NFL SHELLS MLB
Last week I wrote about how the National Football League has drilled Major League Baseball head-to-head in ratings. Well, the story gets worse for MLB.
On Sunday, the NFL’s late-afternoon game of Minnesota-Green Bay generated 29.8 million viewers for Fox, the best television ratings since the Academy Awards in late February. Minutes after that game’s conclusion, Game 4 of the World Series featuring bluebloods the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies also aired on Fox. That game put up 22.8 million viewers, seventh-best since the Academy Awards.
The most interesting item about these ratings are that 7 million people changed the channel on baseball after watching Brett Favre return to Green Bay in a regular-season game. The World Series is still popular and garners good ratings but it just shows the NFL remains the ratings king. And nothing is even close.
BTN’S NEW JOURNEY IN BASKETBALL
The Big Ten Network will bump up its coverage of basketball this year, both in the studio and through a documentary.
Two of the new offerings are similar to what the network provides during football teams. It will add a tailgate show on Friday nights airing after the weekly hockey game. The Big Ten Network also will do a weekly wrap-up show about basketball, which will include weekly honors and upcoming previews.
With the expected prowess of men’s basketball this year, the network plans to document the entire season with its “Journey” series called “Big Ten Basketball: The Journey 2010.”
“We’re going behind the scenes at as many of the Big Ten schools that will allow us,” Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. “We’re going to show footage from practices and locker rooms. We’re going to basically trace the Big Ten season as it evolves. As the teams start performing, we’ll spend more time with teams that are in competition for the Big Ten championship.”
Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the Associated Press’ preseason top 25 poll. Defending national runner-up Michigan State was ranked second, and Purdue was rated seventh. Every all-Big Ten first-team player returned this fall, as did many second- and third-team players.
“The Big Ten is predicted to be the top conference in basketball this year,” Silverman said. “It’s something that we think can be a real special year so we want to make sure we can cover it all.”
NFL NETWORK GAMES BEGIN NOV. 12
The NFL Network begins its eight-game package next Thursday (Nov. 12) with Chicago playing at San Francisco. Former Detroit Lions President Matt Millen joins Bob Papa in the broadcast booth. Many have criticized the NFL Network and ESPN for hiring Millen, who produced one of the worst eras in football history in Detroit. In eight seasons his teams were 31-97.
“I just stick with the game and stick with what’s going on the field and talk about that, that’s all I can do,” Millen said about the criticism. “The rest of it is all somebody else’s opinion. If there’s credibility, there’s credibility. But that can only be given from you, not from me. That’s how I approach it.”
Here are the descriptions of the NFL Network’s Classic Game this week and “Greatest 4th Qtrs” show:
NFL Classic Games: Eagles vs. Cowboys (9/15/2008) – 8 p.m. Friday/1 p.m. Saturday
Greatest 4thQTRs – 8 p.m. Thursday
HERE’S SATURDAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL LINE-UP:
11 a.m. GAMES
2:30 p.m. GAMES
SUNDAY’S NFL LINEUP:
3:15 p.m. GAME
7:15 p.m. GAME