FOX this season (14.5 and 11.3).

Compared to those first two Giants telecasts on FOX, Sunday’s game attracted anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000 fewer N.Y. households — equaling between approximately 0.2 and 0.4 ratings points nationally.

Later Sunday, FOX drew a 15.7 final rating and 25.980 million viewers for the Cowboys/Vikings national window — up 8% and 9%, respectively, from last year.

(Sports Business Daily, ESPN.com, Newsday)